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Albany State Coach Gabe Giardina Speaks on Huge Test Against Florida A&M

Albany State Golden Rams head coach is focused on his team's first game against the Florida A&M Rattlers.

Albany State Golden Rams' head coach is focused on his team's first game against the Florida A&M Rattlers. He spoke to HBCU Legends and highly praised FAMU, especially Willie Simmons.

"I think Coach Simmons is not just a good coach. He's a great person. He's the type of guy you want your son to play for," Giardina said of FAMU head coach Willie Simmons.


Coach Gabe Giardina and Willie Simmons first met as members of the inaugural HBCU Legacy Bowl Team Robinson staff. The two coaches respect one another and fielded two playoff teams in 2021.

"To end up on the same staff with him was just a real easy fit and was great for me to get to know him. It's been really nice that I went down this summer and spoke to one of their [FAMU] alumni chapters."

The game will be the first meeting between Albany State and Florida A&M.

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Giardina shared, "I think it's a tremendous opportunity for our program to get on the national stage. To play a televised game against a really good national brand in FAMU." He continued, "To go out and play against someone like that, I think, is a great testament to our program. I think it's a testament to Albany State that they want us to come down and play. And it just shows we got a good team and a great fan base. So it's really exciting."

Albany State's Golden Rams are on top of the SIAC, and the FAMU Rattlers are seeking their first win of the season. It's a dangerous contest for the Rattlers, but in the end, Simmons will lead his team and home crowd to victory at Bragg Memorial Stadium.

"I think the most interesting story of all that is probably a guy named Stefan Pierre. He plays linebacker for us and was the HBCU Division II Player of the Year last year and the SAIC Defensive Player of the Year, and he's from Tallahassee, so it's just a good storyline."

  • ASU Key Players: QB Dionte Bonneau, RB Marcuis Fulks, LB Stefan Pierre, DL Ty Glenn.
  • FAMU Key Players: QB Jeremy Moussa, QB Rasean McKay, OLB/Edge Isaiah Land, WR Xavier Smith

Coach Giardina noted that to win, "we got to be loose. We got to do all the things that it obviously takes to win. The biggest thing, the biggest improvement I want to see from our team from week one to week two, is we got to tackle a whole lot better."

He feels that his special teams unit must "play clean" and "not give up freebies."

Albany State's style of play is physical and fundamentally sound. Still, they must find a way to neutralize the athleticism of FAMU to have a chance to win at Bragg Memorial Stadium on Saturday evening.

Prediction: Albany State 24, Florida A&M 34