FCS Football News
The Sports Network
By Brett Kahn, FCS Assistant Editor
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 12th, 2 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Event: SWAC Championship. Annual: 11th. Site: Legion Field (71,594) -- Birmingham, Alabama. Surface: Artificial Turf. Television: ESPN Classic. Home Record: Prairie View 3-0; Alabama A&M 4-1. Away Record: Prairie View 3-1; Alabama A&M 1-3. Neutral Record: Prairie View 2-0; Alabama A&M 2-0. Series Record: Alabama A&M (7-4). Last Meeting: November 7, 2009 (Prairie View, 33-27 at Prairie View). Series Streak: Prairie View has won the last four meetings. Nicknames: Prairie View A&M Panthers; Alabama A&M Bulldogs. Sheridan Broadcasting Network Poll Rankings: Prairie View (2); Alabama A&M (8). Sports Network Rankings: Prairie View (18); Alabama A&M (NR). Coaches: Prairie View - Henry Frazier III (61-50 overall; 35-26 at Prairie View); Alabama A&M - Anthony James (79-45 overall; 61-32 at Alabama A&M).
GAME NOTES: The East and West division champions in Alabama A&M and Prairie View A&M meet in the 11th annual SWAC championship game.
Prairie View is looking for its 11th SWAC title and first since 1964, when the Panthers also earned a Black College national championship. This is the Panthers first appearance in the SWAC championship game, which began in 1999.
Alabama A&M is making its fifth appearance in the league championship game. The Bulldogs last appeared in 2006, beating Arkansas-Pine Bluff 22-13.
Prairie View has had one of its best seasons to date under Eddie Robinson Award candidate Henry Frazier III. The Panthers took down Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 49-17, for its seventh win a row three weeks ago.
Quarterback K.J. Black (1,775 yards passing, 23 combined TDs, four interceptions) is the nation's second most efficient passer and threw for 312 yards and a career-high five touchdowns against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
Running back Donald Babers (841 yards rushing, eight TDs) and wide receiver Gabrael Osaze-Ediae (30 catches, 16.4 average, seven TDs) are other standouts on the Panthers' 27th-ranked scoring offense.
Prairie View's defense ranks eighth nationally in scoring and has kept opponents under 20 points in six games this season. The unit features defensive tackle Devin Boyd (27 tackles, seven tackles for loss) and cornerback Chris Adingupu (eight pass breakups, four interceptions).
Alabama A&M earned the title game trip with a 17-12 win over Mississippi Valley State three weeks ago. The offense scored 17 points in the first 17 minutes of the game and never looked back, with running back Ulysses Banks (1,014 yards rushing, seven touchdowns) rushing for 160 yards and a score.
Other key offensive performers for the Bulldogs include freshman quarterback Deaunte Mason (1,231 yards of total offense, 10 TDs) and wide receiver Thomas Harris (53 catches, 14.6 average, seven TDs).
Alabama A&M's defense ranks first nationally in sacks, 15th in yards allowed and 31st in scoring. The unit features Buck Buchanan Award nominee Jeremy Maddox (41 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss, 10 quarterback hurries) at defensive end and cornerback Korey Morrison (11 pass breakups, five interceptions).
The Bulldogs lead the all-time series 7-4. But Prairie View took the regular season matchup, 33-27, on Nov. 7 and have won the last four meetings.
Prairie View built a 24-7 halftime lead behind three Black touchdown passes and held on for the win when Alabama A&M scored two TDs in the final 9:19. The Bulldogs managed a 376-321 advantage in total offense, but lost the turnover battle 4-2.
The Panthers are 8-0 against SWAC opponents this season and with so much at stake for the program should come out on top again against Alabama A&M for the SWAC title.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Prairie View A&M 28, Alabama A&M 21.
12/08 18:56:13 ET