Albany State v Miles College: Preview and Prediction

Saturday the two teams that were predicted to end up atop the Eastern and Western Divisions, respectively, Albany State and Miles College will meet.

Albany State ( 3-1, 1-0) enters the contest fresh off a 35-0 shutout of Clark Atlanta last Saturday. In terms of pure statistical output, it was a rather plebeian effort by many of the rams offensive players, quarterback Dionte Bonneau completed 10/15 passes for 114 yards and a touchdown, receivers Ralph Lovett III and Joe Shorter accounted for 64 and 48 yards, respectively. Kam Ward did run for 70 yards on 11 carries but it was a struggle for team-leading rusher Marcuis Fulks who ran for 27 yards on just eight carries.

Defensively, Albany State brings the second ranked scoring defense ,9.0 ppg, and the second ranked total defense at 351.8 yards per game, in the SIAC to the contest. Last week the Golden Rams limited Clark Atlanta to just 225 yards ( 114 passing, 111 rushing ), a far cry from their average 331 yards ( 193 passing, 138.0 rushing) of offensive production. The Clark offense was held to just 16.7% (2/12) on third down conversion attempts. Josh Hill and Tray Bishop recorded one sack each. Malik Barnes had 10 tackles, with three being for losses ; Stephan Pierre added 7 tackles of his own.

Miles enters this matchup coming off their first victory of the season and SIAC play, a 34-13 road win over Central State that was fueled by its defense and strong running game. Redshirt junior running back Zarious Keyes turned in his best performance of the season against the Marauders toting the rock 32 times for 141 yards and two scores. The Golden Bear defense touched up CSU quarterbacks for eight sacks and knocked Marauders starter Brandon Kyles out of the ball game. Roc Dowdell and JaMicha Rogers had two sacks each and combined for 4.5 of Miles’ 12 tackles for losses on the day, for a defense that completely shut down the Central State run game to -2 yards on the afternoon.

Why Miles will win

Zarious Keyes will ave to equal , and likely exceed his performance against Central State. For as good as Albany State is in terms of scoring defense, they are near the bottom of the SIAC, ranking 11th out of 13 teams in run defense, surrendering 177.8 yards per game. They will have to lean heavily on their running game because if they get behind their passing game is simply not equipped, as they only average 77.25 per game, to pull them out of any hole they would fall in.

Why Albany State will win

Miles has the worst pass defense in the SIAC, which means Dionte Bonneau and the Albany State passing attack will have plenty of opportunities to make plays, which they will. Bonneau will have plenty of time to survey the field, as the Golden Rams offensive line has not give up a sack so far this season. On defense the Golden Rams will stack the box and dare Miles to beat them in the air, which they will not be unable to do so. With the Miles offense rendered one-dimensional, the rout could be on.


Albany State: 34
Miles College: 6 

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