The Albany State Golden Rams head to Atlanta to face the Maroon Tigers of Morehouse this Saturday.
Morehouse (0-8, 0-5) is seeking their first win of the season. Last week, the Maroon Tigers were decimated 35-0 by SIAC East Division leader Benedict. Morehouse was held to just 140 yards of total offense and just ten first downs. Quarterback Khama Carlisle completed just 10 of his 24 pass attempts for only 59 yards and also ran for 44 on the day. The tenth-worst defense in the SIAC offered little resistance to Benedict, giving up 10 more points than the 25.0 points they surrender on average.
Albany State (6-2, 4-1) defeated Savannah State 31-20 in their last outing. It was sophomore Jhaydon Sullivan, who was in for starter Dionte Bonneau, who completed 15 of his 20 passes for 144 yards, 2 touchdowns, and most importantly, no interceptions. Head coach Gabe Giardina said this in comments to the media about giving Sullivan the ball: “We wanted to give Jhaydon a shot and see if he could jump-start the offense a little,” Freshman running back JaQuez Williams had himself a day, running for 154 yards, a touchdown, and a two-point conversion. Giardina added:
“JaQuez is coming off an ACL injury and he is finally healthy. We had some guys sick and he has been killing our first-team defense, so we wanted to give him a shot also.
The ASU defense held Savannah State to just 12 first downs and 38 yards on the ground. Reigning conference Player of the Year Stephan Pierre led the team with nine tackles and added a sack. Junior linebacker Malik Barnes had himself a day as well, recording two sacks and a scoop and score for a touchdown that sealed the win for the Golden Rams
How Morehouse can win:
For the Maroon Tigers, the hope is that Albany State falls into the clutches of the infamous “trap game.” Albany State has a big game next week in the Fountain City Classic that will likely determine potential postseason destinies and if Morehouse can catch Albany State focused on the game in Columbus next week and not the task at hand, the Rams could be in trouble.
How Albany State can win:
Morehouse ranks in the bottom half of nearly every offensive and defensive category in the SIAC. Albany State will be able to have their way offensively with Morehouse as their defense is very run and pass-friendly. New weapon JaQuez Williams will be able to run free against the Maroon Tigers, as well as Marcuis Fulks who will be able to re-establish himself as a productive runner. Defensively, Albany State will be able to easily grind the Morehouse defense to a halt, as they only average 7.4 points per contest.