Benedict at Central State - Benedict (1-1) is quite wary of Central State (0-2, 0-1 SIAC). The Marauders have played well against FBS Dayton and fought hard against an improving Clark Atlanta team. Quarterback Lavon Meeks has averaged 409 yards of total offense in their two games. Benedict has been good on defense, especially against the run. It's offense where they have issues. They opened with a 5-3 win and then scored just 13 in losing to Limestone last week.
Lane at Langston - Lane (2-0, 1-0 SIAC) showed that their defense is one to be reckoned with in how they shut down Fort Valley State last week. Javonte Kelly won SIAC Defensive Player of the Week honors after he had 11 tackles and a fumble recovery. Their "Marcus" offense - quarterback Marcus Reynolds and running back Marcus Holiday - is where they lean on for production. Langston (2-0) is the second NAIA team Lane will be facing this season. But Langston isn't Texas College, who Lane beat easily. Kievon Jackson led Langston with 123 yards rushing last week while quarterback Mark Wright Jr. has been a solid dual threat.
Clark Atlanta at Fort Valley State - In years past, no one would have thought that the 0-2 team heading into this contest would be Fort Valley State. But it is. The Wildcats shored up their defensive issue a big last week after holding Lane to 10 points and 248 yards of offense a week after giving up nearly 500 yards of offense in a loss to Miles to open the season. But their own offense is sputtering. They've had one touchdown in the last six quarters. Clark Atlanta is an improving program, but defense is an issue. They've allowed 800 yards and 24.5 points per game so far.
Morehouse at Elizabeth City State - Consistency is what Morehouse (2-0, 1-0 SIAC) will look for against Elizabeth City State (0-2, 0-0 CIAA). The Maroon Tigers offense struggled against Edward Waters and made a ton of mistakes in holding off Kentucky State last week. Elizabeth City State is looking to get last week's 84-21 drubbing by Fordham out of their heads. Quarterback Daquan Neal is their main offensive threat, passing and running.
Tuskegee at Florida A&M - This is an interesting contest. First, forget about Tuskegee (2-0, 1-0 SIAC) being a Division II team and Florida A&M (0-2) being an FCS team. These are premiere HBCU programs, thought FAMU has been in the football doldrums the past few years. These two teams haven't played each other in twenty years. so there is excitement surrounding the game. But Tuskegee is one of the top Division II teams in the country and has looked strong out the gate. They've scored 32 per game and have allowed only 15 per game so far. Jayjerien Craig has rushed for nearly 200 yards in two games, including 130 against Albany State last week. And linebacker Osband Thompson has 27 tackles in two games. FAMU has been dominated by two teams - Coastal Carolina and Miami (Fla) who aren't a true barometer of where the Rattlers are now. They do struggle on offense and the defense is a question. This game could be interesting.
Albany State at Southeastern Univ. - Albany State (0-2, 0-1 SIAC) knew this could happen with the tough starting schedule - the first two games against Division II powerhouse Valdosta State and SIAC rival Tuskegee who they have beaten in four years. Don't think this team is a slouch though. They've been tough in both games. Southeastern (2-0) is a good NAIA program that has only lost five games in their three years of competition. Running back Jarrell Reynolds has been over 100 yards in both games and quarterback Jonathan Pearce has been solid. But Albany State will be their toughest opponent to date.
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Alabama State at Southern - Southern (0-2) is happy to be looking at competition that they are more in line with. They pushed FBS Louisiana-Monroe in their opener and got stomped by Tulane last week. The first thing they want to do is get start running back Lenard Tillery off to a better start. He only had 43 yards rushing last week against Tulane after opening the season with 161 yards. Alabama State (0-2) is on the road already for the third time this season. Their two losses have been fairly close against stronger competition also. Khalid Thomas and Derrel King have combined for nearly 200 yards rushing so far this season.
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Mississippi Valley State at Texas Southern - Texas Southern (0-2, 0-1 SWAC) has had two four point losses in which they won the first halves but give up leads to lose. Mississippi Valley State (0-2, 0-1). TSU didnt have dual threat quarterback Jay Christopher last week in their loss to Houston Baptist, as Averion Hurts stepped in. He has been sacked eight times in two games. The Delta Devils are looking for their defense to step up after a huge loss to Eastern Michigan and Alabama A&M. They've give up 96 points in two games so far.
UNC Pembroke at Shaw - There's not much you can do when you have amassed minus-3 yards rushing in two games. But that's one of the primary reasons that Shaw (0-2) has struggled so far. Their third down conversion percentage is 13 percent. They've scored 13 points. UNC Pembroke (2-0) easily defeated Fayetteville State and won a tough, hard-fought game against Winston-Salem State to open the season. UNCP plays tough defense, which will cause more problems for Shaw.
Virginia State at Kentucky State - Kentucky State (0-2, 0-1 SIAC) head coach John L. Smith is probably truly realizing that he isn't coaching Michigan State or Louisville anymore. His team has struggled mightily to move the football and have had trouble stopping anyone on defense. But Virginia State (2-0) has none of those issues. They've only given up 19 points in two games and they've run for 501 yards already this season. Looks like a tough home opener for KSU.
Bowie State at Central Connecticut State - These two teams are again meeting after a close game last year that Central Connecticut State (0-2) won late. Bowie State (1-1, 1-0 CIAA) relied on passing to win that game after CCSU held them to only four rushing yards. But that's where Bowie State is strong this year. Running backs Robert Chesson and Maurice Williams have combined for more than 400 yards rushing this season. Quarterback Amir Hall has also been spectacular, throwing 427 yards and five TDs in their season opener against Seton Hall and 267 yards last week against Johnson C. Smith.
Lincoln (Pa) at Morehead State - Morehead State (0-2) is a team looking for an offensive identity, according to their head coach Rob Tenyer. After getting crushed by James Madison, they held tough against VMI. But they struggle to move the ball. Their defense buckled down last week in that 17-13 loss after giving up 80 points to James Madison. Lincoln (Pa) (1-1) defeated Lincoln (Mo) last week after allowing Cheyney to end a four year losing drought. Justin White has been good a quarterback, accounting for four touchdowns this year. But Morehead State will easily be their toughest opponent so far.
Fayetteville State at Elon - Except for a scoreless first three quarters in their Week 1 loss to Chowan, Fayetteville State (0-2, 0-1 CIAA) proved they can score. They were dominated last week by UNC Pembroke, but put up 28 points, including 14 in the first quarter. That's a good thing as Elon (0-2) has struggled to stop anyone and has scored only 20 points in two games.
Virginia Union at Winston-Salem State - Winston-Salem State (1-1) has played two really good teams in UNC Pembroke (a 20-17 loss) and Catawba (a big win over a 22nd ranked team), so they are looking for big things today against a Virginia Union (0-2) team that has gotten good play from quarterback Shawheem Dowdy and running back William Stanback. The Panthers defense looked solid against LIU Post in the opener, but couldn't keep it together against a really good Newberry team last week.
West Florida at Chowan - Chowan's defense will get challenged this week as NAIA West Florida (2-0), in their first season, looked great last week in their 45-0 win over Ave Maria University. Quarterback Kaleb Noles threw for 503 yards and six touchdowns. In fact, they've scored 45 in both of their first two games. Chowan (1-1) was held down by Campbell last week as they only mustered 233 yards of offense. They will likely have to score more than the 14 points they've put up in each of their first two games.
St. Augustine's at North Carolina Central - Division II CIAA St. Augustine's (0-2) represents something North Carolina Central (0-2) hasn't seen all year - an opponent who isn't completely over their heads. The Eagles have lost big to FBS schools Duke and Western Michigan, so they are looking forward to playing a team that's a little closer to their level. St. Aug's has only scored 14 points this year, and they've lost big to two teams that were above them in North Carolina A&T and Carson Newman.
Livingstone at Davidson - After getting a win over feisty NAIA Edward Waters last week, Livingstone (1-1) takes two steps up in taking on FCS team Davidson (1-1). Jarius Richardson, who had fell in the end zone to give Benedict the safety they need to win in the season-opener, ran for 150 yards last week and looks to build on that this week. But Davidson has averaged 242 yards passing using two quarterbacks and they've got a good rusher in Keyan Brown. They've had problems on defense, particularly against the pass.
Tennessee State at Bethune-Cookman - Tennessee State (2-0) will quickly find out how good they really are. The Big Blue Tigers have been good against two not so good teams in Arkanas-Pine Bluff and Jackson State. O'Shay Ackerman-Carter has been solid at quarterback for TSU, averaging nearly 250 yards in two games so far. Bethune-Cookman (0-1) is smarting from a 41-20 loss to North Texas, but that game didn't really tell the BCU story. The Wildcats are guided by Larry Brihm at quarterback and on defense by Diquan Richardson who returned an interception for a touchdown, blocked a punt and had nine tackls.
South Carolina State at Clemson - These two in-state rivals have played three times before and the FBS ACC power Clemson (2-0) has been dominant as expected. They only allowed South Carolina State (0-2) to score in one game (52-13 in 2013) and won the other two 54-0 in 2008 and 2014. Clemson will look to show their dominance again. Quarterback Caleb York is pretty much the SCSU offense, but he has had to face two FBS foes already in Central Florida and Louisiana Tech.
North Carolina A&T at Tulsa - Fresh off their first win over an FBS team (Kent State last week), North Carolina A&T (2-0) gets another FBS team in Tulsa (1-1). Expect Tulsa to be tougher than Kent State. Tulsa has a good running back in D'Angelo Brewer and has a defense that's stiff against the run. A&T's Tarik Cohen has continued to be Tarik Cohen as he had over 100 yards rushing and receiving last week. This looks to be one of the better FBS-HCBU FCS matchups this year.
Howard vs. Hampton (Nation's Football Classic, Washington, D.C.) - These two winless teams will be glad to get back to competition on their level. Howard has been thrashed by FBS schools Maryland and Rutgers while Hampton fought well against William & Mary last week and struggled to slow down Old Dominion. Now we get to see how these two really stack up this season. Hampton's offense is balanced with quarterback Jaylian Williamson averaging close to 200 yards a game passing and running backs Yahkee Johnson and Eric Carter combining for 261 yards in two games. Hoawrd has struggled on offense, averaging 13.5 points in their two games. The defense has been gashed, allowing more than 50 points in both games. Anthony Philyaw has been a bright spot, averaging 82.5 yards a game rushing. This game will REALLY tell where these two teams are this year.
Indiana (Pa) at Cheyney -
Qunicy at Lincoln (Mo.) -
Texas College at McMurry -
West Virginia Wesleyan at West Virginia State - West Virginia State (1-1, 1-1 MEC) blew out West Virginia Wesleyan last year, but they are wary of this 0-2 team. In two games this season, WVWU has been fairly close and are led by running back Michael Anderson, who rushed for 157 yards last week, and quarterback Ryan Deal. But last year, WVSU held Anderson to 29 yards rushing. WVSU quarterback Matt Kinnick, who had his biggest day career-wise against Wesleyan last season, is back after a victory limited him last week.