By Jeremy Anderson
Alabama A&M is picked to finish third in the SWAC East behind Alcorn State and Jackson State Head Coach James Spady enters into his second season has the head man in Huntsville. Returning a plethora of starters on both sides, A&M has a shot to surprise people and possibly make the race to Houston include more than Jackson State and Alcorn.
A big challenge for Alabama A&M will be to replace the production of WR Montaurius Smith, who has graduated. In a high-scoring conference like the SWAC, A&M must be able to put up big numbers without Smith in order to have success this season.
Alabama A&M won zero games in its home venue of Louis Crews Stadium in Huntsville last season, which is always a problem. In order to make some noise in the SWAC, that has to change this year. Arkansas Pine Bluff, Jackson State, Mississippi Valley State, and Texas Southern all make trips to Huntsville to face off against the Bulldogs.
In order to reach or surpass .500 on the season, the Bulldogs need to win at least three of these games. The toughest teams on Alabama A&M’s 2015 schedule will be road games: FBS Cincinnati, Grambling State, FCS power Coastal Carolina, Southern, Alcorn State, and the Magic City Classic in Birmingham against arch-rival Alabama State.
Players to Watch
Offense: WR O’Darius Williams – Williams was the team’s second leading receiver last year and will be counted on heavily in the passing game. It is likely that Williams will become a more vital target than last year.
Defense: DL Anthony Lanier – Lanier was selected to the 1st Team All-SWAC Preseason and will be expected to disrupt offensive lines across the SWAC.
Best case scenario: 7-4
Worst case scenario: 4-7
Homecoming: Sept. 26 vs. UAPB
Rivalry Game: Oct. 31 vs. Alabama State (Magic City Classic)