A new matchup for the annual Turkey Day Classic, contests with a trio of instate opponents and a game against an SEC team highlight the 2013 Alabama State football schedule.
The first full season in The New ASU Stadium will begin with a home game against Jacksonville State on Labor Day Weekend and end with Stillman in the 90th Turkey Day Classic.
“We are pleased to release the 2013 ASU football schedule,” Alabama State Interim President Dr. William H. Harris said. “As is reflected on our schedule, we are proud to say that the tradition that is the Turkey Day Classic will be the final regular season game and another state institution, Stillman College, will be our opponent for 2013. In addition to the game, the parade and all of the events that make up the oldest HBCU Classic in the nation will continue, as they are time-honored traditions that are celebrated by the ASU family, the Montgomery community and Turkey Day Classic fans across the country.
“It is unfortunate that Tuskegee University has chosen not to be our opponent for this year’s Classic. We had looked forward to continuing the rivalry between TU and ASU because the competition between the institutions has great historical significance. Although it was our desire to continue the matchup, we understand their desire to compete in post-season play,” Harris said.
ASU head football coach Reggie Barlow looks forward to continuing the Turkey Day tradition.
“We’ve always played the Turkey Day Classic, regardless of who the opponent has been,” Barlow said. “For many years, it has been Tuskegee; but unfortunately, they have other plans, which creates an opportunity for another team. With Stillman being that team and being in Alabama, it gives us the opportunity to continue the Turkey Day Classic and play against a team that is from our state whose fans can embrace it as well.”
Dr. Harris also addressed the possibility of resuming the rivalry with Tuskegee at a later date.
“Alabama State University has not completely developed its schedule beyond 2013. We have always been willing to play Tuskegee University in the Turkey Day Classic,” said Harris. “We would be willing to resume discussions about continuing to play Tuskegee in the Turkey Day Classic should they wish to do so.”
Alabama State will begin its 12-game, 2013 campaign on August 31 against the Gamecocks.
“I’ve always admired their program from afar, and with Coach Bill Clark being there, I imagine they will continue to do well. He knows the state really well and will do a good job. We’ve always had a lot of respect for them, and we know they will be a solid, well-coached team that will play hard. It’s an opportunity for us to have a home game to open the season and see where we are as a team.”
Alabama State will face its traditionally challenging Southwestern Athletic Conference schedule, as well as an early November meeting with Kentucky from the Southeastern Conference.
“Whenever you play non-conference games, you get an opportunity to see how you measure up against bigger universities,” Barlow said. “Right now, the SEC is the dominant conference in college football. Kentucky has a new coach in Mark Stoops, and I know it will be a hard-fought game. It will be great notoriety for our team and be a great experience for everyone involved.”
Following the home opener against the Gamecocks, Alabama State will begin conference play on the road with games at Eastern Division champion Jackson State and SWAC and Western Division champion Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The Hornets will open their home conference schedule with back-to-back games against Grambling State and Alcorn State.
Alabama State starts October on the road at Texas Southern and home against Prairie View A&M. Following an open date, the Hornets will face archrival Alabama A&M in the 72nd State Farm Magic City Classic in Birmingham.
ASU will begin November at Kentucky before finishing conference play at home against Southern and on the road at Mississippi Valley State. After an open date, the Hornets will host Stillman for the first time in the Turkey Day Classic.
“We talk all the time about the parity in our conference,” Barlow said. “Last year, several of the teams had new coaches and were adjusting to the SWAC. Now, those teams have a year under their belt and are headed in the right direction. To open SWAC play on the road against the two teams that played for the championship will be a real challenge. It will be another challenging conference schedule, and it gives the SWAC fans what they like to see – a lot of good football!”
The Toyota SWAC Championship Game is scheduled for Saturday, December 14.
|Sat. Aug. 31||JACKSONVILLE STATE||MONTGOMERY, ALA.||TBA|
|Sat. Sept. 7||at Jackson State*||Jackson, Miss.||6 P.M.|
|Sat. Sept. 14||at Arkansas-Pine Bluff*||Pine Bluff, Ark.||TBA|
|Sat. Sept. 21||GRAMBLING STATE*||MONTGOMERY, ALA.||TBA|
|Sat. Sept. 28||ALCORN STATE*||MONTGOMERY, ALA.||TBA|
|Sat. Oct. 5||at Texas Southern*||Houston, Texas||TBA|
|Sat. Oct. 12||PRAIRIE VIEW A&M*||MONTGOMERY, ALA.||TBA|
|Sat. Oct. 19||Open Date|
|Sat. Oct. 26||Alabama A&M *
72nd State Farm Magic City Classic
|Sat. Nov. 2||Kentucky||Lexington, Ky.||TBA|
|Sat. Nov. 9||SOUTHERN*||MONTGOMERY, ALA.||TBA|
|Sat. Nov. 16||Mississippi Valley State*||Itta Bena, Miss.||TBA|
|Sat. Nov. 23||Open Date|
|Thur. Nov. 28||STILLMAN
90TH Turkey Day Classic
|Sat. Dec. 14||TOYOTA SWAC Championship||TBA||TBA|
Schedule subject to change; * denotes SWAC games; home games in CAPS; all times central
Courtesy: Alabama State Sports Information
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