Saturday, September 5, 2015

Top-Ranked Tuskegee Opens Against Clark Atlanta; Complete Rundown of all the HBCU On Tap for Opening Weekend

Quarterback Kevin Lacy is back to lead the Tuskegee offense (photo by Montgonery Advertiser)
When Clark Atlanta visits Tuskegee today, it'll be a tale of two teams who would seem to be polar opposites.

Tuskegee, the front-runner in the ADD'S HBCU SPORTS REPORT Division II football preseason Top Ten Poll, won eight of their last nine games last season in winning the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title (their only loss was a narrow defeat in the Division II playoffs to West Georgia).

The Golden Tigers return 80 percent of a defense that was second best in the SIAC and an offense that was tops in the conference and returns their leader in total offense in quarterback Kevin Lacey.

Clark Atlanta only won one conference game last year, had the league's second worst offense and least productive offense (though they led the led the conference in rushing in a rush first offense).

But optimism reigns on both campuses.  Tuskegee is looking to not only win a second consecutive conference title, but to advance further in the Division II playoffs.   But that starts with a matchup against a CAU team they know little about.

"We haven't played them since 2012," said Tuskegee head coach Willie Slater.  "On top of that, they have a new coach, and on top of that, they have a lot of new players.  They have guys who weren't on the roster last year, so as a coaching staff, we are going to have to do a really good job of making adjustments so we can attack them and stop them."

Kevin Ramsey is taking over the Panthers program that was 3-7 last year and has to replace leading rusher Montavious Taylor.  But their second and third best rushers, quarterback Trenton Earl and running back Shaquan Mitchell, are back.  Earl also threw for 576 yards and five touchdowns on only 77 attempts.

The team's tackles and sacks leaders in Antonio Mallard and Jacob Mitchell also return.

Kickoff is at 1 pm at Tuskegee.

Other HBCU football action today:


Lane at Concordia (Ala.)
Kentucky State at Hampton
Central State at Alderson Broaddus
Valdosta State at Albany State
Edward Waters at Morehouse
Stillman at West Alabama
Livingstone at Benedict


Norfolk State at Rutgers
Morgan State at Air Force
Howard at Appalachian State
Savannah State at Colorado
Shaw at North Carolina A&T
Kentucky State at Hampton
Bethune-Cookman at Miami (Fla)
St. Augustine at North Carolina Central
Florida A&M at South Florida
Delaware State at Liberty


Lincoln (Pa) at Cheney
Bowie State at Merrimack
Brevard at Virginia Union
California (Pa) at Virginia State
Livingstone at Benedict
Wingate at Johnson C. Smith
Chowan at Fayetteville State
St. Augustine's at North Carolina Central
Shaw at North Carolina A&T
Virginia-Lynchburg at Elizabeth City State


Grambling State at California
Southern at Louisiana Tech
Jackson State at Middle Tennessee State
Alabama A&M at Cincinnati
Mississippi Valley State at New Mexico
Prairie View A&M at Texas Southern
Arkansas-Pine Bluff at South Carolina State

Sunday, Sept. 5 

Alabama State at Tennessee State


Lincoln (Mo.) at Langston

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Alcorn State No Match For 16th Ranked Yellow Jackets; UNC Pembroke Surprises Winston Salem State; Delta State Routs Fort Valley State

(photo from
Nothing that happened in Atlanta Thursday night was unexpected by most.  FBS power Georgia Tech, the nation's 16th ranked team which had the nation's second best rushing offense last season, ran past FCS squad Alcorn State 69-6.

Alcorn State (0-1) had no answer for a Yellow Jackets (1-0) squad that rushed for 476 yards and nine touchdowns Thursday night in front of a happy home crowd and a cable television audience.  Tech's Marcus Marshall had 184 yards on only eight carries and two touchdowns while Patrick Skov had three touchdowns on 12 carries.

Offense was an issue for the offense-happy Braves, who could only muster 272 yards Thursday, most of it after the game got out of hand -- which was early.   The Yellow Jackets were up 34-0 after the first quarter, cruising from there.

Alcorn State quarterback John Gibbs Jr. had 50 yards passing and 51 rushing.  Darryan Ragsdale ran for 50 yards on 11 carries.

Alcorn State goes back to FCS competition when they open their SWAC schedule in hosting Alabama State on Sept. 12.  Georgia Tech hosts Tulane next week.

UNC Pembroke Surprises Winston Salem State 17-7

Heading into the 2015 season, Winston Salem State head coach knew he had to quickly rebuild a team that lost 18 of 22 starters from a year ago.  Apparently they will need a little more time.

UNC Pembroke (1-0), a team Winston Salem State defeated 38-7 last season, stifled the WSSU offense, sacking the quarterback seven times and racking up 12 tackles for losses in holding down the Rams 17-7 Thursday.

Winston Salem State (0-1) moved down the field on the game's first drive and scored a touchdown on a Rod Tinsely pass to Anthony Rook.

But the Rams never would make it past the UNC Pembroke 35 yard line the rest of the night as Pembroke's defense stiffened.

The Braves Kendall Jacobs had eight tackles for Pembroke while Aarace Brooks had five tackles and two sacks.

Meanwhile quarterback Patrick O'Brien kept the Pembroke offense moving steadily, hitting 21 of 32 passes for 200 yards and a touchdown.

Tinsley finished with 195 yards a touchdown passing along with an interception.  Marcel Caver caught eight balls for 90 yards while Tyree Massey rushed 12 times for 58 yards.

Winston Salem State now heads to suburban Atlanta for another big game with Valdosta State on Sept. 12 while UNC Pembroke visits Fayetteville State next Saturday.

Delta State Routs Fort Valley State 48-7
(photo from
Tyler Sullivan had four first half touchdowns as Delta State scored on their first five drives to cruise by Fort Valley State 48-7 Saturday.

Sullivan, who finished with 293 yards passing, threw a 58-yard TD on the game's first drive and then rushed for two more touchdowns to lead Delta State (1-0) to a 25-0 first quarter lead. Sullivan added a 59-yard TD pass just before halftime as Delta State went into the break leading 39-7.

The Delta State defense shut down FVSU (0-1), only allowing the Wildcats 131 yards of offense in the second half.

Fort Valley State quarterback Otis Brown was 17 of 27 for 218 yards and an interception.  He also rushed for 19 yards and the Wildcats only TD.  Jalen White had 34 yards rushing for FVSU.

Delta State visits Texas A&M-Commerce next Saturday while Fort Valley State hosts Lane.

Other scores: 

West Virginia State 59, Fairmont State 34

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Alcorn State, ADD'S HBCU SPORTS REPORT FCS Preseason Top Ranked Team, Gets Big Test At Georgia Tech; Complete FCS and Division II Preseason Top Ten Polls Announced


If Jay Hopson wants to find out how good his Alcorn State team is, well, he will find out very quickly.

The Alcorn State head coach's high flying offense, which returns all 11 starters from a team that won the Southwestern Athletic Conference title and the 2014 ADD'S HBCU SPORTS REPORT's FCS HBCU Football National Championship will get a huge test against ACC power, 16th ranked Georgia Tech Thursday night in Atlanta.

"Derek Horne, our athletic director, asked and it was a game I certainly approved of, and those are the kind of opponents we want to play," Hopson told the Jackson Clarion Ledger.  "We want to play Georgia Tech, Texas, whoever ... We know they're a great football team.  They're Orange Bowl champions.  We know it's a big challenge, but it's a game we're excited to play and we're looking forward to it."

The Braves, the top team in this year's ADD'S HBCU SPORTS REPORT FCS Football Preseason Top Ten Poll, will try to show a Fox Sports South television crowd why they are the nation's best team in HBCU football.  Senior quarterback John Gibbs Jr. who threw for nearly 2,500 yards and rushed for just over 1,000 yards leads the Alcorn State offense.  

But they face a team that also sports a prolific offense.  The Yellow Jackets run a triple-option that averaged 342 yards a game, 6.1 yards a carry, which was second best nationally.  Tech's quarterback, Justin Thomas, also rushed for more than 1,000 yards (1,086) and threw for nearly 1,800 yards.

It's one of the main reasons the Yellow Jackets were picked to win the ACC Coastal Division in 2015.

It's also why the Braves are excited, Gibbs said.

"It's a terrific opportunity," he told the Clarion Ledger. "It's a chance to make history. We had a chance against Southern Miss last year, but fell six points short.  We have another chance again this season to make history and prove (ourselves) to the world and shock everyone."

Division II

Winston Salem State, the third-ranked Division II team in the ADD'S HBCU SPORTS REPORT Division II Preseason Football Top Ten Poll, isn't wasting any time. in trying to regain the form they had in winning the CIAA title two years ago. They kick off the HBCU Division II season Thursday night with their matchup at UNC-Pembroke.

Pembroke finished 2-8 last year as they look to take another step in their rebuilding effort.  But WSSU is on a mission after finishing 9-2 but losing the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association title to Virginia State and missing out on the NCAA Division II playoffs.  Plus they defeated Pembroke easily last season, 38-7.

But this Rams team is full of question marks as 18 of 22 starters are gone from last year's squad. Every starter from last season's defense is also gone, though All-CIAA defensive end Michael Bloomfield returns.
WSSU's Michael Bloomfield
"We do have some veterans like Vernon Brandon, who was here two years ago, and Sidney Lawson knows the system," WSSU defensive coordinator Richard Hayes told the Winston Salem Journal.  "We do have some depth, but that will get a lot stronger as we work in these new guys a little more.

Here is the complete ADD'S HBCU SPORTS REPORT FCS and Division II Preseason HBCU Football Top Ten poll:


1) Alcorn State
2) North Carolina A&T
3) South Carolina State
4) Grambling State
5) Bethune-Cookman
6) North Carolina Central
7) Southern
8) Alabama State
9) Morgan State
10) Tennessee State


1) Tuskegee
2) Virginia State
3) Winston Salem State
4) Albany State
5) Fayetteville State
6) Benedict
7) Miles
8) Bowie State
9) Stillman
10) Elizabeth City State