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Turkey Day Classic: Tuskegee vs. Alabama State

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -


Kickoff: 4 p.m. Thursday

Facts and Figures - Site: Cramton Bowl (24,600) in Montgomery, Ala.; Records: Tuskegee, 8-2; Alabama State, 7-3. Television: ESPNU; Series record: Tuskegee leads, 59-33-4; Turkey Day Classic record: Tuskegee leads, 47-31-3; Conferences: Tuskegee, Division II SIAC; Alabama State, SWAC; Coaches: Tuskegee - Willie J. Slater (50-7 in five seasons); Alabama State - Reggie Barlow (19-22). Sheridan Poll Ranking: Tuskegee, 7; Alabama State, 10.

What to know: The Turkey Day Classic is part social, part athletic event. Well, try telling that to the players, who desperately want to win this rivalry game.

Tuskegee won last year's game, 21-0, for its 11th win in the last 13 meetings, but Alabama State has enjoyed a revival under head coach Reggie Barlow, who has led the Hornets to the first winning season since 2005 and into the Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship Game on Dec. 11 in Birmingham, Ala.

Barlow, who starts nine freshmen and sophomores, is a finalist for the Edddie Robinson Award, which is presented to the FCS coach of the year and sponsored by Fathead.com.

Alabama State is seeking a five-game winning streak for the first time since 2005. The passing game has separated the Hornets this season. Wide receivers Nick Andrews and T.C. McWilliams are a strong 1-2 combo, while the defense has picked off 19 passes, including Kejuan Riley's FCS-leading seven interceptions.

Division II Tuskegee hasn't played since Nov. 6, when it defeated Lane for coach Willie Slater's 50th win in five seasons. Nykeem Barton has rushed for 17 touchdowns on only 82 carries this season and the Golden Tigers are plus-15 on turnovers.

Prediction: Alabama State, 16-14

11/23 17:21:22 ET

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Breaking The Line
by Samuel G. Freedman
Samuel G. Freedman's "Breaking The Line" vividly recreates the world of black college football in the civil rights era with a gripping chronicle of the 1967 season for coach Eddie Robinson at Grambling State and Alonzo S. "Jake" Gaither at Florida A&M.