With first win, ASU sets sights for Magic City Classic

With first win, ASU sets sights for Magic City Classic
(Source: WSFA 12 News)

After picking up the first win of the season, the Alabama State Hornets now have a bye week to get ready for the Magic City Classic.

ASU defeated Texas Southern 23-16 in Donald Hill-Eley's first game as interim head coach.

"After going five weeks without winning, you want them to enjoy it a little bit," Eley said.

The win did not come easy. The Hornets were down 13 points at one point in the first half, but scored a touchdown to cut the lead by six points right before halftime. Eley also made the decision to replace quarterback Kobie Jones after he took a sack that resulted in Texas Southern scoring a safety.

Darryl Pearson, Jr. was the replacement and caused a change in momentum on the offense.

Eley says Pearson is in the driver's seat as starting quarterback after making plays and leading ASU to its first win, but he also has to be mindful that there's still someone behind him that wants to be the starter.

ASU now has set its sights on the conference game against Alabama A&M in the 76th Magic City Classic.

AAMU leads series 39-33-3 over ASU. AAMU has also had more success this season in conference play, sitting at a 3-1 record.

"We ended up with some success and we want to make it contagious and let it continue on into Magic City," Eley said. "Both teams are looking for the same thing and that's to get a big win in this state."

ASU has had time to let the victory sink in, but now it's back to practice. Eley says the team has worked a lot on fundamentals and technique in practice, which he thinks will give ASU the edge going into the next game.

"The thing that I want to look at every game is progress," Eley said. "It doesn't matter whether it's Texas Southern, Alabama A&M, Jackson State. Are we putting our young men in a position where they can get better with every rep and are they getting better with every play?" Right now, Eley says he has seen that from his players in practice.

The Hornets have until Oct. 28 to prepare for the game. Kickoff for the Magic City Classic is at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama.