Friday, October 31, 2014

Holmes Firing During Homecoming Week Leads to Consternation in Rattlerland


Homecoming at Florida A&M has an odd air around it this year as the beloved Rattler football squad is suffering through another subpar season.

This year they are also without a permanent football coach.

With FAMU president Elmira Mangum and athletic director Kellen Winslow Jr. deciding to part ways with FAMU/MEAC legend in former head coach Earl Holmes this week, just days before their alumni come to town to celebrate homecoming and watch FAMU take on Norfolk State, there a lot of questions in Tallahassee, mainly why now.

"There's no one - not even in high school - who would interrupt homecoming," said former Florida state Senator, prominent alum and donor Al Lawson to FAMU's 220 Quarterback Club, reported The Tallahassee Democrat.

The paper reported that when a club member asked if Winslow should be fired, Lawson said "he should be."

The Rattlers are 2-6 after opening the season with five wins, a dismal offense and a defense that was giving up more than 30 points a game.

After the first four games, Quinn Gray's offensive coordinator duties were taken away, though he remained quarterbacks coach. Ernie Mills began calling plays as passing game coordinator and Shawn Bryson headed the running game. 

The FAMU offense perked up and the team won two of the next four games.  But after last week's 41-20 loss to North Carolina A&T - the ADDS HBCU SPORTS REPORT No. 1 team in FCS HBCU football - Winslow and Mangum had apparently had enough of Holmes' leadership.

And the fact that Winslow and Mangum made the move during Homecoming week without consulting many people has raised the ire of many influential people in Rattlerland.

"There is major heartburn in the Rattler community because I think any major personnel decision that's made during homecoming does not increase the morale of students and alumni and other stakeholders," FAMU trustee Torey Alston told The Tallahassee Democrat. "It does the opposite. It does not encourage many of us to recruit to the university.  Enough is enough. I'm hopeful we can turn this around very soon. If not, someone is going to have to pay the price and someone is going to have to go."

Links to The Tallahassee Democrat stories on Earl Holmes/FAMU firing:

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

North Carolina A&T New No. 1 HBCU FCS Team in Latest ADDS HBCU SPORTS REPORT Football Top Ten Poll; Winston-Salem State and Tuskegee Top Division II Poll


South Carolina State shook up this week's ADD'S HBCU SPORTS REPORT FCS Football Top Ten poll by knocking off the one team that has stayed in the top spot all season -- until now.

The Bulldogs' 20-17 win over Bethune-Cookman dropped the Wildcats to the number three slot and moved South Carolina State to No. 2.  That puts North Carolina A&T, a team on a huge resurgence after several down years, in the top spot.

The Aggies defeated Florida A&M Saturday as they also took over the top spot in the MEAC race.

"It was a conference game," said head coach Rod Broadway. "It took us to seven wins. I think this is the third year in a row we’ve had seven wins. That means we’re getting a little bit better every year.”

Out of the FCS Top Ten poll for the first time this year is Tennessee State, a squad that has lost four games in a row. 

In the Division II poll, Winston-Salem State continues in the top spot, but now are followed by Tuskegee and Virginia State at two and three.

Losses by Morehouse and Stillman dropped them out of the D-2 poll, but Elizabeth City State and Fayetteville State move into the numbers nine and ten spots.

Here are both of the ADDS HBCU SPORTS REPORT FCS/Division II Top Ten Football Polls


1) North Carolina A&T (7-2, 4-1 MEAC)
2) South Carolina State (5-3, 3-1 MEAC)
3) Bethune-Cookman (6-2, 3-1 MEAC)
4) Alcorn State (7-2, 5-1 SWAC)
5) Grambling (5-3, 5-0 SWAC)
6) Southern (5-3, 4-1 SWAC)
7) North Carolina Central (4-4, 3-1 MEAC)
8) Morgan State (4-4. 3-1 MEAC)
9) Alabama State (4-4. 3-3 SWAC)
10) Texas Southern (5-3, 3-3 SWAC)


1) Winston-Salem State (7-1, 5-0 CIAA)
2) Tuskegee (6-2, 5-0 SIAC)
3) Virginia State (6-2, 5-0 CIAA)
4) Virginia Union (6-2, 4-1 CIAA)
5) Albany State (5-2, 5-0 SIAC)
6) Fort Valley State (6-2, 4-1 SIAC)
7) Livingstone (5-3, 2-3 CIAA)
8) Miles (5-3, 4-1 SIAC)
9) Elizabeth City State (4-4, 3-2 CIAA)
10) Fayetteville State (4-4, 4-1 CIAA)


Monday, October 27, 2014

Last Minute TD Gives South Carolina State Win Over Bethune-Cookman and Throws MEAC Race Into a Tizzy; Look at ALL of Saturday's HBCU Football Action

SCSU's Austin Smith hauls the winning 49-yard TD pass. (Photo by Larry Hardy/Times and Democrat)
In a major battle of Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference powerhouses, Austin Smith caught a 49-yard from Adrian Kollock Jr. with 33 seconds left in a wild final minute to lift South Carolina State to a 20-14 win over Bethune-Cookman Saturday.

Defense ruled most of the day as SCSU  (5-3, 3-1 MEAC) only managed 120 yards of total offense and Bethune-Cookman only managing 175.

Antonio Hamilton returned a punt 91 yards for a touchdown midway through the third quarter to give South Carolina State a 14-7 lead.  But in the game's final minute, Bethune-Cookman's Donald Smith recovered a South Carolina State fumble and returning three yards to tie the game 14-14.

With overtime seemingly looming, Kollock, the Bulldogs' starting quarterback who had sat out the majority of the game with an injury, came in and flipped the winning 49-yarder to Smith to give the Bulldogs a huge win.

"We were very fortunate to get the win and have to thank the man above," said SCSU head coach Buddy Pough. "We, somehow, found a way to win."

 “There were some plays in that football game I can't believe and I've never seen in my whole coaching career,” Bethune-Cookman coach Brian Jenkins told the Daytona News Journal. “That last play, I've never seen (anything) like it.”

 Defensively, the Bulldogs' Jason Hargrave was a terror for Bethune-Cookman (6-2, 3-1). Hargrave had 11 tackles, six sacks and six tackles for loss

"He's a tremendous talent and he (Hargrave) had a dominating performance and we needed it," Pough said.

The South Carolina State win throws a huge wrench in the MEAC race as North Carolina A&T, with a 4-1 conference record now goes to first place. Bethune-Cookman, South Carolina State, Morgan State, North Carolina Central and Norfolk State are all a game behind at 3-1.

Bethune-Cookman hosts one of those teams, North Carolina Central next week while South Carolina State is home again, this time against Savannah State.

Hampton 23, Delaware State 0 (Hampton got their first MEAC win on the legs of Jorrian Washingotn (142 yards rushing) and Eric Carter (113 yards and a touchdown) and the arms of Joshua Thorne (19 tackles, three sacks and six tackles for loss). Delaware State only had 34 yards rushing all day. DSU's Davon Moore had 11 tackles and forced a fumble while Alex Perry made eight tackles and had two tackles for loss)

North Carolina Central 42, Savannah State 14 (North Carolina Central climbed to the .500 mark in their easy win over winless Savannah State. The Eagles also became part of the six-team second place logjam in the MEAC race. Malcolm Bell threw for 287 yards and three touchdowns to lead NCCU. Bell also rushed for 72 yards and two more TDs. Savannah State's Marquis Smith had ten tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and four tackles for loss)

North Carolina A&T 40, Florida A&M 21 (Kwashaun Quick threw for 233 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 62 yards to lead the Aggies to a homecoming win. Denzel Keyes was on the receiving end of those three TD passes.  The win moves A&T in first place in the MEAC while FAMU, despite only have two wins heading into the game, missed out on being tied for second in the MEAC had they won)

Villanova 48, Morgan State 28 (Morgan State hung with fourth-ranked Villanova for a half, but gave up 27 points in the third quarter in losing.  Villanova running back Kevin Monangai rushed for 170 yards and two touchdowns, both in that big third quarter, while their quarterback John Robertson threw for three touchdowns, but also ran a 56-yard TD on the game's second play and another touchdown in the ill-fated third quarter.  MSU quarterback Moses Skillon threw for 204 yards and a TD and added 77 yards and two touchdowns on the ground)

Fort Valley State 23, Paine 10 (Paine stood strong against 6-2 and 4-1 Fort Valley State but couldn't muster enough offense against the Wildcats. Fort Valley State's third straight win keeps them one game behind Albany State in the SIAC East.  Fort Valley State faces Morehouse this week and then Albany State in the final game of the season)

Central State 41, Stillman 14 (Stillman loses their second game in a row after challenging for a top-spot in the SIAC West two weeks ago. Central State rushed for 260 yards as Moses Vines led the Marauders with 97 yards and touchdown while Isiah Grooms added 61 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Michael Wilson had 69 yards and a touchdown rushing to go with his 173 yards and one touchdown in the air.  The Marauders held Stillman quarterback Josh Straughan to 171 yards and a touchdown)

Miles 51, Lane 0 (David Whipple threw two touchdowns and ran for another as Miles routed hapless Lane for their fourth straight win.  Three other Miles players - Jonathan Clark, Jamarcus Vance and Xavier Bacon - had touchdowns. More importantly, Miles is now 4-1 and has overtaken Stillman for second place behind undefeated Tuskegee in the SIAC West.  Miles faces Stillman next week before a big battle looming against Tuskegee)
Benedict 33,  Morehouse 15 (Morehouse's offense struggled again as starting quarterback Monquavious Johnson played some on his injured ankle but couldn't help the Maroon Tigers to generate enough to keep up with Benedict. Marcus Graham threw for two touchdowns and ran for another to lead Benedict. Morehouse backup quarterback Jordan Tarver only threw for 81 yards, but rushed for two short touchdowns)

Alcorn State 77, Prairie View A&M 48 (Defense wasn't a big highlight in this game as these two teams combined for more than 1,200 yards of offense.  Alcorn's 21 points in a roughly eight minute span from the end of the first quarter to the middle of the second quarter broke open a 14-14 game. John Gibbs Jr. led ASU with 362 yards and four touchdowns passing while running back Aaron Baker had 149 yards and three touchdowns rushing. PVAM was led by running back Johnta Hebert who had 157 yards and two touchdowns rushing and quarterback Jerry Lovelock and his 305 yards and two TDs passing)

Arkansas-Pine Bluff 38, Texas Southern 37 (Benjamin Anderson threw a 69-yard touchdown pass to Willie Young with 2:15 left to give UAPB their first SWAC win of the season. Brian Handley led UAPB with 193 yards and two touchdowns rushing while Anderson threw for 288 yards and three touchdowns. TSU's Daveonn Porter ran for 187 yards and a touchdown and quarterback Homer Causey threw for 333 yards and three TDs in the see-saw battle. The loss was the third in the last four games for Texas Southern, which started the season 4-0)

Alabama A&M 37, Alabama State 36 (Alabama A&M got their first win since the end of September.  Down 13 and 12 points at various points in the game, the Bulldogs outscored the Hornets 16-3 in the fourth quarter, including Jaymason Lee's 43-yard touchdown pass to Tevin McKenzie with 2:26 left to give them their third win of the season. ASU's Malcolm Cyrus rushed for 148 yards and a touchdown. The loss is Alabama State's third straight after running off four straight wins)

Southern 42, Jackson State 28 (Southern rushed out to a 27-0 lead early in the second quarter, including 21 in the first quarter, opening a lead too big for Jackson State to recover from. Lenard Tillery rushed for 166 yards and TD while Austin Howard threw for 250 yards and touchdown and rushed for another touchdown to lead Southern. J-State's Robert Johnson rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown while La Montiez Ivy threw for 424 yards and three touchdowns. It was Southern's third straight win and puts them only a game behind Grambling in the SWAC West Division)

Virginia State 63, Lincoln (Pa) 7 (Earl Hughes and Kavon Bellamy led a Virginia State rushing attack that had 288 yards and five touchdowns Saturday.  Hughes rushed for 120 yards and a touchdown while Bellamy added 94 and three touchdowns. Lincoln's Stephen Scott rushed for 100 yards, but Lincoln's offense didnt generate any points Saturday.  Their only touchdown came on a 14-yard fumble return for a touchdown)

Fayetteville State 49, St. Augustine's 14 (The Broncos won their fourth straight game as eight different players were part of touchdowns for Fayetteville State. Andre Montgomery rushed for 103 yards and a touchdown and Derek Bryant threw for 219 yards and two TDs. The Broncos had 568 yards of total offense Saturday.  A bright spot for St. Aug's was Roderick Davenport who had 146 yards rushing and a touchdown. The win moves them into a first place tie with Winston-Salem State in the CIAA Northern Division as both teams are 3-0)

Winston-Salem State 34, Livingstone 17 (Winston-Salem State had fewer yards offensively than Livingstone and was only 4-of-12 on third downs.  Phil Sims threw for 181 yards and two touchdowns, two of them to Brenden Felder. Livingstone's Drew Powell had another solid day, throwing for 281 yards and two touchdowns. He also led them in rushing with 85 yards on the ground.)

Elizabeth City State 49, Chowan 33 (ECSU scored 28 points over an 18-minute span to blow open an early four-point game. Running back Kenny King rushed for 92 yards and three touchdowns for the Vikings.  Jerrell Timmons had five tackles, two sacks and two tackles for losses for ECSU.  Dominique Futon and Andrew Denny combined for 24 tackles for Chowan, which fell to 1-7. The Vikings meanwhile moved up into a second-place tie with Virginia Union in the CIAA Northern Division)

Shaw 35, Johnson C. Smith 34 (Marqui Grizzled ran a 17-yard touchdown with 44 seconds left to complete a 21-point fourth quarter that gave Shaw the win. Johnson C. Smith led 27-0 at halftime, but was outscored 35-7 in the second half to lose.  Johnson C. Smith quarterback Andrew Alexander won the head-to-head quarterback battle, throwing for 365 yards and five TDs while the CIAA's leading passer, Trey Folston, had 284 yards and a touchdown for Shaw. While Johnson C. Smith had success in the air, they had -19 yards rushing on the day)

Bowie State 20, Virginia Union 17 (OT) (Mario Diaz-Aviles kicked a 41-yard field goal in overtime to give Bowie State a huge upset win over a Union team that had won five straight games. Diaz-Aviles put the game into overtime moments earlier with a 27-yard boot with 4:04 left in regulation. Virginia Union kicker Troy Krepich missed a 37-yard yarder with no time remaining that would have given VUU the win.  Bowie State shut down the Virginia Union offense, out-gaining them 271-to-229 and allowing -23 yards rushing)

TSU running back Darion Hall (Photo by Garfield Bather)
Eastern Illinois 28, Tennessee State 3 (Tennessee State's slump continues as they've lost their fourth straight game, their longest losing skid since 2011.  EIU's Shepard Little led his team's nearly 300-yard rushing day with 130 yards and a touchdown. EIU quarterback Jalen Whitlow, the OVC's top passer, only had 76 yards passing for the day. Tennessee State quarterback Michael German threw for 149 yards on the day)