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Alabama State's 'Ugly Win' Over Texas Southern was 'Beautiful' for Eddie Robinson Jr.

For Eddie Robinson Jr. there's no such thing as an ugly win for Alabama State over Texas Southern.

HOUSTON, TX -- "I thought it was a tough loss," Texas Southern's head coach Clarence McKinney opened his press conference after his team fell in their home opener 16-13 to Alabama State.

Alabama State vs. Texas Southern

The SWAC teams played a game full of mental errors and untimely penalties.

"These are the type of games that we have to learn how to win, and we're still learning how to be a really good team," Alabama State's head coach Eddie Robinson Jr. mentioned in his presser. "I think this should give us that confidence that we were in close games. You got to win some of those close games." Especially in the SWAC.

Over 6,700 fans at PNC Stadium witnessed an offensive snoozer in the first half. The TSU offense mustered 7 points on a 7-play, 75-yard drive in the first quarter.  

The Hornets trailed 7-3 at halftime but outplayed the Tigers with more first-half offensive plays (33 to 23), yardage (112 to 108), first downs (10 to 5), and time of possession (20 min. to 10 min.).

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TSU offensive coordinator Marsh and quarterback Andrew Body were hardly in sync, and the offense needed to be in rhythm in the second half.

Coach McKinney shared, "I felt like we were out of sync. I mean, we converted on one-of-7 third downs. So we've been pretty good. We've been around for 40% converting on third downs, and one of seven is not very good. And so when we can convert on third downs and keep the changes moving, we're pretty hard to stop offensively. But unfortunately, tonight, we only kept the ball for 20 minutes of a 60-minute game. And so you got to be able to convert those third downs to keep the ball and give yourself an opportunity to put points on the board."

The Hornets inched closer to 7-6 when PK Eichner booted a 31-yard field goal after an 8-play, 62-yard march in the third quarter. TSU responded when Andrew Body finished a 7-play, 49-yard drive with a touchdown run of 5 yards to increase its lead 13-6. PK Garcia's missed extra point could come back to bite the Tigers, and it did.

Still, as the fourth quarter approached, you could sense the nervousness with the Tigers and felt the game slipping from their grasp as the Hornets' ground game took control.

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Eichner FG

ASU's Eichner nailed a 42-yarder when the Hornets churned out a 13-play, 69-yard fourth-quarter possession that took 6:24 seconds off of the clock.

Texas Southern's next drive was disheartening as running back LaDarius Owens fumbled when Brandon Gaddy forced the turnover and gave Alabama State prime position at the 39-yard line late in the game.

The Hornets melted 2:37 from the clock in 7 plays when running back Ja'Won Howell forced his way into the endzone on a 2-yard rushing play. ASU would take the lead 16-13 with 7:21 remaining in the contest.

Andrew Body and TSU had enough time to mount a comeback, but it was for naught. A questionable 4th and 19 attempt at the ASU 42-yard line had Tigers fans scratching their heads in disbelief.  

TSU could have punted to pin the Hornets deep and trusted his defense to get a stop. Instead, McKinney pushed all the chips into the pile and lost. Andrew Body was flushed out of the pocket from a blitzer and tackled short of the first down by 13 yards.

ASU One Hand Catch 2

"We know Body, and what type of quarterback he is, we knew that he can score fast and still had three timeouts. So sometimes the best defense is a good offense [in] we running the football. Once we got the lead, we said let's take the air out of the tires on the bus, and let's try to slow the thing down. Just some terrific runs going down the stretch by Howell that really kept in the game," Robinson recounted.

The match was chippy, brutal, and ugly at times. Eddie Robinson noted tough wins aren't bad as they are played. "There's no such thing as an ugly win...So we're never going to apologize for winning. So it's a beautiful win. All wins are beautiful."

Alabama State has homecoming festivities and will host Jackson State Saturday in Montgomery, Alabama. Texas Southern travels for a SWAC West showdown against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Both games will take place on Saturday, Oct. 8, at 2 PM CT.

Key Players and Stats

TSU

  • QB Andrew Body: 9/19 passing attempts, 95 yards, 1 INT, 78.8 QBR; 1 rushing TD
  • WR Derek Morton: 2 rec, 36 yards
  • RB LaDarius Owens: 13 rushes, 58 yards
  • RB Jacorey Howard: 6 rushes, 44 yards, 1 TD

ASU

  • QB Dematrius Davis: 9/19 passing attempts, 104 yards, 93.3 QBR; 9 rushes, 46 yards 
  • RB Ja'Won Howell: 16 rushes, 79 yards, 1 TD; 2 rec, 14 yards
  • RB Santo Dunn: 15 rushes, 101 yards
  • WR Kisean Johnson: 2 rec, 57 yards