THE GAME: The Alabama State University football team opens the 2011 season on Saturday, Sept. 3 at Mississippi Valley State in both the season opener and conference opener for both teams.
THE SERIES: Alabama State leads the all-time series 21-12-1, and has won four of the last five meetings between the teams. The Hornets opened the 2010 season with a 34-6 home victory over Mississippi Valley State. This is the second time (2010) the teams will play in the season opener.
LAST SEASON: Alabama State (7-5) won the Eastern Division Championship in 2010, earning a berth in the SWAC Championship Game. It was the Hornets' third division title since 2003 and first since winning the 2004 SWAC Championship. Mississippi Valley State finished 0-10.
BARLOW ENTERS FIFTH SEASON AS HEAD COACH: Former ASU and NFL wide receiver Reggie Barlow begins his fifth season as head coach at his alma mater. In 2010, he posted his first winning season in helping Alabama State to its highest win total since the program won 10 games in 2004. Barlow ended his Hornet career as the school's all-time leader in receptions (133) and receiving yards (2,536) and third in touchdowns (17). Currently Barlow ranks second, first and tied for fourth in each category, and still holds single-season school records for receiving yards (1,267) and touchdown receptions in a season (12). During his eight-year NFL career, Barlow led the Jacksonville Jaguars in punt return average four consecutive seasons (1997-2000). He still holds season records for highest single-season punt return average (12.9), most punt return yards (555), punt return yards in a game (134), punt return touchdowns (two), and longest punt return (85 yards). Barlow holds career franchise records in punt returns (146) and punt return yards (1,581). He spent five seasons with the Jaguars (1996-2000), one season with Oakland (2001) and two seasons with Tampa Bay (2002-03), where he won a Super Bowl ring with the Buccaneers.
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