The Alabama State Hornets take on the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama, Sat. at 11 am. The Hornets are coming off a shortened offseason as their original fall season was moved to the spring because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Playing only six games and finishing with a 3-3 record, they would like to pick up where they left off. Auburn, on the other hand, has had a very well-rested off-season They finished last season with a record of 6-4 and look to improve this coming season. Now we all know this looks like a very one-sided matchup but there are some very interesting elements to keep an eye out for.
Alabama State RB, Ezra Gray, has proven to be a serious threat for college defenses. Named First Team All-SWAC as a running back, he led the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) in rushing finishing the 2020 spring season with 436 yards on 84 carries in five games. Gray recorded a career-high 195 yards on 23 carries with three touchdowns and 300-plus all-purpose yards against Jackson State. He followed that up with 101 yards on 19 carries against Alabama A&M in the Magic City Classic, averaging 5.2 yards per carry on the season.
Let’s not forget DB Irshaad Davis. The sophomore from Opa, Locka FL. has been the team leader in total tackles for the last two seasons. Davis was named SWAC Defensive Player of the Week last season along with First Team All-SWAC. While only playing in five games, he recorded 41 total tackles to lead the team with 11 of those going against South Carolina State. He recorded nine tackles against Jackson State and Alabama A&M and eight against Mississippi Valley State. He also had one interception, 0.5 tackles for loss, three pass breakups, and one quarterback hurry. In Davis’ previous year as a true freshman, he had a team-high 66 tackles, four tackles for loss, including 1.5 sacks. He picked off his first career pass finishing the year with one interception three pass breakups and forced three fumbles.
The Tigers have also added three offensive and seven defensive players. The players range from Power 5 and SEC schools to Group of 5 and FCS or junior college experience. But even with these additions plus a new head coach, how much of a difference can it really make compared to last season’s stats. Their defense gave up an average of 406 total offensive yards a game.
Will the Alabama State Hornets pull off one of the greatest upsets in HBCU history?
- HBCUFebruary 28, 2023HBCU Legacy Bowl 2023
- NCAAFFebruary 4, 2023Team West Wins Field Goal Filled East-West Shrine Game
- NCAAFDecember 19, 2022NC Central Upsets Jackson State in Wild Celebration Bowl, 41-34
- NCAAFSeptember 27, 2022Hornets Come Up Short in SWAC Opener to Prairie View, 24-15