This Saturday there will be a clash of SIAC East division titans as Albany State and Savannah State will get it on a game that will have division, conference and potential post season implications.
Both teams bring a 6-1 overall record ,with each team’s only defeat( 53-7for SSU and 21-3 for ASU) at the hands of in-state foe Valdosta State. Both squads are also undefeated in SIAC play, with the Tigers sporting a 4-0 conference record and the Golden Rams sitting at 3-0.
The Golden Rams bring one of the best defences in D-II, allowing a mere 10.29 points per contest and have allowed double digits only twice this season , 12 points in their first game against Shorter College and 21 against the aforementioned Blazers of Valdosta State. The Savannah State defence features reigning SIAC Defensive Player of the Week, DE Mackenly Newbill, gives up 22 points per outing and boasts an even stingier run defense than Albany State , only giving up 105.9 yards per game on the ground.
Though their running game garners quite a bit of attention, a look at the numbers actually reveals that the Albany State offense is fairly balanced, averaging 160.7 yards on the ground and 151.29 yards through the air. The same cannot be said for Savannah State, they are very run-oriented, averaging 236.1 yards on the ground. The Tigers passing game has been mediocre at best and at other times anaemic, having not eclipsed the 200-yard barrier once this season including four sub-100 yard efforts.
The Albany State front seven will have their stiffest challenge of the season as they will encounter the Savannah State rushing attack, and for the most part they will answer the bell,not stopping but limiting the tiger run game. Dionte Bonneau and the Golden Rams passing game will be able to take advantage of the Tigers secondary and make some plays. The Savannah State defence will play tough and physical but it will be the one-dimensionality of the Tigers offence that will prove to be their undoing.