Saturday the Albany State Golden Rams will open up SIAC play when they take the Panthers of Clark-Atlanta University.
Both schools are coming into the game off losses , Albany State taking their yearly defeat from Valdosta State and Clark-Atlanta is actually in the throes of a two game losing streak, and seeking to get back to winning ways.
In CAU’s two losses to Lane College and Shorter University big quarters in the first halves ( a 21-point first quarter from Lane and a Shorter 21-point second quarter) ultimately proved to be their undoing, putting them in positions that were too deleterious to overcome. In their game against Lane, the Dragons put up 21 points in a little over three minutes. Two of three drives took just two plays, the other taking just 4 snaps, and followed short and unproductive drives by the Panther offense, not even giving their defense the chance to take their helmets off before having to get right back on the field. A key for coach Gabe Giardina and the Golden Rams will be to get up early on the Panthers, as their offense has yet to show the consistency nor the explosiveness to quickly get back in a ballgame. Albany State will have to find some degree of offensive continuity themselves, as in two of their three contests they have compiled less than 100 passing yards and averaged 5 yards or less per offensive play.
The Rams rushing will be something the Panthers will have to deal with, as a team AsU is averaging 4.3 yards per carry including three ball carriers, Marcuis Fulks, QB Dionte Bonneau and Kamran Ward, who are all averaging at least 4 yards per carry on at least 16 attempts. Through three games Clark-Atlanta has given up 567 yards on the ground.
Outside of their loss to Valdosta State, the ASU defense has held their opponents te no more than 12 points, including pitching a shutout against Mississippi College. This could spell a tough day at the office for the Clark-Atlanta offense.
History is not on the Panthers side, over their last matchups, the Golden Rams have defeated them eight times.
The Albany State run game will overwhelm Clark Atlanta, as their defense will not be able to get key stops and get off the field and will wear down as the game goes on. ‘