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The Sports Network
By Brandon Lawrence, FCS Assistant
DATE & TIME: Thursday, November 28, 4 p.m. (ET).
FACTS & STATS: Site: ASU Stadium (26,500) - Montgomery, Alabama. Surface: FieldTurf. Television: ESPN U. Announcers: Mark Neely and Jay Walker. Annual: 90th Turkey Day Classic. Home record: Stillman 4-2; Alabama State 3-2. Road record: Stillman 2-2; Alabama State 3-2. Neutral Record: Stillman 0-0; Alabama State 1-0. Conference: Stillman - Southern Intercollegiate Athletic, Division II); Alabama State - Southwestern Athletic. Turkey Day Classic Record: Stillman (0-0); Alabama State (36-40-3). Series Record: Alabama State (2-0). Last meeting: 1923 (Alabama State, 30-0). 2011). Series Streak: Alabama State has won both meetings. Turkey Day Classic Streak: Alabama State has lost seven of the last nine Turkey Day games, all against Tuskegee. Head coaches: Stillman - Teddy Keaton (third season, 19-12 at Stillman and overall); Alabama State - Reggie Barlow (seventh season, 41-37 at Alabama State and overall). Sheridan Broadcasting Ranking: Stillman (NR); Alabama State (9).
GAME NOTES: Ah, the 90th annual Turkey Day Classic. This game is a reminder that traditions in college football run just as deep as any other level in the country. And really, isn't Thanksgiving Day synonymous with football anyway?
Typically the Turkey Day Classic is played between Alabama State and Tuskegee, but this year it's Stillman visiting Alabama State's house. The Hornets, at 7-4 overall, had a decent season facing a Southwestern Athletic Conference schedule that got tougher as the year went on.
The SWAC endured a rough patch at the beginning of the season, but several teams in the East Division righted themselves and finished just behind East winner Jackson State - the Hornets included. Both Alabama State and Alcorn State accumulated 7-2 records in the conference, right behind Jackson State's 8-1 mark.
Alabama State had a successful 7-3 campaign going in 2012 before losing to Division II Tuskegee. Considering the game is nationally televised on ESPNU, the Hornets will be seeking a better result in the spotlight against Stillman.
Alabama State is led by junior running back Isaiah Crowell, a Walter Payton Award candidate who has rushed for over 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns while battling through a few injuries that slowed his season a bit. He and backfield mate Malcolm Cyrus have combined for 21 of the team's 25 rushing scores.
Quarterback Daniel Duhart was effective, completing 143-of-264 pass attempts this season for 1,717 yards and 16 touchdowns with just six interceptions. It was a rough start to the season for the Hornets, who suffered two straight losses to Jacksonville State and Jackson State, then two more losses to start November to Kentucky and Southern. A six-game winning streak in the middle of the season helped the Hornets along.
Stillman isn't an easy team to beat, however. The Tigers average 28.8 points per game while only surrendering 21 per contest. They also maintain a 6.1- yards-per-play average and outgain their opponents 404.2 to 298.7 yards per game.
We'll see if the Hornets can handle the uptempo style of the Division II Tigers on Turkey Day.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Alabama State 27, Stillman 20.
11/26 12:42:23 ET