By Donald Hunt
For The Birmingham Times
It’s not just another game on the schedule. It can determine a successful season. It’s for HBCU football bragging rights in the state of Alabama. It’s the 81st annual Magic City Classic featuring Alabama A&M versus Alabama State today at Legion Field in Birmingham. The kickoff for this legendary classic between these two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) will be at 2:30 p.m.
The game culminates a week of fun, festivities, fashion and food in the Magic City.
Alabama A&M (3-1, 3-4) is coming into this classic on a three-game winning streak with victories over Bethune-Cookman, Grambling State and Arkansas-Pine Bluff respectively. The Bulldogs have been able to move the ball on offense quite well over the last three games, averaging 35.3 points.
A&M has been successful thanks to a strong running game led by running back Donovan Eaglin, the team’s leading rusher. Eaglin has for 526 yards on 92 carries and tallying 5.7 yards a carry. He has also scored five touchdowns this season.
Alabama State (2-2, 4-3) has won two of its last three games. ASU recently posted a 24-9 win over Mississippi Valley State and appear to be bringing some momentum into this Classic.
Alabama State has been solid on the defensive end this season. The Hornets have the third best defense in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) giving up just 19.0 points a game.
The Hornets’ top players are linebacker Colton Adams, defensive backs Irshaad Davis and Keenan Isaac. Adams leads the SWAC with 81 total tackles. Davis has 49 total stops while Isaac has been great against the pass which includes a pair two interceptions.