Alabama A&M coach Anthony Jones doesn’t think Saturday’s rematch with Tuskegee is about revenge or a Division II team trying to knock off a higher-level one.
What the Circle City Classic in Indianapolis is about: Playing an in-state rival in a big city and a nice venue. Lucas Oil Stadium is the home of the Colts and the Super Bowl.
“To be able to give our kids a chance to play in that type of atmosphere is a great thing,” Jones said.
He dismisses any motivation from D-2 Tuskegee’s 34-24 win in last year’s Classic, the first meeting since A&M’s 54-0 victory in 1999.
“This is not a game of revenge,” Jones said. “There’s nothing we can do about that (last year). The only thing we can do is make a good showing for this year’s game. I think we’re going to expect a well-coached football team that’s going to come up to Indianapolis not fearing us and ready to put another feather in their cap by beating a team like us.”
Tuskegee no longer has the star of last year’s game. Departed quarterback Jacary Atkinson accounted for 219 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns.
Fullback John Pascley scored on a 9-yard touchdown run in overtime last weekend to lift Tuskegee to a 35-28 win over Kentucky State in the Gateway Classic in St. Louis.
For Alabama A&M, Ulysses Banks is leading the nation in all-purpose yards. He also set the school’s career mark with 25 touchdowns last week, logging a career-high 34 carries for 177 yards and two TDs.
Other games involving state small college teams:
Jacksonville St. vs. Tennessee-Martin, 1 p.m.:
Quarterback Ryan Perrilloux and Jacksonville State (2-2) enter their Ohio Valley Conference opener on a roll and ranked 20th in the Football Championship Subdivision.
Perrilloux is the first player to win three straight Ohio Valley Conference offensive player of the week honors since current Dallas Cowboys starter Tony Romo did it for Eastern Illinois in 2002.
Perrilloux is also the first Gamecocks player to account for five touchdowns in back-to-back games. He is leading the nation in passing efficiency after a 60-10 rout at Nicholls State, in his home state of Louisiana.
UT-Martin (2-2, 1-0) is leading the league in total yards and passing yards. Jacksonville State is second in both categories.
UT-Martin’s Miguel Barnes is the league’s top rusher with 408 yards and six touchdowns.
Samford vs. Western Carolina, 2 p.m.:
Samford (2-2, 0-1 Southern Conference) appears to have some favorable matchups.
Western Carolina (0-4, 0-2) is last in the league in scoring, rushing and total offense. Samford is second in scoring, total, rush and pass defense and tied for first in sacks.
Samford’s Chris Evans is third in the league in rushing with 397 yards and goes against a defense giving up an average of 225 yards a game on the ground.
Western Carolina has been outscored by an average of 24 points through four games.
Samford has won the last five meetings, losing only the initial one in 1969.
North Alabama vs. Arkansas Tech, 6 p.m.:
Don’t look now, but UNA (5-0, 3-0 Gulf South Conference) enters this game with a 21-game regular-season home winning streak. Arkansas Tech (3-1, 1-1) last won at Braly Stadium in 1996 to end UNA’s Division II-record 28-game home streak.
Arkansas Tech has the league’s top offense while UNA has the No. 1 defense.
The game also features the top two passers. Arkansas Tech’s Nick Graziano has thrown for 1,253 yards and 12 touchdowns in four games. UNA’s Harrison Beck has passed for 1,436 yards and nine TDs in five games.
UNA, ranked No. 3 in Division II, has won its first five games by an average score of 41-11. The special teams has blocked four kicks and recovered two fumbles.
West Alabama vs. Lambuth, 4 p.m.:
West Alabama (3-2) hosts NAIA’s seventh-ranked team. UWA has won the previous two meetings with Lambuth (4-0) by a combined 82-13 but has lost its last two games.
Lambuth quarterback Adam Wiese is coming off a 440-yard, six-touchdown passing effort in a 60-20 win over UVA-Wise. UWA’s Roosevelt Rush had the team’s first 100-yard rushing effort of the season in a loss to Valdosta State.
Miles vs. Fort Valley St., 1 p.m.
Miles (3-2, 3-1 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) is coming off a 6-0 win over Clark Atlanta. Fort Valley State (3-2, 2-2) has won in much different fashion, scoring 85 points in wins over Lane and Edward Waters.
Miles managed just 128 yards against Clark Atlanta but forced seven turnovers. Corey Robinson recovered a fumble in the end zone for the game’s only points.
Miles, which has racked up 10 interceptions, pits the league’s top pass defense against the No. 1 passing offense.
Stillman at Morehouse College, 6 p.m.:
Stillman (0-4, 0-3 SIAC) is still seeking the first win under L.C. Cole. Morehouse (3-1, 2-1) has won two straight games, including a 38-0 victory at Lincoln.
Morehouse’s William Brack is second in the league with 751 passing yards. Stillman’s defense ranks eighth against the pass, allowing 201 yards a game.
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