Saturday, October 12, 2013

Johnson C. Smith Makes Homecoming Interesting for Winston-Salem State Today; Preview of ALL HBCU Football Action


Johnson C. Smith quarterback Keahn Wallace

There are only two teams in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference that have a chance to derail Winston-Salem State's run through the conference football race.  One of them, Johnson C. Smith, visit the Rams today (the other is 4-1 Virginia State).

It probably wasn't the best idea to make the Golden Bulls homecoming fodder, though.

It's homecoming Saturday in Winston-Salem as 4-1 Johnson C. Smith comes to town in a big CIAA Southern Division game.  The Rams are 2-0 in the CIAA while the Golden Bulls are 2-1.  A Johnson C. Smith (also 4-1 overall) win would put them atop the division and in the drivers seat for a division title. 

No one has figured out how to slow down the Rams offense, which has scored at least 55 points in three of their four wins so far this season (they easily defeated the nation's No. 2 Division II HBCU team, Tuskegee 35-13 in their other win).

But the Johnson C. Smith is the CIAA's second-leading scoring team, averaging 33 points a game themselves.  They have the conference's best passer in Keahn Wallace, two of the top receivers in Chris Patterson and  Fred Scott, and the second-leading CIAA rusher in Leander Barney.

"There haven’t been a lot of CIAA teams that have matched us in terms of scoring points,”  Winston-Salem State head coach Connell Maynor told John Dell of the Winston-Salem Journal.  "This is a good football team.  I know at the CIAA football media day that people were underestimating J.C. Smith. They have lost the same amount of games as we have [one] since we last beat them. We will have to play well in order to win this game.”

Kickoff in Winston-Salem is at 1:30 p.m.

Bounce TV to Show Today's Morehouse-Tuskegee Classic Live

If you want to see one of the nation's oldest HBCU football rivalries, just turn on Bounce TV today at 2 p.m. eastern.

Struggling Morehouse takes on second-ranked Tuskegee in the 78th Annual Tuskegee-Morehouse Classic in Columbus, Ga. today at 2 p.m.  It will be broadcast live on Bounce TV as part of their new SIAC football package.

Tuskegee is sailing along after their only loss to top-ranked Winston-Salem State a few weeks ago. The 4-1 Golden Tigers are 2-0 in the SIAC, tied with Miles for the lead in the conference's West division.

Justin Nared manages the Tuskegee offense, but the Golden Tigers win with a stingy defense that is ranked as the SIAC's best in giving up only 16 points a game. 

The Maroon Tigers went into 2013 with high hopes after a down year.  Youth on defense was a huge concern, but offensively, Morehouse had a strong group of quarterbacks, running backs and a solid offensive line.  But the injury bug has again hit the Harvard of the South.  Morehouse relies on true freshman quarterback Monquavious Johnson, a star in the making.  Running back Winston Bodrick, who was expected to form a hard-hitting tandem with Shelton Hamilton in the backfield, is lost for the season with a knee injury.

Last week, they lost a close game to Atlanta University Center rival Clark Atlanta and are 2-3 on the season. 

But the Maroon Tigers are averaging 24 points per game and hopes the offense, particularly their third-ranked running game, can step up against a tough defense Saturday.

Another big story from this year's classic: after nearly 80 years of being played in Columbus, the game's future could be in Phenix City, Ala., or in Montgomery, according to media reports.

FCS's Top Yardage Defense, Tennessee State, Faces Top OVC Rushing Offense, Jacksonville State

Tennessee State, the top-ranked Division I-Football Championship Series team in the latest Adds HBCU Sports Report Top Ten poll, has a tough Ohio Valley Conference game against fellow 5-1 squad, Jacksonville State.

While the Tennessee State offense (averaging 41 points and 222 yards rushing over their five straight wins) has been sailing along behind the OVC's second-best rusher, Tim Broughton, and enigmatic star quarterback Michael German, the TSU defense has made the Big Blue Tigers faithful proud. 

The Tigers defense leads the entire Division I-Football Championship Series' in giving up the fewest yards per game, Jacksonville State leads the conference in rushing. Three Gamecocks have at least 300 yards rushing this season, led by DeMarcus James and his 563 yards and 10 touchdowns.

“I’m extremely impressed with Jacksonville State,” TSU head coach Rod Reed told The Tennessean. “Teams that we think that we should be able to handle pretty good, I don’t lie to them (TSU players), I tell them that. But when you look at these guys on film and how they are able to move the ball on the ground you understand that you’ve got to knuckle up and roll up your sleeves.

“We’re going to have to be really good tacklers in this game; better than we’ve been all season,” Reed said.

TSU may have another reason to be ticked off.  This is Jacksonville State's homecoming game. 

Tennessee State is only 1-7 against perennially tough Jacksonville State and lost last year's game 31-28 in overtime.

Here is the preview of all the other HBCU football action today:


- Two struggling teams, Savannah State and Florida A&M, meet in Savannah
- Howard tries to get their first win since their season opener when they host powerhouse Bethune-Cookman
- Delaware State looks to get their second win of the season as they host Norfolk State in the Hornets homecoming game
- Hampton looks for their first win of the season during their homecoming game against a smarting North Carolina A&T squad


- Fort Valley State is the homecoming opponent for homestanding Kentucky State
- Miles head to Ohio to take on winless Central State
- Clark Atlanta looks to win back-to-back games when they host College of Faith
- Benedict tries to break their three game losing streak when they visit tough Stillman


- Alcorn State takes on winless Grambling in the Circle City Classic in Indianapolis
- Southern hosts struggling Alabama A&M
- Fresh off of their first win of the season, Mississippi Valley State hosts the SWAC's toughest team, Jackson State
- Alabama State seeks their fifth win in a row when they host Prairie View
- Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Texas Southern, two 0-5 teams, meet in Pine Bluff


- St. Augustine's tries to straighten out their season when they host homecoming opponent Livingstone
- Bowie State hosts suddenly struggling Chowan in BSU's homecoming game

- The CIAA's second-best team, Virginia State visits Elizabeth City State
- Virginia Union visits Lincoln (Pa.)
- Fayetteville State hosts Shaw who is trying to climb to the .500 mark


- Lincoln (Mo.) tries to pick up their second win of the season (the first was against SWAC team Grambling) win they visit Washburn
- Langston tries to get their first win of the season in the final road game of their five-road game season start when they take on Southwestern Assemblies of God

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