By Donald Hunt
For The Birmingham Times
Alabama State is off to a good start with two non-conference victories over Howard University and Miles College. However, the Hornets will have a big test this weekend. Alabama State (2-0) will travel to Los Angeles to play UCLA (1-0) on Saturday, Sept. 10. The kickoff is set for 4 p.m.
The Bruins play in the Pac-12 Conference, which features USC, Arizona, Oregon and other major Division I programs. UCLA is coming off a 45-17 win over Bowling Green in its season opener. It looks like defense is going to be very important for Alabama State.
Hornets head coach Eddie Robinson, Jr. has some great players on defense including Brandon Gaddy who made a lot of plays in the win over Miles College. Gaddy, a 6-3, 295-pound redshirt senior defensive lineman, had 10 total tackles and two sacks.
Defensive back Irshaad Davis continues his steady play in the secondary. Davis gives Alabama State plenty of knowledge and experience along with some playmaking skills.
In other HBCU action, Alabama A&M will visit Troy on Saturday with a 6 p.m. kickoff. The Bulldogs (0-1) were crushed 59-0 by University of Alabama-Birmingham in the season opener. Troy (0-1) dropped its first game to Mississippi, 28-10.
Alabama A&M will have to find a way to get the offense moving. Running back Gary Quarles, one of the team’s best offensive weapons, can run between the tackles and catch the ball out of the backfield.
In the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC), Miles College will host West Alabama on Saturday. The kickoff will be at 6 p.m. Miles College (0-1) will be looking to bounce back following a tough 21-13 loss to Alabama State last week. West Alabama (1-0) posted a 24-16 win over Morehouse, a SIAC member, in the season opener.
The Golden Bears are led by defensive lineman Roosevelt Thompson and linebacker Austin Brundidge. Thompson and Brundidge should be able to set the tone for Miles College with their aggressive play. Thompson had six tackles against Alabama State. Brundidge had a great all-around performance with five tackles and two sacks.
Tuskegee University will face Hampton University out of the Colonial Athletic Association in a non-conference matchup on the road. The kickoff will be at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Tuskegee (0-1) suffered a 21-6 loss Fort Valley State in the Red Tails Classic. Running back Donte Edwards is a player to watch for Tuskegee University. Edwards had 81 yards on 20 attempts in a losing effort to Fort Valley State.
SWAC Schedule Saturday, Sept. 10
Texas Southern at North Texas 6:30 p.m. Denton, TX
South Carolina State at Bethune-Cookman 3 p.m. Daytona Beach, Fla.
Mississippi Valley State at Austin Peay 3 p.m. Clarksville, TN
Alabama State at UCLA 4 p.m. Los Angeles, CA
Albany State at Florida A&M 5 p.m. Tallahassee, Fla.
Alabama A&M at Troy 6 p.m. Troy, AL
Jackson State at Tennessee State 6 p.m. Memphis, TN
Alcorn State at Tulane 6 p.m. New Orleans, La.
North American University at Arkansas-Pine Bluff 6 p.m. Pine Bluff, AR
Southern at Louisiana State University (LSU) 6:30 p.m. Baton Rouge, La.
Prairie View A&M at Abilene Christian 7 p.m. Abilene, TX
SIAC Schedule Saturday, Sept. 10
Kentucky State at Fort Valley State 1 p.m. Fort Valley, GA
Benedict at Lane 2 p.m. Jackson, TN
West Alabama at Miles College 6 p.m. Fairfield, AL
Lincoln University (Pa.) at Central State 1 p.m. Wilberforce, OH
Erskine College at Clark Atlanta 4 p.m. Atlanta, GA
Albany State at Florida A&M 6 p.m. Tallahassee, Fla.
Johnson C. Smith at Allen University 6 p.m. Blythewood, S.C.
University of West Georgia at Morehouse 6 p.m. Atlanta, GA
Savannah State at Edward Waters 6 p.m. Jacksonville, Fla.
Tuskegee University at Hampton University 7 p.m. Hampton, VA
SWAC East Conference Overall
Jackson State 1-0 1-0
Alabama State 0-0 2-0
Bethune-Cookman 0-0 0-1
Mississippi Valley State 0-0 0-1
Alabama A&M 0-0 0-1
Florida A&M 0-1 0-2
Prairie View A&M 1-0 1-0
Southern 0-0 1-0
Arkansas-Pine Bluff 0-0 1-0
Alcorn State 0-0 0-1
Grambling State 0-0 0-1
Texas Southern 0-0 0-1
SIAC East Conference Overall
Clark Atlanta 1-0 1-0
Albany State 0-0 1-0
Fort Valley State 0-0 1-0
Benedict 0-0 0-0
Savannah State 0-0 0-1
Morehouse 0-0 0-1
Allen University 0-0 0-1
Edward Waters 0-1 0-2
Central State 0-0 1-0
Kentucky State 0-0 0-0
Lane 0-0 0-0
Tuskegee University 0-0 0-1
Miles College 0-0 0-1
Game of the Week: Alabama State at UCLA 4 p.m. Los Angeles, CA