HBCU Football Spotlight: Week Five

By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus

NEW HAVEN, Ct. — Morgan State’s huge win at North Carolina A&T last Saturday was not only the biggest story of the weekend but maybe the biggest story of the season. The 16-13 upset snapped a 15-game overall winning streak for the Aggies, an 11-game home winning streak and an eight-game MEAC win streak.

The Aggies also dropped to 12th in the FCS media poll and 13th in the FCS Coaches poll. A&T didn’t have long to lament on the loss as they hosted South Carolina State in a Thursday night MEAC contest on ESPNU.

 

 

More on that later. Here’s a look at some of the key conference games set for Saturday.

SWAC

It’s homecoming week for Southern (2-2, 1-0) as they host Alcorn State (3-1, 1-0) at Baton Rouge at 7 pm ET. It will also be a showdown between two of the conference’s top field generals in SU’s sophomore John Lampley and redshirt junior Noah Johnson of ASU.

Second in the SWAC in total offense, Johnson is averaging 233.3 yards per game. He has passed for 660 yards and five touchdowns in four games and has added for 273 rushing yards with five scores.

As for Lampley, he’s thrown for 605 yards and is fourth overall in total offense. Both teams are coming off a pair of road wins in their league openers. The Braves thrashed Mississippi Valley State 56-20 while the Jags outlasted Alabama A&M 29-27 in the Gulf Coast Classic.

Also, Prairie View A&M (2-3, 1-0) will meet Grambling State (1-2, 1-0) in the State Fair Classic at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas (5 pm ET). Both schools also won their conference openers last week.

GSU scored on all three phases of the game, as the Tigers built a comfortable 21-0 first-quarter lead en route to a 34-0 blanking of Alabama State. PVAM was in cruise control throughout last weekend as the Panthers rolled past Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 62-13.

The Tigers have won 26 straight conference games. Saturday’s contest marks the first meeting between GSU’s Broderick Fobbs and his former offensive assistant coach Eric Dooley.

 

 

And, Jackson State (1-1) will host Alabama A&M (1-3, 0-1) in the Tigers’ home opener in the 11th Annual W.C. Gordon Classic (5 pm ET) at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.  JSU hasn’t played since their 18-16 upset at Florida A&M on September 15th.

SIAC

It took a Hail Mary pass from Michael Sims to Tremell Gooden on the last play of the game for Morehouse College to remain unbeaten. The Maroon Tigers (4-0, 2-0) beat Miles College (0-4, 2-0) 23-21 in the 21st Chicago Football Classic at Soldier Field.

Morehouse overcame a 21-10 deficit the third quarter to rally for the win. MC drove 84 yards in eight plays for the game-winning score. They’ll remain on the road again this week to meet Kentucky State (0-4, 0-1) at 4 pm ET in Frankfurt.

Tuskegee (2-2, 2-0) will look to bounce back from their first home loss since November of 2016 when they host Lane College (0-3, 0-2) at 1 pm ET. The Golden Tigers own the overall series record against the Dragons with a 22-0 mark.

Last week, Lane lost at home to Albany State. The game can be seen live on FloSports.

 

 

MEAC

Fresh off a pair of road wins, Norfolk State (2-1) returns to Dick Price Stadium to meet winless Delaware State (0-3). NSU’s 17-7 win at South Carolina State is considered a non-conference victory because of the league’s unbalanced schedule.

All MEAC teams are only playing seven conference games this year. The Hornets had a bye week last Saturday following a 0-3 start to the season that included a pair of losses to FBS teams.

The Spartans are seeking their first 3-1 start since the 2011 season, which culminated in NSU’s first MEAC title (since vacated). The game, slated for a 4 pm ET kickoff, can be seen live on ESPN3.

 

 

Also, N.C. Central (1-2) will host Florida A&M (2-2, 1-0) in the Eagles’ league opener at 4 pm ET. It’s only the sixth gridiron meeting between NCCU and the Rattlers in the past 45 years.

Last week, the Eagles fell 55-13 to Duke in the 7th Annual Bull City Gridiron Classic. FAMU scored 28 points in the second half to stymie the resilient Tigers of Savannah State 31-13.

This game can also be seen live on ESPN3.

CIAA

After a four-game road trip to open the season, Bowie State (3-1, 1-0) will finally play a home game at Bulldogs Stadium on Saturday. BSU will host Winston-Salem State (1-2, 0-1) in a 4 pm ET contest.

In their league opener, the Bulldogs jumped out to a 26-7 lead at the half and cruised to a 32-22 win over St. Aug’s. BSU churned out 388 of total offense (354 in the air) in the victory.

The Rams have lost two straight since their season-opening win against UNC Pembroke. Last week, Virginia Union freshman running back Tabyus Taylor ran for 138 yards (25 carries) and three touchdowns as the Panthers (2-1, 1-0) defeated the Rams 27-19.

 

 

VUU will host Livingstone College (2-1, 1-0) at Hovey Field in Richmond at 1 pm ET. The Blue Bears defense tossed their second straight shutout last week as they blanked winless Lincoln (Pa.) 30-0 in their league opener.

Last week’s game between Fayetteville State and Elizabeth City State was postponed. Both schools will back in action this Saturday. The Broncos (1-1) travel to Murfreesboro to battle Chowan (1-2) in a 6 pm ET kickoff.

ECSU (1-1) hosts St. Aug’s (0-3, 0-1) at 1 pm ET.

THURSDAY’S RESULT

Lamar Raynard threw for 253 yards and three touchdowns and host North Carolina A&T scored 28 straight points to beat South Carolina State 31-16, a week after the Aggies’ 15-game winning streak was snapped.

N.C. A&T (4-1) trailed 16-3 late before rallying. The Aggies scored with 35 seconds left in the first half on Jah-Maine Martin’s 40-yard run, then received the second-half kickoff and went 94 yards to take the lead at 17-16. Marquell Cartwright highlighted the drive with a 53-yard run and Zachary Leslie capped it with a 9-yard touchdown reception.

Ron Hunt made it 24-16 on the first play of the fourth quarter with a 7-yard catch, and Malik Wilson hauled in a 44-yard touchdown pass on third-and-19. Cartwright rushed for 157 yards.

Tyrece Nick had 90 yards through the air and 49 on the ground for South Carolina State (0-4). Freshman Farrika Grier opened the scoring with a 7-yard run in the first quarter, giving SCSU its first points before halftime all season.

Anthony McClean can be reached via email at anthonymcclean@basnnewsroom.com.

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