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ASU still remembers '08 loss to Benedict

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ALBANY -- The Albany State football team remembers its last trip to South Carolina all too well.

The date? Sept. 27, 2008.

The opponent? Benedict.

The final score? Tigers 13, Rams 10.

The Rams had a 10-7 lead in the fourth quarter of that game, but ended up losing on a 48-yard run by Benedict with 4:42 left on the clock.

It was the first SIAC loss of the year for ASU, so today, the Rams will try to ensure history doesn't repeat itself.

"A lot of our guys remember that (loss)," head coach Mike White said Friday. "We just have to perform better ... That's something we didn't do in the fourth quarter last time, so they're definitely a team we have to watch out for."

Albany State did defeat Benedict 38-7 last year, and comes into today's match-up undefeated (6-0 overall, 5-0 in SIAC).

But they still have a few reasons to be leery about the Tigers (2-5, 2-4).

"They have a very good offensive line and their quarterback Pat Riley is as good as they come," White said. "They also have another quarterback that's good (Michael Adams), so if we get them stopped, we'll be fine defensively. Overall, we just have to play better than we did last week."

Riley and Adams are both in the Top 20 in the SIAC in passing yards per game and passing efficiency, and Adams (163.4 rating) is No. 2 behind ASU's Stanley Jennings (191.6) in the latter category.

But the Tigers also sport the conference's worst rushing defense (215.8 yards per game).

That's a welcome sign for the Rams, who netted only 51 yards on the ground in last week's 43-13 win against Miles, despite coming into the game with a 203.6 yard average.

"We gotta try to run the ball. That's always our game plan coming in," White said. "I think Miles last week didn't have a good rushing defense, but (they still stopped us). I think it matters more (what we do) than our opponents."

Added running back Robert Welton: "Miles just came out with a lot more intensity than we thought (they would). They came out blitzing, and we usually pick that up (and adjust quickly). But we'll bounce back (today)."

Another reason the Rams should be on their toes?

The Tigers have won two out of their last three -- against Stillman and Lane -- with the only loss coming on the road against Fort Valley State (5-1, 4-1).

"We can't take anybody lightly," Welton said. "Even though they have the worst rushing defense, their offense is really good with their triple option (attack). We're just hoping our defense comes out firing on all cylinders, as well as our offense, and we can come back home with a victory."