Saturday, September 24, 2016



Alcorn State at Grambling - Alcorn State (2-1, 1-1 SWAC) is looking to shake off a surprising, three-overtime loss to Arkansas-Pine Bluff last week.  The Braves  are still looking to hit their stride in this, just third game of the season after their opener with Bethune-Cookman was canceled. Grambling (2-1, 1-0 SWAC) has been rolling, particularly on offense this season.  They nearly shocked FBS Arizona and have blown out Jackson State and Virginia Lynchburg.  This will actually be a better test for both teams to see where they are this season.

Jackson State at Arkansas-Pine Bluff - Looking listless in a blowout loss to Tennessee State and getting beat by NAIA Oklahoma Panhandle State had people expecting the worst last week for Arkansas-Pine Bluff (1-2, 1-0 SWAC).  Surprise! They score 45 and beat defending SWAC champs Alcorn State in overtime last week.  Now they host winless Jackson State (0-3, 0-1 SWAC), a team that has struggled on defense.  The fewest points they've given up this year is 35 in their 35-14 loss to Grambling last week.

Prairie View A&M at Mississippi Valley State - Prairie View A&M (2-1, 2-0 SWAC) heads to Mississippi Valley State (0-3, 0-2 SWAC) on a SWAC roll.  They've one eight straight conference games dating back to last season.  In their three games, MVSU has scored 30 points and was shut out last week at Texas Southern.  They rank last in total offense in the SWAC so far this season. The Delta Devils have not been able to run the ball at all, averaging 9.7 - yes, that's 9.7 - yards rushing per game.

Texas Southern at Alabama State - Texas Southern (1-2, 1-0 SWAC) got a needed win last week in shutting out Mississippi Valley State.  And Alabama Sate (0-3, 0-1 SWAC) needs a win. The Hornets had good showings at FBS Texas-San Antonio and against Alcorn State, but everything fell apart in a blowout 64-6 loss to Southern last week. Alabama State relies on a running game by committee, along with quarterback Quinterris Toppings.

Southern at Alabama A&M - Southern (1-2, 1-0 SWAC) may have lost two of their three games so far, but dont let that fool you. The Jags took FBS Louisiana-Monroe to the wire and were outmanned against FBS Tulane.  So they were full ready to take out their frustrations on Alabama State last week. Their offensive threesome in quarterback Austin Howard, running back Lenard Tillery and wide receiver Willie Quinn can light up anyone.  Alabama A&M (1-2, 1-1 SWAC) is led by quarterback De'Angelo Ballard and running back Jordan Bentley who is fourth among FCS freshman running backs with 236 yards a game.


Chowan at Livingstone - The Livingstone (1-2) offense has shown life after scoring three in their opening game.  Jarius Richardson has rushed for a little more than 200 yards and three touchdowns in their last two games. Chowan (2-1, 1-0 CIAA) has done it through the air, with Randall Dixon throwing for 399 yards last week against West Florida, though running back Tyree Lee had a breakout game last week with 139 yards and two touchdowns rushing.

Bowie State at Shaw - The Bowie State (1-2, 1-0 CIAA) offense has been clicking this year. The Bulldogs have lost to an FCS team and a strong Division II team, but have scored at least 35 on both of them.  Shaw (0-3) is at the opposite end of the spectrum.  They've given up at least 35 in all three of their losses, and their 19 points was the most they've scored in a game this year.  They scored six and seven in their first two games.

Virginia State at Winston-Salem State - This usually would be the preview of the CIAA title game. This year, there are questions.  Virginia State' (3-0) defense continues to play lights out as 10 is the most they've allowed in a game this season.  The Trojans have controlled the clock with a bruising running game led by Kavon Bellamy (113 yards per game) and Trenton Cannon (72 yards per game). Winston-Salem State (1-2, 0-1 CIAA) has had three tough games, two against really strong Division II programs.  But the loss to Virginia Union last week was unexpected, especially how easily the Panthers won.

St. Augustine's at Lincoln (Pa) - St. Augustine's (0-3) has been in three mismatches this season - FCS North Carolina A&T, FBS ACC North Carolina State and one of the better Division II programs in the country, Carson-Newman. Today, they get to battle someone on their own level in Lincoln (Pa) (1-2) in the CIAA opener for both.  Aside from a blowout loss to FCS Morehead State, Lincoln (Pa) has look solid in losing to Cheyney and defeating Lincoln (Mo) on the road.

Johnson C. Smith at Elizabeth City State - Johnson C. Smith (0-3, 0-1 CIAA) has been shutout in their last two games after scoring 28 against Wingate.  Granted, those losses were to Bowie State and FCS Wofford. Elizabeth City State (1-2) off their first win of the season, a 35-30 victory over Morehouse. Quarteback Daquan Neal has been their leader in the passing game and in the rushing game this season.

Fayetteville State at Virginia Union - Virginia Union (1-2, 1-0 CIAA) is at home after getting a huge win over Winston-Salem State last week. Quarterback Shawheem Dowdy and running back William Stanback have been the offensive cogs for the Panthers.  Fayetteville State (0-3, 0-1 CIAA) before being shut down by FCS Elon last week, fought hard against a good Chowan team but couldn't do much to stop a really good UNC Pembroke squad.


North Carolina Central at Norfolk State - These two teams open their MEAC schedules with Norfolk State (1-2) actually playing their first FCS team this season.  They defeated Division II Elizabeth City State in their opener and then fell to two FBS teams. North Carolina Central (1-2) has had much the same story, falling to FBS Duke and Western Michigan before beating up on Division II St. Augustine last week.

Delaware State at Missouri - This one could be ugly. Delaware State (0-2) had a 20-point second half against Monmouth last week, but that was after trailing 27-0 at halftime and being blown out by Delaware 56-14 opening day. Now they have to head to FBS SEC Missouri (1-2), a team that is still smarting from last week's close loss to SEC foe Georgia.  They will be looking to pile up the points today at home.

South Carolina State at Florida A&M - Its the MEAC opener for both teams and no one probably thought that BOTH of these teams would be 0-3 heading into this contest. Florida A&M is still trying to get their program turned around.  But South Carolina State is winless, though coming into this game, they've played two FBS teams - one of them Clemson - and one of the nation's top Division II teams in Tuskegee last week.  But South Carolina State hasn't lost to Florida A&M since 2011.

Howard at Morgan State - In this matchup of old rivals, Howard (0-3, 0-1 MEAC) has had major problems scoring this season.  They haven't scored at all in the second or third quarters and they've only totaled 34 points in three games this season.  Morgan State (0-2) will be playing their first home night game since 2010.  They've won nine of the last 11 games in this series. The Bears are led by graduate transfer quarterback Chris Andrews who has thrown for 312 yards a game this season.

Bethune-Cookman at Savannah State - Bethune-Cookman (0-2) opens MEAC play after two tough losses to FCS North Texas and Tennessee State.  They will be heavily favored against a Savannah State (0-2) team that hasn't scored yet this season and has given up 54 points to Georgia Southern and 56 to Southern Mississippi.


Lane at Tuskegee - This is shaping up to be a great game. One thing that Lane (3-0, 1-0 SIAC) won't do much is pass.  This is a running team that has averaged 265 yards a game on the ground, scoring 11 touchdowns this season. That is due to their "Marcus" offense - dual threat quarterback Marcus Reynolds and running back Marcus Holiday.  Tuskegee (3-0, 2-0 SIAC) is a little more balanced offensively, but their strength is on defense, particularly against the rush.

Kentucky State at Central State - Kentucky State (0-3, 0-1 SIAC) is struggling. They are the SIAC's worst team in total offense and defense.  Offense is where they really suffer, averaging only 167 yards a game.  Central State (0-3, 0-2 SIAC) is the exact opposite on offense as they lead the conference in total offense with nearly 400 yards a game.  It's defense where they suffer.  They are next to last -- to Kentucky State -- in total defense.

Miles at Morehouse - It's always hard to say that a game is a big one for a team this early in the season, but for Morehouse, it is.  The Maroon Tigers (2-1, 1-0 SIAC) are looking for momentum heading into the toughest part of a schedule that has Tuskegee and Albany State coming up soon. They move the ball well, but have been mistake prone.  Miles (1-1, 1-0 SIAC), the defending SIAC champs, are smarting from last week's 29-0 shutout by West Georgia.  A key will be whether starting quarterback David Whipple is recovered from injury.  A key matchup - Miles running back Jamarcus Nance (87 yards a game) against the Morehouse defense (allowing only 94 yards rushing a game).

Fort Valley State at Benedict - It took Fort Valley State (1-2, 1-1 SIAC) three overtimes to put down an improving Clark Atlanta team last week.  The Wildcats have been up and down on offense, have been good offensively, except for a tough 10-7 loss to Lane. Benedict (2-1, 1-0 SIAC) has bounced back from an offensively ugly first game when they scored five points in a win to putting up 42 on Central State.

West Georgia at Albany State - Albany State (1-2, 0-1 SIAC) isn't joking around about getting ready now for the Division II playoffs.  Three of their first four games have been against Tuskegee, Valdosta State and now West Georgia, all Division II playoff teams. West Georgia (3-0) has already shut out defending SIAC champs Miles and gave up their first touchdowns of the season last week in a tough win over Delta State.

Ave Maria at Clark Atlanta - This Clark Atlanta (1-2, 1-2 SIAC) team isn't the doormat that they've been in recent years.  They played Tuskegee tough and could just as easily be 2-1 now had they held on in a three-overtime loss to Fort Valley State last week.  They now get Ave Maria, an 0-3 NAIA team averages just under seven points a game this season.


Bloomsburg at Cheyney - It's the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference opener for both Bloomsburg (2-1) and Cheyney (1-2). Bloomsburg suffered their first loss of the season in overtime last week while Cheyney was blown out by Indiana (Pa) 55-0.  Bloomsburg has beaten Cheyney 26 straight times.

Lincoln (Mo) at Truman State - Lincoln (Mo) (0-3, 1-0 GLVC) is looking for their first win of the season after a blowout loss last week to Quincy.  But Lincoln (Mo) (0-3, 0-1 GLVC) has had leads in their other two losses this season. Truman State has beaten Lincoln (Mo) each of the last 20 times they've played. The last Lincoln (Mo) win against Truman State in 1973.

Langston at McMurry - Langston (2-1) defeated McMurry last season 32-29 and looks to follow up using a balanced offense led by quarterback Mark Wright Jr. (586 yards and a touchdown passing this season) and running back Kievon Johnson (309 yards and three touchdowns).  McMurry is a good scoring team, having put up 63 on Texas College last week and 17 in a close loss to Southwestern. It's a game where Langston's Evan Scott and Christian Minies can make a real difference.  The two have led a defense in which they've each had 19 tackles this year.

Point at Edward Waters - Edward Waters (0-3), a NAIA feisty team that has spent much of their season taking on NCAA Division II teams lost last week to FBS Jacksonville. They host a Point (1-3) team that has struggled to score in their three losses.  Their first win of the season came last week over Virginia-Lynchburg, a game in which they did score 34 points.