BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – In what has been billed as the largest HBCU Classic in the country, Alabama State and Alabama A&M will meet for the 77th time at the McDonald’s Magic City Classic presented by Coca-Cola Saturday afternoon at Birmingham’s Legion Field.
Game time is set for 2:30 pm (CST) and will be carried on ESPN3, and tape delayed to ESPNU. The game can be heard on the Hornet Sports Network beginning with pregame at 2 pm.
Last season, Alabama State scored late in the contest to take a five-point advantage at 21-16, before thwarting an Alabama A&M comeback deep in Hornet territory to capture the victory. The win was the fifth in the last nine games for Alabama State in the storied classic.
A week full of activities began in Birmingham on Tuesday and will culminate with the game Saturday afternoon. And a game that means much more this season as Alabama State is battling for the East Division of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). Although they have five conference games remaining on the schedule, with the five-overtime win over Alcorn State, Alabama State has put itself in a position to win the division over the last five games.
The Hornets come into the contest fresh off their second bye week of the season, following a 45-7 loss to South Alabama two weeks ago. The last off week the Hornets had this season was after the loss to Grambling State in which Alabama State bounced back with the victory over Alcorn State.
Alabama State (2-4, 1-1 SWAC) is playing their sixth consecutive contest away from home after opening the season with a win over Tuskegee in the Labor Day Classic. They will return home for three of their final four games following the Magic City Classic. Meanwhile, Alabama A&M (3-4, 2-2 SWAC) comes into the contest after having their two-game winning streak stopped by Alcorn State two weeks ago. Much like Alabama State, the Bulldogs enter the week off a bye week.
The two teams had split the previous eight meetings until Alabama State won in the final seconds last season. The two longest winning streaks in the rivalry belong to Alabama State as they won the first seven contests in the series from 1924 until 1941, while not allowing a point from Alabama A&M until 1940. They also own a six-game winning streak from 1990 until 1995 in the series. The series has been played continually since 1945 with 13 years off since the series began in 1924. During the series, there are have been 11 times where a team has not scored in the contest, and eight of those belong to Alabama State with a scoreless tie in 1956.
Courtesy: Alabama State Athletics