When the Division II regional rankings were released Monday, the Albany State Golden Rams were not found in the top ten of Super Region 2.
While that's not promising for the Rams playoff chances, Dan Land's bunch isn't discouraged.
The Golden Rams were back on the practice field Tuesday, preparing for Saturday's game against former head coach Mike White and Benedict.
ASU sits at 4-3, winners of three straight, after beating Clark Atlanta Saturday.
Those three losses aren't that bad either. None came by more than ten points, and all three were to top 8 teams in the region (#2 Valdosta St., #3 Tuskegee, #8 West Georgia). Land and the Rams feel winning out and claiming the SIAC championship just might vault them to where they want to be.
"Our short term goal right now is to the conference championship game, and win the conference championship game," Land says. "Anything that falls in place after that will be gravy. If we win out and win the conference title game, we'll be at 7-3. A lot of times, 7-3 gets you in the playoffs. So we're going to get the conference game out of the way, and we'll be able to see what happens."
As for Saturday, this is not the same Benedict team that went 0-10 a year ago. White seemingly has things turning around in Columbia.
The Tigers are 4-4 overall, 3-2 in SIAC play, just one game back of the Golden Rams in the SIAC East. Land says he knew it wouldn't take long for the former longtime ASU coach to get Benedict to play winning football. He says watching the Tigers on tape is like looking in a mirror.
Benedict ranks third in the conference in rushing attack, and junior running back George Myers, Jr. is third in the SIAC with 105 yards a game. Land says everything starts up front for the Tigers.
"They've gotten a whole lot better. They've got some big guys just like we do on the offensive line. They're getting guys off the ball, and [Myers] is hitting the hole hard," Land says. "We've got to make sure we come straight, and the defensive line is able to control their offensive line and stop their running game."
The Golden Rams meet the Tigers at Augusta's Lucy Laney Stadium Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m.
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