Alabama State (4-6, 3-5) returned home to take on the Tigers of Texas Southern (2-7, 2-5). Quarterback Joe Owens made his first start of the season and the team looked to get their first win in a month.
Both teams had very similar end-game stats. Owens had a good game throwing 150 yards on 18 completions and a touchdown. You could see how he commanded the offense and spread the ball around targeting nine different receivers. Wallace Corker lead the team in catches with five and 35 receiving yards plus a one-handed touchdown followed by Jeremiah Hixon with a three-catch, 54-yard performance.
One name to remember is Brandon McDuffie. The 6-2, 202-pound wide receiver from San Antonio, Texas has made a significant impact on the team. His stats this game were minimal with just two catches for 18 yards but he has become a serious red zone threat, one area the Hornets have been lacking in. McDuffie also has shown his playmaking abilities on special teams blocking a punt which was returned by Robert Rivers. This was needed as it became the turning point in the game.
Alabama State’s defense struggled to contain Texas Southern’s running game as their quarterback Andrew Brody was dangerous through the air as well as on the ground. The freshman threw for 163 yards on 13 passes and a touchdown while rushing for an additional 137 yards on nine rushes. Forcing a turnover though was the upside for the team as Irshaad Davis undercut a route to secure an interception for the team.
This was the first win for interim head coach Travis Pearson as he took over as head coach once Donald Eley was relieved of his coaching duties following the Magic City Classic.
So far the team looks to have a bright future. Seeing some young talent have thriving moments is what you want in a team rebuild. Looking for a new head coach and a new offensive coordinator seems to be the two biggest areas that need to be addressed. As far as the team, star players look to be in a good position to build around. McDuffie, Owens, Nettles, and Davis are just a few to name.
Special teams definitely need to be reinforced with the playmakers outside of offense and defense. If your team is lacking a spark, you must look to your special teams to steal a possession or even better… SCORE!
The Alabama State Hornets take on the Tuskegee Golden Tigers for the Turkey Day Classic in their final game of the season Thursday, November 25th.
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