Southern Virginia Football: Alfred State Preview

Written by Wesley Evans

Southern Virginia University (6-2) vs. Alfred State College (4-4)

Date: Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013
Time: 1:00 p.m. EST

Place: Robert E. "Bobby" Williams Field, Buena Vista, Va.
All-time vs. Alfred State: 1-0

Last Meeting: Oct. 27, 2012 at Alfred State (W, 21-6)

Follow it Live

Visit Southern Virginia's online athletic broadcasting portal to access a live video stream.  

Audio of Saturday's game will be broadcast by AM-1450, WREL.  

 

Preview

In only the second ever meeting between the two teams, Southern Virginia University football will host provisional NCAA Division III opponent Alfred State College on Saturday at Robert E. "Bobby" Williams Field in Buena Vista, Va. Start time for the game is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Alfred State, out of Alfred, N.Y., is in its first year as a provisional NCAA Division III member and is currently going through the same process that Southern Virginia has gone through to achieve NCAA D-III status. The Pioneers are slated to become a full-fledged member of NCAA Division III for the 2017-18 school year.

Last season was the first ever meeting between the two squads and Southern Virginia gained a 21-6 victory at Alfred State's home field. The game featured a strong defensive effort by the Knights while they recorded a season-best five sacks and held the Pioneers to 193 total yards.

Alfred State enters this week's contest with a 4-4 record. The Pioneers dropped their first three games of the season, but have since gone 4-1 with its most recent victory coming last week against Hudson Valley Community College, a 41-14 decision.

Southern Virginia (6-2) will look to extend its win streak to five games this week. A victory Saturday would give the Knights the most wins in a single season in program history.

Fitzgerald on Alfred State College

"Alfred State is very well coached. Anytime you play against a head coach that's won over 100 games you know it will be a good game. Mick Caba is a legend. He's in the National Junior College Hall of Fame, as well as the Kentucky High School and Georgetown College Hall of Fame. He's won several national titles in both Kentucky and at Georgetown College.

"Mick Caba's son, Michael, the defensive coordinator, was actually on some of the national title teams at Georgetown College in 2000 and 2001. Those two do a very nice job.

"This year, they've brought in several transfers at the offensive end. Rasheed Williams (No. 5) is as good or better than any tailback we've faced all year. Entering this week's game he has 898 yards rushing on the season and only needs 102 more yard to break the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the season. He'll be motivated for that and we'll need to be motivated to stop him. They also have a transfer quarterback that's a senior and a good player. They have two transfers at the wide receiver position that are good players. One of them is a senior who is tall and long; he poses some problems for us. They block very well up front.

"Defensively, Keegan Phalen (No. 21) is not only their strong safety and best player on defense, but he is also their kicker and he has all their blocked kicks this year. He is a good football player. They have 11 guys that run to the football.

"They have progressively improved every week. We watched film on them early on in the season and they were a little bit unorganized on defense, but Coach Caba has them playing better every week. I have been impressed with the way they've been playing the last three weeks, in particular.

"On special teams, Phalen has done a nice job of kicking and punting. Their kick returners do a better job of returning kicks than anyone we've faced all year. Their kickoff returns have given us reason for concern all week."

Southern Virginia Head Coach DeLane Fitzgerald 

DeLane Fitzgerald is in his fifth season as head football coach at Southern Virginia and is in his 12th year of coaching collegiate football, making previous stops at his alma mater James Madison University (NCAA DI-FCS), the University of Tennessee at Martin (NCAA DI-FCS) and Bethel College (NAIA). 

In his four-plus years as Southern Virginia's head coach, Fitzgerald has posted a 22-30 overall record, including a 5-6 record in 2012. 

Fitzgerald became the winningest coach in Southern Virginia football's 11-year history in 2011, passing Mike Smith who went 9-13 overall from 2007-08.  

Alfred State College Head Coach Mick Caba

Mick Caba is in his 14th season as head coach of the Alfred State football team. While at the helm, Caba has achieved a 60-68 record and led the Pioneers to their first ever Region III Championship in 2011.

Prior to his tenure at Alfred State, Caba held coaching stints at Inver Hills Community College (Minneapolis, Minn.), the University of Minnesota Morris (Morris, Minn.), Panhandle State University (Goodwell, Okla.), and Iowa Wesleyan College (Mt. Pleasant, Iowa).

After graduating from Georgetown College in 1973, Caba began his coaching career while starting the football program at Grayson County (Ky.) High School.

For his coaching success, Caba was name to the National Junior College Athletic Association Footbal Hall of Fame in 2012.