Seventy-six games have been played amongst the thirteen SIAC in order to arrive at this point.
Saturday’s SIAC Championship game could really be called the Albany State-Miles invitational, as this will be the third consecutive season that the Golden Bears and the Golden Rams have met in the season’s title game. Miles is seeking to three-peat as conference champs , while Albany State is looking to retune to the top of the SIAC mountain for the first time since 2013.
Miles ( 6-4, 4-2) comes into the contest sporting an offense that is putting up 28.30 points per game and 362.5 yards of total offense. The Golden Bears offense has been formidable on the ground, averaging 206.7 yards per game, lead by backs Donte Edwards , who has run for 976 yards and Kingston Davis with 756 yards of his own; both Edwards and Davis are average well over 5 yards per carry ( 5.5 for Edwards and 5.7 for Davis). Through the air, Miles averages 155.80 yards per contest, quarterback Claude Newell has been the Golden Bears’ top signal caller, throwing for 1211 yards, 10 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.
When the two teams played earlier this season, the Albany State defense, as they have all season, put the clamps on the Miles offense. Over the course of a 31-3 beatdown, the Golden Bears were able to generate just 200 yards, of which 118 came on theta four drives, of total offense and were responsible for 505 of the interceptions Newell has thrown this season. On the season the Albany State defense is surrendering just 5.2 points per contest and gets even stingier in the SIAC, allowing a ridiculous 3.17 points against conference opponents.
Though Sophomore running back Marcuis Fulks has been the Rams’ leading rusher with 526 yards on the season, it was fellow ball-carrier Cam Ward who broke out in the earlier matchup with Miles, running for 112 yards on 13 carries, including ripping off a 45-yard run. Albany State quarterback Dionte Bonneau will have to continue to show he can make throws but his issue has bee accuracy, as he is only completing 50.69% of his passes.
Miles is coming into the game fresh off a 45-17 thrashing of Tuskeegee, but Albany State is a completely different animal. The Golden Bears have experience the suffocating defense of the Golden Rams earlier in the season and it will not be better the second time around. If Albany State does not come out flat from that emotional 57-0 smackdown of Savannah State, they should be able to hand the Golden Bears at least as decisive defeat as the 50-23 Miiles death to ASU back in the 2018 game. Coach Giardina will have the Golden Rams ready to play and business will be taken care of and the SIAC trophy will be heading to Dougherty County, just as Adonis would have wanted.