By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus
NEW HAVEN, Ct. — With the looming spectre of Hurricane Florence heading into the weekend, Saturday’s HBCU football schedule has been affected. As of press time, a group of games has either been canceled or postponed.
One school that’s been greatly affected by the weather this season is Tennessee State. The 1-0 Tigers have already lost two games on their schedule. This Saturday’s scheduled matchup against Hampton has already been postponed.
A decision on whether or not the game will be rescheduled will be made at a later time. This also comes off the heels of seeing their Southern Heritage Classic contest against Jackson State canceled due to heavy rains and lightning last Saturday.
TSU hasn’t played since a 34-3 victory over Bethune-Cookman in the John Merritt Classic on September 1. The Tigers’ next scheduled game is slated for Charleston, Ill. against Eastern Illinois on September 22nd.
The first MEAC contest of the year — N.C. Central at South Carolina State — has been postponed until Nov. 24, while the Norfolk State at Liberty contest was postponed to Dec. 1 (pending the Spartans’ postseason status). The Savannah State at Howard contest also has been postponed, and a makeup date has not been announced.
Norfolk’s game last week versus James Madison was delayed 90 minutes by storms in the Hampton Roads area. It was called after one quarter after another delay of 50 minutes as JMU won 17-0.
As for the remaining games, Florida A&M (1-1) hosts Jackson State (0-2) at 5 pm ET (ESPN Plus), Bethune-Cookman (1-1) travels to meet Florida Atlantic (1-1) at 6 pm ET, Morgan State (0-2) visits Albany (0-2) at 7 pm ET, and Western Michigan (0-2) hosts Delaware State (0-2) at 7 pm ET (ESPN Plus).
FAMU’s game versus Jackson State is the first meeting against the Tigers since 2014. This also marks the second straight year FAMU has hosted a team from the SWAC as they opened with Texas Southern in 2017.
Undefeated North Carolina A&T (3-0) is idle this week.
Saturday’s impending weather has affected the CIAA the most as six of the scheduled eight games have been either postponed or canceled. Elizabeth City State, Winston Salem State, and the City of Rocky Mount, N.C., announced that all events for the 21st Down East Football Viking Classic have been canceled.
The game may be rescheduled at a later time in Elizabeth City.
Also, the Fayetteville State Department of Athletics has canceled all athletic activities, including Saturday’s football game against Benedict College. No make-up date is scheduled.
Virginia Union at J.C. Smith, Livingstone College at Lane College, Virginia State at Saint Augustine’s, and Chowan at Shaw have also been canceled. Make up days for these contests have yet to be determined.
On the field, Bowie State (1-1) will hit the road for the third straight week, this time making a first-ever trip to McKendree University in Lebanon, Ill. for a 2 pm ET non-conference showdown against the Bearcats.
Also, Lincoln, Pa. (0-2) travels to western Pennsylvania to meet Clarion at 1 pm ET.
Prairie View A&M (1-2) has reached the midway point of their opening six-game road trip. The Panthers will play their final non-conference game of the season Saturday facing the UNLV Rebels at 10 pm ET.
UNLV is the fourth straight non-conference opponent for the Panthers and second FBS opponent. PVAM opened the season at Conference USA member Rice, before facing N.C. Central of the MEAC and Sam Houston of the Southland Conference.
For the first time this season, Prairie View A&M will face a team that has played a game. The Rebels (1-1) lost their opening game 43-21 at USC before winning its home opener against UTEP 52-24.
Also, Southern (0-2) hosts NAIA member Langston (1-0) in the Jaguars’ home opener at A.W. Mumford Stadium (7 pm ET). The Jags have been beaten by Louisiana Tech (54-17) and TCU (55-7) to start the season.
Alabama A&M (1-1) and Alabama State (1-1) will play a pair of intriguing road games this weekend. The Bulldogs travel to Cincinnati to meet the Bearcats (2-0) at Nippert Stadium (7 pm ET, ESPN Plus)
Connell Maynor’s squad enters the game ranked ninth in the FCS in total defense (215 yards per game), and the Bulldogs are ranked third in passing defense (93 yards per game).
As for the Hornets, they’ll be on the road for the second consecutive week and will be playing their second consecutive ranked opponent when they face No. 8 Kennesaw State at Fifth Third Bank Stadium (6 pm ET, ESPN Plus).
ASU enters the weekend averaging 17.5 points per game in the two contests and just over 248 yards per game of total offense. The Hornets are currently ranked at the top of FCS football in red zone offense at 100 percent.
Grambling State (0-2) is idle this weekend.
Morehouse College (2-0) looks to stay perfect Saturday (5 pm ET) when they host Western Division rival Central State (1-1) in the Maroon Tigers’ home opener at B.T. Harvey Stadium.
Behind a career-high five touchdown passes by sophomore quarterback Michael Sims (13-of-23, 243 passing yards, and 39 rushing yards), Morehouse easily defeated Lane College (0-2) 42-20 at Jackson, Tenn. last Saturday
As for the Marauders, they recorded their first shutout since October of 2015 in a rain-soaked 7-0 win over Clark Atlanta last week. Jerry Lanier’s scoring run with 12:10 left in the third quarter was the margin of victory.
The Panthers (0-2) will be seeking their first win of the season Saturday (7 pm ET) when they host Tuskegee (1-1) at Panther Stadium. The Golden Tigers also tossed a shutout last week as they blanked rival Albany State (0-2) 20-0 in the White Water Classic.
Also, Fort Valley State (0-2) travels to Miles College (0-2) in another East vs. West battle.
Anthony McClean can be reached via email at email@example.com.