Saturday, October 26, 2013

South Carolina State-Bethune Cookman Battle for MEAC Lead; Tennessee State Hosts FCS' Top Offense in Eastern Illinois; Other HBCU Football Action


In what is the biggest game in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference this season, the conference's only two undefeated MEAC teams, South Carolina State and Bethune-Cookman, do battle today.

Bethune-Cookman, 6-1 overall with their only loss at Florida State and have defeated the nation's top HBCU Division I-FCS team Tennessee State, is a proven commodity.  South Carolina State, at 5-2 overall, is hoping this game, which is Bethune-Cookman's homecoming game, is their coming out party.

The Bulldogs have one five straight, sport the MEAC's top scoring offense at 32 points per game and have the top defense in the conference and have the second most sacks in the nation with 31.

"Bethune is what we used to be," South Carolina State head coach Buddy Pough said.  "They got to the point where they expect to win any time they play a conference game."

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Bethune-Cookman is a tough opponent.  The have the conference's top offense and the second best defense.

And Brian Jenkins, the Wildcats head football coach, said his team is ready for the Bulldogs.

“I mean we're excited. We're ready, we're excited. We're ready, we're excited,'' Jenkins told the Daytona Beach News Journal. “I'm looking forward to it. We're home, it's homecoming. We're playing the Bulldogs. We're excited. We are excited. It's going to be exciting football, standing-room only. It's going to be a battle. It's going to be really good. I'm excited about it. I'm excited. I'm very excited about it. Ex-cit-ed about this ball game.''

So is the rest of the conference.

Photo by George Walker IV/The Tennessean

Top-Ranked Tennessee State Battles FCS' Second-Best Team, Eastern Illinois

Tennessee State is up against its toughest test of the season during one of the Big Blue's most festive times of the year -- homecoming.

The Tigers, 7-1 and walking through the season besides their one blemish against Bethune-Cookman, host Eastern Illinois, a team that is 6-1.

The Tigers boast one of the nation's top defenses, second nationally in total defense and scoring defense as they give up on 13 points per game.  Eastern Illinois leads the FCS in scoring offense (48 points per game) and total offense (595 yards per contest).

“We just have to find a way to slow them down to give ourselves a chance," TSU head coach Rod Reed told The Tennessean.  "When you add the element of homecoming for our football team, it is going to be a huge game.”

Eastern Illinois head coach Dino Babers had similar thoughts of the Tigers.

"This is the best defense I have seen on tape at the FCS level," he told The Tennessean. "It is going to be very interesting when we get down there.”

Kickoff at LP Field is 4 p.m. central time.

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


- Injury plagued Morehouse hosts one of the top Division II defensive teams in Benedict in the Maroon Tigers homecoming game in Atlanta.  Benedict is looking to climb to the .500 mark.

- In homecoming action at Fort Valley State, the Wildcats will try not to lose their fourth-consecutive game when they host Concordia Selma-College.
- In another homecoming battle in the Atlanta University Center, Clark Atlanta hosts Albany State who is looking for their first back-to-back wins this season.
- The nation's second-best Division II HBCU football team, Tuskegee, heads to the Bluegrass State to take on Kentucky State.  The 4-3 Thorobreds are hoping for an upset and to climb to .500 in the SIAC West Division.

- Morgan State, whose only two wins of the season has them in the thick of the MEAC conference race, visits struggling homecoming host Howard who got their second win of the season last week.
- Delaware State and Hampton will battle for the second or third place spot in the MEAC.  Hampton, the host, will be looking for their third straight win.
- Norfolk State will try to avoid their third straight loss when they host Old Dominion.  The Spartans have lost two close games after winning two wins in a row.
- North Carolina A&T, whose promising season suddenly hit a downturn two weeks ago in Atlanta, tries to climb over the .500 mark and break a three-game losing streak at Florida A&M
- Savannah State looks for their first MEAC win when they host North Carolina Central in their homecoming game.  NCCU is trying to break a two-game losing streak and climb back to the .500 mark

- The nation's top Division II HBCU football team, Winston-Salem State, visits Lincoln (Pa) in the 2-5 Blue Bears homecoming game.
- It will be mano-y-mano as the two of the CIAA's top rushing teams, Virginia Union and homestanding Bowie State, clash in Maryland. Virginia Union is on a three-game winning streak while Bowie State tries to break their four-game losing streak
- St. Augustine's will try to get to the .500 mark and take second place from Fayetteville State in the Broncos' homecoming game.  The Broncos are 3-1 in the CIAA while St. Augustine's is 2-2.
- Chowan hosts Elizabeth City State in their homecoming game. Chowan is trying to avoid their first back-to-back losses of the season. ECSU is trying to get their third win in the last four games.
- Two of the highest scoring teams in the CIAA link up in Johnson C. Smith's homecoming game against Shaw.  Both average more than 30 points a game and sport 4-3 records
- Lincoln (Pa), a 1-6 team, is looking for a big homecoming upset when then take on Virginia State, who is 6-1.  The Trojans are undefeated in the CIAA while Lincoln is looking for their first CIAA win this season.

- Its homecoming day in Itta Bena, Miss., where Mississippi Valley State hosts winless Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The Delta Devils got their only win of the season three weeks ago and hope to break their two-game losing streak
- One of the biggest HBCU classics will be played in Birmingham, Ala., today when Alabama State and Alabama A&M battle in the Magic City Classic.  The Hornets are 5-2 and are ranked among the nation's top HBCU Division I-FCS teams while Alabama A&M is struggling through a 2-5 season.
- The SWAC's top team this season, Jackson State, takes on surging Prairie View in The Shreveport Classic in Shreveport, La.  Prairie View is 4-2 in the SWAC West Division while the Tigers 6-0 and lead the East.
- In another big intra-conference clash, Southern hosts Alcorn State in the Jaguars homecoming game. At 4-1, Southern leads the SWAC East Division while Alcorn State is 6-2 overall and 4-1 in the SWAC's West Division
- Grambling is back on the field, hosting Texas Southern.  Grambling is hoping that a unified team will come out and get their first victory of the season against a Texas Southern team that only has one win this season.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tennessee State and Winston-Salem State Continue to Lead Add's HBCU Sports Report HBCU Top Ten Polls


Heading into the weekend of HBCU football action, Tennessee State and Winston-Salem State continue as the nation's best in the Division I-Football Championship Series and Division II, according to the latest Adds HBCU Sports Report HBCU Top Ten Football Poll.

Tennessee State, sporting the FCS' top defense, defeated UT-Martin easily last week.  But they will be facing their toughest opponent of the season during Homecoming weekend in Nashville when they host the nation's second-ranked FCS team, undefeated Eastern Illinois.

Bethune-Cookman, the only team to beat Tennessee State this year, continued wreaking havoc on the MEAC and they've gone undefeated in FCS play (their only loss was to Division I Florida State).

The bottom half of the FCS HBCU Top Ten has been topsy turvy as Prairie View moved up to seventh and North Carolina A&T continues to drop after three straight losses.

In Division II, Winston-Salem State has dominated CIAA play and takes on 2-5 Livingstone Saturday.  Tuskegee, whose only loss is to Winston-Salem State, has hit their stride scoring 89 points in their last two games and giving up only 17. 

The bottom half of the Division II Top Ten had some major changes with a number of teams losing last weekend. Fayetteville State moves up to No. 4, followed by Stillman and St. Augustine's.  Both Chowan and Kentucky State fell this past weekend.

Here are both the Division I-FCS and Division II Adds HBCU Sports Report Top Ten Polls for this week:

Division I- Football Championship Series
1) Tennessee State
2) Bethune-Cookman
3) South Carolina State
4) Jackson State
5) Alabama State
6) Alcorn State
7) Prairie View
8) Southern
9) North Carolina A&T
10) Delaware State

     Division II
1) Winston-Salem State
2) Tuskegee
3) Virginia State
4) Fayetteville State
      5) Stillman
6) St. Augustine's
7) Miles
8) Virginia Union
9) Chowan
10) Kentucky State

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Thorpe's Fourth TD Gives Virginia State 3OT Win Over Bowie State; Recaps and Scores of All HBCU Games From Saturday

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Justin Thorpe's fourth touchdown of the day, a 24-yard pass to Gene Holloman in the third overtime, lifted Virginia State to a wild 47-44 victory over Bowie State Saturday.

The Trojans were down 20-10 heading into the fourth quarter, but the Trojans outscored Bowie State 17-7 to send the game into overtime.  Thorpe drove the Trojans down the field with 58 seconds left in regulation, passing for 43 yards and running for nine, to set Shawn Hunt for his game-tying field goal with nine seconds remaining.

The teams traded touchdowns in the first two overtimes, but Bowie State could only muster a 40-yard field goal in the third overtime.  Thorpe then rushed for a yard, miss one pass to Holloman, but then hit the game winner.

Thorpe finished with 259 yards passing and 182 yards rushing.  Jaivo Smallwood caught eight passes for 131 yards and touchdown for Virginia State. Bowie State running back Keith Brown had 175 rushing and a touchdown while quarterback Jared Johnston threw two TD passes. Anthony McDaniel had seven tackles, two sacks and three tackles for losses for the Bulldogs.

Virginia State, a team that is now 6-1 and has won five straight games, visits Lincoln (Pa.) next week, while Bowie State (2-5) lost their fourth straight and hosts Virginia Union next week.

Elizabeth City State Routs Lincoln (Pa) 56-14

Tyrell Houghton
Petey Boone

Petey Boone and Tyrell Houghton combined for seven touchdowns as Elizabeth City State routed Lincoln (Pa.) 56-14.

Houghton threw two first quarter touchdown passes to give the Vikings an early 14-0 lead.  After Lincoln answered, Boone had three touchdown runs of 73, 3 and 15 yards to put Elizabeth City State up 35-7.  Houghton added another touchdown pass while Boone had a 39-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter.

Houghton had 284 yards passing while Boone finished with 182 yards rushing.  Quarterback Douglas Cook led Lincoln with 136 yards passing and a touchdown.

Elizabeth City State (2-5) is at Chowan next week while Lincoln (1-6) hosts Virginia State for homecoming.

Here are the scores from all the other HBCU football games Saturday:

- Albany State 42, Morehouse 20
- Benedict 24, Clark Atlanta 0
- Tuskegee 35, Stillman 7
- Central State 37, Lane 34
- Miles 40, Kentucky State 17

- Southern 29, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 21
- Prairie View 51, Mississippi Valley State 14
- Alcorn State 20, Texas Southern 13

 - Shaw 45, Livingstone 21
- Virginia Union 24, Chowan 14
- Elizabeth City State 56, Lincoln (Pa) 14
- Winston-Salem State 35, St. Augustine's 17
- Fayetteville State 35, Johnson C. Smith 26

- Hampton 27, Norfolk State 17
- Delaware State 12, North Carolina A&T 7
- Morgan State 34, North Carolina Central 22
- Howard 21, Florida A&M 10
- Bethune-Cookman 48, Savannah State 21

- Nebraska-Kearney 24, Lincoln (Mo.) 14
- Tennessee State 29, UT-Martin 15
- Langston 34, Texas College 8
- Millersville, 30, Cheney 12