The Sports Network
By Tim McDonnell, FCS Assistant
DATE & TIME: Thursday, November 22, 4 p.m. (ET).
FACTS & STATS: Site: ASU Stadium (26,500) - Montgomery, Alabama. Surface: FieldTurf. Television: ESPN U. Announcers: Joe Davis, Jay Walker. Home record: Tuskegee 3-0; Alabama State 2-2. Road record: Tuskegee 3-1; Alabama State 4-0. Neutral Record: Tuskegee 3-0; Alabama State 1-1. Conference: Tuskegee - Southern Intercollegiate Athletic, Division II); Alabama State - Southwestern Athletic. Series Record: Tuskegee (60-34-4). Turkey Day Classic Record: Tuskegee (48-32-3). Last meeting: Alabama State 30, Tuskegee 21 (November 24, 2011). Series Streak: Tuskegee has won 12 of the last 16 meetings. Head coaches: Tuskegee - Willie Slater (seventh season, 64-14 at Tuskegee and overall); Alabama State - Reggie Barlow (sixth season, 34-32 at Alabama State and overall). Sheridan Broadcasting Ranking: Tuskegee (5); Alabama State (4).
GAME NOTES: In the 89th Turkey Day Classic, Alabama State meets Division II Tuskegee in the first-ever game at ASU's new $62 million stadium. As if the buzz of playing a rival in a brand new stadium wasn't enough, both teams look to end their seasons on a strong note in front of a national television audience.
Alabama State tied for first the SWAC East Division, but the Hornets lost a costly game versus Jackson State on Oct. 13, so their plans of winning the SWAC title are over. Coach Reggie Barlow's team has been very balanced in 10 games, rushing for 179 yards and passing for 183 yards per game.
It all starts with running back Isaiah Crowell, who's rushed for 724 yards and scored 13 touchdowns this season. Quarterback Greg Jenkins has been more effective on the ground, running for 401 yards and eight touchdowns. He has passed for 1,544 yards, but also thrown just eight touchdowns versus nine interceptions.
Tuskegee has enjoyed a fine season and has a record of 9-1. The Golden Tigers' only loss came against Alabama A&M, 7-6, in the team's first game. On Nov. 10, Tuskegee defeated Fort Valley State 55-24 for the second time this season to win its 26th SIAC championship.
The Golden Tigers could present some problems for the Hornets defensively, because they rank first in Division II in scoring defense, allowing just 11.4 points per game, and eighth in total defense with 281 yards per game.
Both teams have had some time to prepare for the contest because they haven't played since Nov. 10, so expect the offenses to struggle early on. In the last four years, ASU has split two games in the series, but the home crowd in the team's new stadium should help.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Alabama State 26, Tuskegee 23.
11/21 12:38:50 ET