HBCU Football Preview: Alabama St. kicks off league play vs. Prairie View

Alabama State University quarterback Myles Crawley gears up for the Southwestern Athletic Conference opener this weekend. (Alabama State University)

By Donald Hunt

For The Birmingham Times

Alabama State University kicks off its Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) play this weekend hosting Prairie View A&M on Saturday, Sept. 24 with a 5 p.m. kickoff. The Hornets (2-1) have two non-conference wins over Howard University and Miles College respectively. They also have a loss to UCLA.

Alabama State head coach Eddie Robinson, Jr. knows what it takes to compete in the conference after playing collegiately for the Hornets. The former ASU and NFL standout will try to get his team off to a good start in league play.

On offense, the Hornets will depend on quarterback Myles Crawley and wide receivers La’Vontae Shenault and Jeremiah Hixon. The passing game should help them get on the scoreboard.

Defensively, ASU is led by lineman Brandon Gaddy, cornerbacks Irshaad Davis and Adrian Maddox and linebacker Colton Adams. The Hornets’ defense will try to stop the Panthers from making the big plays in the open field.

Prairie View A&M (1-2) already has a victory in the SWAC over division rival Texas Southern. The Panthers will lean on their ground attack with running backs Ahmad Antoine and Trazon Connley. If the Hornets can slow down the Panthers’ running game, they have a chance to come away with their first league win.

In other SWAC action, Alabama A&M (0-3) will visit Florida A&M (1-2) on Saturday. The kickoff is set for 5 p.m. This will be the Bulldogs first conference game.

Alabama A&M will attempt to control the tempo with a strong running game. The Bulldogs’ top running back is Gary Quarles, who had 83 yards on 23 attempts in a 28-3 loss to Austin Peay last week.

On defense, safety Charles Bell VI has made a solid impact in the secondary with nine total tackles this season.

In the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC), Tuskegee University (1-2) will entertain Allen University (0-2) on Saturday. The kickoff is set for 1 p.m. The game will be played at the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, AL.

The Golden Tigers are taking a lot of momentum into this contest. Tuskegee University is coming off a huge 13-10 upset over West Alabama. That victory gave Tuskegee University its 700th win, which happens to be quite a milestone for the history of the school’s football program.

Tuskegee head coach Reginald Ruffin will utilize his running game that features Donte Edwards, the team’s leading rusher, against Allen University.

Defensive lineman Jeremy Dees has been playing extremely well against the run and the pass. Dees has 18 total and 11 solo tackles with one sack.

In other conference games, Miles College will play Central State on the road. The kickoff will be at 1 p.m.. Miles College suffered a tough 55-7 loss to Valdosta State last week and is still looking for their first win of the season.


SWAC Schedule Sept. 24

Texas Southern at UTSA (The University of Texas San Antonio) 2 p.m. San Antonio, TX

Mississippi Valley State at Jackson State 1 p.m. Jackson, Miss.

Grambling State at Bethune-Cookman 1 p.m. Daytona Beach, Fla.

Prairie View A&M at Alabama State 5 p.m. Montgomery, AL

Alabama A&M at Florida A&M 5 p.m. Tallahassee, Fla.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Alcorn State 6 p.m. Lorman, Miss.


SIAC Schedule Sept. 24

Fort Valley State at Bluefield State 1 p.m. Bluefield, WV

Edward Waters at Lane College 2 p.m. Jackson, TN

Miles College at Central State 1 p.m. Wilberforce, OH

Savannah State at Morehouse 2 p.m. Atlanta, GA

Allen University at Tuskegee University 2 p.m. Montgomery, AL

Albany State at Clark Atlanta 6 p.m. Atlanta, GA

Kentucky State at Benedict College 7 p.m. Columbia, S.C.


Game of the Week: Prairie View A&M at Alabama State 5 p.m. Montgomery, AL



SWAC Standings

SWAC East                            Conference              Overall

Jackson State                                   1-0                              3-0

Alabama State                                 0-0                              2-1

Bethune-Cookman                      0-0                               0-2

Mississippi Valley State                0-0                              0-3

Alabama A&M                                0-0                              0-3

Florida A&M                                  0-1                              1-2


SWAC West                          Conference              Overall

Prairie View A&M              1-0                              1-2

Texas Southern                   1-1                              1-2

Arkansas-Pine Bluff           0-0                              2-1

Grambling State                  0-0                              1-2

Alcorn State                         0-0                              1-2

Southern                              0-1                              1-2


SIAC Standings

SIAC East                               Conference              Overall

Benedict College                 1-0                              3-0

Fort Valley State                 1-0                              3-0

Savannah State                   1-1                              1-2

Albany State                        0-0                              2-1

Clark Atlanta                        0-1                              1-2

Morehouse                          0-0                              0-3

Allen University                  0-1                              0-2

Edward Waters                   0-1                              0-3



SIAC West                             Conference              Overall

Lane College                        1-0                              1-2

Central State                        0-0                              1-2

Tuskegee University          0-0                              1-2

Miles College                       0-0                              0-3

Kentucky State                    0-0                              0-3





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