Jackson State at Texas Southern - This is an important divisional game for both of teams. Jackson State is half a game behind Alcorn State in the SWAC East and needs a win to keep pace. Texas Southern is two games behind Grambling and Southern and can't afford to lose another conference game. Texas Southern had won three in a row before losing a close game to Alcorn last week. Interesting fact: Texas Southern hasn't beaten Jackson State since 2010.
Grambling at Mississippi Valley State - Some may view this is your classic trap game - Grambling, the SWAC's best, against Mississippi Valley State, against the SWAC's worst. But Grambling has been more than solid. Their defense has allowed the fewest points and yards per game than anyone else in the SWAC. In fact, they've only given up the fewest amount of first downs in the nation at 72. MVSU scores a SWAC low 13.7 points a game and gives up 46 a game.
Prairie View A&M at Rice - This could be Prairie View A&M's chance to get Rice. Rice is winless at 0-6 while Prairie View is hitting their stride. They've only lost to Grambling and Texas A&M and Trey Green is having a good season at quarterback. But Rice IS an FBS team and this is their homecoming day, so it won't be easy. They struggle on offense, though they've scored at lesat 28 in two of their last three games. Last week, they lost by one to Texas-San Antonio.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Southern - Southern has been on a roll, having won three in a row since starting 0-2 against two FBS teams. They lead the SWAC in scoring, notching nearly 37 points per game and are second to Grambling in total offense. Quarterback Austing Howard and receiver Willie Quinn are having great years, as is running back Lenard Tillery, who is averaging 126 yards a game. Since shocking Alcorn State in September, UAPB has struggled defensively and last week lost to Alabama A&M 40-7, their lowest scoring output since being blanked by Tennessee State 44-0 in the season-opener. Quarterback Brandon Duncan does lead the SWAC in passing yardage and total offense.
Kentucky State at Tuskegee - Tuskegee is rested after a week off. Undefeated and ranked No. 5 among all of the nation's Division II football teams, the Golden Tigers are cruising along, buoyed by the SIAC's top defense and second-best offense. Quietly, Kentucky State has overcome an 0-4 start to win three in a row, with wins over Miles and Fort Valley State. And they are only one game behind Tuskegee in the SIAC West division, so this is actually a very big game for Kentucky State - to make a statement and to completely unexpectedly jump into the driver's seat of the SIAC West race. But that's a tall order against a very good Tuskegee team.
Clark Atlanta at Albany State - This could be a great game. Albany State has had a tough season, but they've played some of the best teams in the country. They held off Morehouse last week, but quarterback Caleb Edmonds has been solid. Clark Atlanta is hardly some doormat homecoming opponent. They lead the SIAC East and quarterback Johnathan McCrary is having a great season. CAU leads the SIAC in total offense and passing offense. This is a battle for the SIAC East lead. And its homecoming at Albany State.
Miles at Lane - This has turned out to be an up-and-down season for both of these teams. Miles has won every other game this season, though their losses have come to West Georgia, Albany State and a surging Kentucky State team. So they are seeking consistency. Lane won their first three, though two were against NAIA competition. Since then, they've been 1-3 with big struggles on offense and has been without quarterback Marcus Reynolds the past two weeks. Lane has averaged just over 11 points a game the last four weeks.
Morehouse at Benedict - Benedict lost the SIAC East lead to Clark Atlanta last week and needs a win to keep pace with Clark Atlanta and Albany State. They've lost three straight. Morehouse's promising 2-0 start is a distant memory after five straight losses. Their games have been a tale of two halves - one good and one bad. Benedict needs to find a way to hold off one of the league's top defensive players in David Smith, who had 19 tackles against Albany State last week.
Central State at Fort Valley State - No one expected Fort Valley State to come into this game on a four-game losing streak and just 1-5 on the season. But its true. They get fellow 1-6 team, Central State, who got their first win of the season last week over Lane. Central State ranks second in total defense, while FVSU is next to last. Lavon Meeks had a big game last week for Central State and De'Michael Jackson is averaging 103 yards rushing a game.
North Carolina Central at Morgan State - In this game, Morgan State's achilles heel is North Carolina Central's strength. NCCU has the conference's second-best quarterback in Malcolm Bell, who has thrown for nearly 1,500 yards and 11 TDs this season. Morgan State's pass defense gives up 200 yards passing a game. Chris Andrews has been solid at quarterback for Morgan State, as he is looking to break into the 1,000 yard category this season.
North Carolina A&T at Howard - North Carolina A&T, the top-ranked FCS team in the ADDS HBCU SPORTS REPORT Top Ten football poll, may not take lightly that they are Howard's homecoming opponent this week. This is a team that has only lost once - to a FBS opponent - and leads the MEAC in most categories. Howard is led by running back Anthony Philyaw who is second in rushing in the MEAC and having a great season. But the Howard offense is running up against the North Carolina A&T defense, which is tops in the conference, including in run defense. This is also a showcase of the MEAC's top two runners in Philyaw and A&T's Tarik Cohen.
Delaware State at South Carolina State - Looking at statistics, these two teams are that far off from each other. Delaware State is only averages around 16 points a game while South Carolina State puts up 17. Delaware State is last in total defense while South Carolina State is next to last. The difference is SCSU has played a monster schedule with three FBS teams and has won their two FCS games while Delaware State remains winless. Darius Leonard has been a tackling machine for South Carolina State with 68 and leading the MEAC.
Bethune-Cookman at Norfolk State - No one would have thought that Bethune-Cookman, which has won or shared five of the last six MEAC titles, would be winless at this point in the season. But they are. Defense is their problem. They give up 34 points and 431 yards a game. Greg Hankerson leads Norfolk State, as he has thrown for 162 yards a game and rushes for 41 a game, making him third in total offense in the MEAC.
Hampton at Florida A&M - Hampton quarterback Jaylien Williamson has had a great year as he leads the MEAC in passing with 227 yards a game and is second in total offense. But FAMU, while mired in a dismal year, has the MEAC's top pass defense, allowing less than 160 yards a game. It's the rushing defense where FAMU has problems - they give up 232 yards a game, which transpires to a lot of time off the clock. Hampton, with Williamson and Yahkee Johnson, are a solid rushing team.
Fayetteville State at St. Augustine's - First task for St. Augustine's - stop Stevie Green. Johnson C. Smith couldn't do it last week as Green rushed for 234 yards. Green has rushed for 757 yards this morning. The Broncos have won two straight after losing their first five games, so they are on a mini-roll. St. Augustine's gives up 48 points a game. But they have a good quarterback in D.J. Johnson who has thrown for 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns and leads them in rushing 64 yards a game. He has had six interceptions and two fumbles this season.
Chowan at Elizabeth City State - Chowan got a huge win last week over Virginia Union as Tyree Lee and Randall Dixon both had big days. Their only loss in the last five games was a one-touchdown defeat to Bowie State. They average 31 points a game. Defense is an issue for Elizabeth City State as they give up 36 points a game. But behind quarterback Daquan Neal, they average 28 points a game. Neal leads ECSU in passing and rushing.
Johnson C. Smith at Shaw - Shaw has been winless as they have an offense that averages just 12 points a game and a defense that gives up 35. Johnson C. Smith hasn't been much better with 15 points a game on offense and a defense that gives up 39 points a game. They do have a win this season over Elizabeth City State and played well against Winston-Salem State and Fayetteville State.
Livingstone at Winston-Salem State - Winston-Salem State has bounced back from a slow start to become one of the better teams in the country. They have won four in a row and have given up just an average of 12 points a game during that span. Livingstone's problem is scoring. They put up 23 in their win over Shaw last week, but prior to that, they scored 62 in four losses - 37 coming in one game. Freshman quarterback Xavier Longerbeam has been solid as has running back Jarius Richardson, who rushed for 118 yards last week.
Bowie State at Virginia Union - Virginia Union is smarting from a tough loss to one of the CIAA leaders in Chowan while Bowie State got a huge win in a nail-biter over another of those leaders, Virginia State. VUU had been on a big roll, winning four in a row before last week's loss, in which they gave up a season-high 54 points. Bowie State averages nearly 41 points per game, with quarterback Amir Hall coming off a big game in which he threw for 332 yards and accounted for five touchdowns against a good defense. This should be a very good game.
Lincoln (Pa) at Virginia State - Virginia State is a team hungry for a win after a nail-biter loss to Bowie State last week. But their three offensive stars - quarterback Tarian Ayers and running backs Trenton Cannon and Kavon Bellamy are having great seasons. Lincoln (Pa) has lost five in a row. They've struggled on defense this season, giving up nearly 37 points a game. This looks to be a tough visit for Lincoln (Pa).
Tennessee State at Vanderbilt - This is a game between a long time HBCU football power and one of the SEC's doormats. But in Nashville, this is a big deal. They've only played once before, in 2006 when Vanderbilt pulled away late for a 38-9 win. The TSU defense has to slow down Vandy's run game, which is one of the SEC's best. The TSU offense has to be consistent against a team that defeated Georgia at Georgia last week.
Cheyney at West Chester University of Pa - Defense is an issue at Cheyney. Not since their first game, a 21-20 win over Lincoln (Pa), have they not held a team to less than 51 points during a dismal season. Twice, including last week (76-0 loss to Shippensburg), they've given up at least 76 points.
West Virginia State at Glenville State - West Virginia State has struggled on defense this season, which is why third-ranked Shepherd put 70 points and 804 yards in offense on them last week. This week they get Glenville State, a team that has a strong quarterback in Dante Roberts. He has thrown for 1700 yards and 16 touchdowns so far this season.
Lincoln (Mo) at Indianapolis - Lincoln (Mo) has had a tough time scoring points this season. Even in their only win they had only 12 against Lane. Interim head coach Lee Johnson, who replaced Mike Jones after week four, saw his team give up 65 against Missouri S&T. Indianapolis, who easily defeated Lincoln last week, had to go to backup quarterback Bryce Stancombe after starter Jake Purichia was injured. Stancombe threw for nearly 400 yards in their loss.
Langston at Southwestern Assemblies of God - Langston needs a win to keep pace in the CSFL, as they are one game behind Arizona Christian. They got a late field goal from Juan Carpio to cap a comeback win over a decent Bacone team last week. This week they get Southwestern Assemblies of God, a two-win team that is 0-3 in conference play. Langston will have to slow down a SAGU passing game that has accounted for 1,700 and 12 touchdowns this season.
Wayland Baptist at Texas College - Texas College ranks at the bottom of the CSFL in total offense, which really isn't good this week as Wayland Baptist is a balanced offense that has produced 22 touchdowns and 406 yards of offense a game this season. Wayland Baptist has the league's second-best defense, with Texas College ranking last.