Saturday, November 2, 2013

Morehouse May Lose Basketball Exhibiiton to North Carolina State Today, But Young Team Will Gain Experience in Big Time and While Athletic Department Gets Needed $$$$;

Two years ago, Kentucky defeated Morehouse 125-40 in what Morehouse coach Grady Brewer said he wanted to use to give his young team experience in playing in big time places and situation.

Tonight, Morehouse, a Division II team, will visit North Carolina State, a Division I team in the heralded basketball crazed Atlantic Coast Conference for a exhibition hoops game.

The score, which likely won't be close, will not even matter.

Both sides will get exactly what they want from this not-so even encounter in Raleigh, N.C.

That's the beauty of these guarantee games in college basketball.   Smaller schools get hundreds of thousands of dollars to show up and serve as the Washington Generals for a large school hungry for momentum and an excited fan base.

But Morehouse head coach Grady Brewer said his team gets a little big more, mainly a look at what it takes to be on the big stage and to see what it takes for a good team to be a winning team.

He may be on to something.

After getting plastered by Kentucky 125-40 in an exhibition two years ago, his Maroon Tigers basketball program has been able to look a lot like the teams that have pasted them.  This past season they finished 20-8 with a share of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference East Division regular season title and a close loss in the SIAC Tournament championship game.

And with not much to lose since, well, they are expected to lose, Morehouse gains a little more publicity for its athletics and admissions areas. 

So it's a win-win for Morehouse, even though tonight's appearance in Raleigh will likely be a big loss on the court.

Former Also-Rans Morgan State and Hampton Battle As Two of MEACs Best; Preview of ALL HBCU Football Action Today


Photo courtesy of Hampton Athletics

Honestly, no one before the start of this season would have thought this game would mean much.  But it will, somewhat.

The Morgan State Bears, winners of two of their last three games, host the Hampton Pirates, an MEAC team that resurrected themselves from a to run off three straight wins to sit in a tie for second place in the conference.

Hampton is 3-1 in the conference, only a game behind league-leaders Bethune-Cookman, while Morgan State is 2-2 in the MEAC and themselves looking to move into second place in the conference.

This from two teams who combined for an 0-10 record before October rolled around. 

"The reason why we've had success is, it starts at practice," Pirates head coach Donovan Rose told The Daily Press. "We compete in everything we do, every drill. It makes it easier so when you get to the game, the speed is still there. I think our guys, they understand. Winning is kind of contagious and they're reacting.

"Right now, we're still 3-5," Rose said. "You can dress it up how you want to, we're 3-5. Regardless of non-conference games, we're 3-5. We're humble. Nobody has a big head. We haven't done anything. We're just going to keep playing, keep working."

Morgan State head coach Donald Hill-Eley said his team shook off the early losses to bigger teams and programs so they could be focused on the biggest task at hand, MEAC games.  And it's shown.

“As we’ve said before, we want to do well in conference play," he said. "You want to do well in all your games, but as we were waiting on the maturity from these guys, we wanted to do well in the conference. That win keeps us elevated in the conference and keeps things in perspective for whatever may happen.”

Morgan State has done it with the MEAC's second-best rushing offense, led by freshman Lamont Brown's 453 yards on the ground.  Brown is in the MEAC top ten in rushing and total offense.  Quarterback Seth Higgins has been consistent, rushing for 282 yards this year and passing for 452.  Junior linebacker Cody Acker (65 tackles and 1.5 sacks ) and defensive end Chris Robinson (3 sacks) lead a Bears defense that is stingy against the pass defense as they are the MEAC's second toughest to throw against.

Hampton is nearly just as tough against the pass, ranking third in the MEAC in overall pass defense and tops in pass defense efficiency. Linebacker Delbert Tyler leads the MEAC in tackles while fellow linebacker Joshua Thorne and defensive back Carvin Johnson are all in the top ten in tackles. Defensive end Miles Groome is third in the conference in sacks and had a monster game against Delaware State with 3.5 sacks, nine tackles and forced two fumbles.

Led by quarterback Jaylian Williamson, the Pirate offense is efficient and lead the conference in field goals, meaning they dont do it with big plays.  Just a steady Pirate ship.   

Kickoff is at 1 p.m.

Here is a look at all the other HBCU action around the country today:

- Two 3-5 teams overall, Virginia Union and visiting Elizabeth City State, are more importantly 3-2 in the CIAA Northern Division and will be battling each other for second place.  The Vikings will be looking to extend their winning streak to three games, while VUU will try to rebound after having their three-game winning streak snapped last weekend.
- Fayetteville State hosts Livingstone in their homecoming game this weekend.  More importantly, the Broncos are 4-1 in the CIAA and still holding on for an outside chance at a Southern Division title behind Winston-Salem State.
- Bowie State hosts hard-luck Lincoln (Pa), a team that is 1-6 and winless in the CIAA this season.  3-5 Bowie State has only one conference win among its three wins overall this season.
- Three is the big number in Raleigh, N.C. this weekend.  Reeling Johnson C. Smith is trying to break their three-game losing streak while St. Augustine's, 3-5 overall, is trying to get their third CIAA win of the season.
- Winston-Salem State has sailed through the CIAA regular season at 7-0 so far and can clinch at least a tie for the Southern Division title.  But Shaw isn't any cupcake. The Bears are 5-3 overall, 3-2 in the CIAA and capable of pulling off an upset -- though the chance is remote.
- Virginia State, undefeated in the conference and the only team that can say they are just as good - or better - than Winston-Salem State, can clinch the CIAA Northern Division title with a win over Chowan.  Chowan's up-and-down season comes to the Hawks looking to break a two-game losing streak and finish 2013 at .500 over the next couple of weeks.

- One of the top HBCU teams in Division I-FCS, Alabama State, steps foot into Southeastern Conference territory when they visit Kentucky, a 1-6 team suffering through an ugly season.  
-  This is the very definition of a trap game.  Alcorn State, 5-1 in the SWAC and 7-2 overall, is looking to climb into second place in the East Division while Alabama A&M is suffering through a 2-6 season. But Alcorn State will be facing a stingy Bulldogs defense, top-ranked in the MEAC allowing the fewest yards and points per game this season.
- It's homecoming weekend in Grambling, which means a program that lost in overtime last week after an emotional coming-back-to-the-field will riding even more emotion when they host Mississippi Valley State.  The two teams only account for one win this season, and that comes from the Delta Devils.

- The team leading the SIAC East Division, Albany State, doesn't even have a .500 record overall this season.  And now visiting Benedict will be trying to make an even bigger mess of the East Division. The Rams are 3-4 overall but 2-0 in the SIAC while Benedict is 4-4 and 2-1.  A Benedict win is vital if they want to make it to the SIAC title game.  An Albany State win would set up an even bigger game next week with second-place Fort Valley State as the decider of the East Division champ.
- Morehouse will look to play the spoiler role when they visit Fort Valley State.  Fort Valley State is holding on to a chance to take the East Division crown with a needed win this week and potentially a huge game next week against Albany State (see above).
- Miles visits nearby rival Stillman in a huge game for the Golden Bears.  A Miles win would set up a big battle with Tuskegee next week for a share of the West Division crown.  Miles is 2-1 in the SIAC while Tuskegee is 2-0.  Stillman is no pushover.  They are 5-3 overall and 2-2 in the SIAC themselves.
- Tuskegee, the second-best HBCU Division II in the country and one of the best D-2 teams overall, is poised to return to Atlanta for the SIAC Championship game.  They control their own destiny. A win over Central State and over Miles next week is all they need.  But Central State has won two of their last three games, including a win over Miles, and barely lost to Stillman last week.
- Clark Atlanta hosts Shorter College, an 0-8 team, in the first meeting between the two schools.

- Bethune-Cookman, sporting Division I-FCS' second-best defense and the MEAC's top offense and defense, has won 17 straight conference games as they head to North Carolina Central today.  But the Eagles are looking to get over the .500 mark overall and in conference play.
- North Carolina A&T is looking to win back-to-back games for the first time this season since September when they host Virginia-Lynchburg on homecoming Saturday in Greensboro.
- Norfolk State tries to break their three-game losing streak against today's homecoming foe, fellow 2-6 team, Florida A&M. The Rattlers are trying to break their own two-game losing skid.
- Second-place South Carolina State is back on the road, this time trying to bounce back from last week's loss to MEAC leader Bethune-Cookman as they visit Savannah State.  Last place Savannah State has the conference's worst defense while the Bulldogs sport the top scoring offense.
- Both Delaware State and visiting Howard have a lot to play for today, even if there aren't many MEAC implications.  The Hornets, at 3-2 in MEAC play, are hoping to make a play for third place in the MEAC and keep working towards a .500 record overall.  Howard is trying to equal DSU's conference mark and extend their winning streak to three.

- Tennessee State tries to put behind last week's drubbing by the nation's best offense and their first loss since their season-opener as they visit tough Eastern Kentucky.  TSU leads the conference in defense, while EKU is second in defense and have the Ohio Valley Conference's top rushing defense. That makes for tough sledding for TSU leading rusher, Tim Broughton, who leads the OVC with 918 yards rushing so far this season.
- After losing their first four games this season, Langston is now looking to extend their winning streak to four games when they visit Oklahoma Panhandle State.
- Lincoln (Mo.) tries to get their first win since beating Grambling in September when they face winless Central Oklahoma.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Bethune-Cookman Takes Top Spot in Top Ten Poll; Winston-Salem State and Tuskegee Continue to Lead Division II Poll

Bethune-Cookman's big win over the MEAC's second-best team, South Carolina State, along with Tennessee State's second loss of the sesaon, has propelled the Wildcats to the top spot of this week's Add's HBCU Sports Report HBCU Football Top Ten Poll for Division I-FCS teams.

Led by a stifling defense, Bethune-Cookman shut down fourth-ranked South Carolina State 14-3 in a battle for the conference lead.  Second-ranked Tennessee State fell from the top spot after Eastern Illinois, the nation's second ranked FCS school with the nation's top offense, got an easy 34-15 win in Nashville Saturday.  TSU's two losses this season, the other to Bethune-Cookman, came as star quarterback Michael German didnt play. 
The other big story in the D-1-FCS poll is the Hampton, one of the hottest team in the nation. After starting the season with five losses, the Pirates enter the top ten after three straight wins and a 3-1 record that has them solidly in third place in the MEAC.
In the Division II Top Ten poll, Winston-Salem State and Tuskegee continue to lead.  Winston-Salem got an easy win over Livingstone while Tuskegee had no trouble with Kentucky State. 
Shaw, now 5-3 overall after defeating ninth-ranked Johnson C. Smith Saturday, moved into the sixth spot.  Benedict, with its late win over Morehouse Saturday, is now ranked eighth. 

Here are the entire Add's HBCU Sports Report Top Ten Football Polls:

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

     Division II
1) Winston-Salem State
2) Tuskegee
3) Virginia State
4) Fayetteville State
      5) Stillman
6) Shaw
7) Miles
8) Benedict
9) Johnson C. Smith
10)St. Augustine's

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Bethune-Cookman Shuts Down South Carolina State; Tennessee State Loses to Eastern Illinois; Recap of ALL HBCU Football from Saturday


Photo by Nigel Cook/Daytona News Journal

Bethune-Cookman has answered any questions about who rules the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conferenc right now.

Quarterback Quentin Williams threw for a touchdown and ran another early as the Wildcats then let a suffocating defense do its work as they defeated South Carolina State 14-3 in a huge homecoming game in Florida Saturday.

Williams threw a four-yard TD to Isadore Jackson in the fourth quarter and then added a six-yard touchdown run in the second quarter of the battle of the MEAC's only two undefeated teams in the conference.

Bethune-Cookman's defense was the story of the day as they only allowed South Carolina State 65 yards rushing and 78 yards passing.  The Bulldogs got inside the Bethune-Cookman 25-yard line five times, but was denied touchdowns each time.

Bethune-Cookman (7-1, 4-0 MEAC) now has sole possession of first place in the conference.  They take visit North Carolina Central next Saturday.  South Carolina State (5-3, 3-1) sees their four-game winning streak end and settle into second place in the MEAC.  They are at Savannah State next weekend. 

Garappolo Throws Four TD's as Eastern Illinois Cruises to 34-15 Win Over Tennessee State

Photo by George Walker IV/The Tennessean
The nation's top offense proved they were no match for one of the country's top defenses Saturday.

Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garaoppolo threw for 410 yards and four touchdowns as the Panthers, Division I-FCS's No. 2 team, led by as many as 25 points to defeat Tennessee State 34-16 in a huge Ohio Valley Conference battle on homecoming day in Nashville.

Eastern Illinois' high flying offense piled up 567 total yards on a Tennessee State defense that had been giving up only half that much all season long.  They didnt take very long to show their stuff.  Garoppolo threw a 61-yard touchdown pass to Keiondre Gober early in the first quarter.  Shepard Little added a 21-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter before Garoppolo threw another TD pass, this time a 34-yarder to Jeff LePak, to give Eastern Illinois a 21-3 halftime lead. 

Garoppolo added another TD pass to Gober early in the third quarter to push their lead to 28-3, and putting the game out of reach.

Little finished with 138 yards rushing and a touchdown while Gober was one of three Eastern Illinois receivers to have more than 100 yards receiving.  Gober had 126 yards and two touchdowns, Erik Lora caught ten passes for 105 yards and LePak had 112 yards and a touchdown.

TSU's Ronald Butler threw for 215 yards and two touchdowns while running back Tim Broughton led the Tigers ground game with 93 yards.  Starting quarterback, senior Michael German, didnt play due to a sprained shoulder.  TSU's two losses have come when German hasn't played.

Tennessee State (7-2, 4-1 in the OVC) drops to second place in the conference with the loss.  They head to Eastern Kentucky next weekend. Eastern Illinois (7-1, 4-0) visits Tennessee Tech.

Texas Southern Defeats Grambling in Overtime 23-17 

Photo from Yahoo Sports

In probably the most watched game of two teams who had won a combined one game, Texas Southern came back from an early 10-point deficit to defeat Grambling 23-17 in overtime Saturday.

Grambling players were playing their first game after boycotting football for a week over frustrations over their facilities conditions, travel and other issues. The Tigers storied football program was winless this season after going 1-10 last year and is on their third coach this season.   The boycott created a huge national stir that showed how players have a voice in how they are treated.

Grambling came out firing for the hometown crowd as D.J. Williams threw an 82-yard touchdown pass to Chester Rogers less than two minutes into the game. After TSU scored a touchdown, Williams added a 60-yard TD pass to Anthony McGhee to give Grambling an early 14-3 first quarter-lead. The Tigers added a field goal to go up 17-7 early in the second quarter.

Texas Southern added a field goal just before halftime and then a touchdown to tie the game when Jamal Small, who replace injured starter Homer Causey, threw a 21-yard TD pass to Jaquaa Peters in the midway in the fourth quarter.

In overtime, Small won the game with a three-yard touchdown run.

Grambling senior linebacker Steve Orisake said that even though the Tigers lost, the past two weeks have been good overall for the school.

"I surely would do it all again,'' Orisakwe said. ''Nothing was in vain. This brought our school and our family and our team together.''

Small finished 6-of-7 passing for 76 yards while Edward Perkins-Loving had 100 yards rushing for Texas Southern.  Causey had 124 yards passing and 64 yards rushing and a TD before he was injured.

Williams, son of former head coach Doug Williams, had 261 yards and two touchdowns passing while Jestin Kelly rushed for 94 yards.

Texas Southern (2-6, 2-5) hosts Southern next Saturday while Grambling (0-9, 0-6) hosts Mississippi Valley State.

Here's a recap of ALL the HBCU football scores from Saturday:

- Benedict 29, Morehouse 26
- Albany State 39, Clark Atlanta 7
- Fort Valley 52, Concordia-Selma 19
- Tuskegee 36, Kentucky State 7

- Texas Southern 23, Grambling 17 (OT)
- Arkansas-Pine Bluff 38, Mississippi Valley State 18
- Alabama State 31, Alabama A&M 7
- Jackson State 51, Prairie View 38
- Alcorn State 44, Southern 38 (OT)

- Elizabeth City State 37, Chowan 31
- Fayetteville State 43, St. Augustine's 19
- Virginia State 34, Lincoln (Pa) 14
- Winston-Salem State 40, Livingstone 0
- Shaw 39, Johnson C. Smith 33
- Bowie State 34, Virginia Union 7

- Howard 28, Morgan State 14
- Hampton 30, Delaware State 7
- Old Dominion 27, Norfolk State 24
- North Carolina A&T 20, Florida A&M 13
- North Carolina Central 24, Savannah State 10

- Fort Hays 45, Lincoln (Mo.) 35
- Virginia-Wise 18, West Virginia State 10
- Bloomsburg 35, Cheyney 7
- Langston 53, Oklahoma Baptist 7