The Albany State Golden Rams are on their way to Mississippi for Saturday night’s second game of the season in Clinton, Mississippi. The Rams will face a different type of attack than they saw Saturday night by the Valdosta State Blazers – they will face an option-oriented offense.
“They will grind you,” said Albany State head coach Gabe Giardina. “This will be a big challenge for us, both on offense and defense. With their option they control the ball and we will see fewer opportunities on offense, so we have to make sure we take advantage of each opportunity.”
Last week the Ram defense gave up 38 points to the defending national champion, but two of those drives were made easy because interceptions gave Valdosta State great field position. The Mississippi College offense is not pass oriented like Valdosta’s, instead they will do most of their work on the ground.
“We have to be able to stop the run and tackle well,” Giardina said. “You have to practice differently when you face an option team, so that’s what we are working on. They (Mississippi College) will be hungry and they play a really tough schedule, so they will want this game.”
The Mississippi College Choctaws play in Division II like Albany State but compete in the Gulf South Conference. They opened their season against Alcorn State – a division one school that won last year’s SWAC championship. The Braves of Alcorn State belted Mississippi College 45-7 Saturday night.
The Rams will be without starting linebacker Antonio Leroy who went down with a knee injury during the first half of Saturday’s season opener. Giardina said several other players will step up and fill that role this week.
On offense, the Rams will be looking to get the ball into the hands of running back Tracy Scott more this week and get more passing production from quarterback Kelias Williams.
“We ran the ball well against Valdosta,” the coach said. “Tracy Scott had some good runs, we have to get him the ball more. And we had open receivers during the game against Valdosta, we just didn’t hit them.”
Game time Saturday night is 7 p.m. central time, 8 p.m. in Albany.
♦ The game can be seen online at: gochoctaws.com/watch/?Live=30&type=Live.
♦ The audio version is here: streamdb7web.securenetsystems.net/v5/WZBN.
♦ Live stats will be here: gochoctaws.com/sidearmstats/football/summary.