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BASN Black College Football Roundup: Week Six
By Tony McClean
Updated: September 30, 2005
NEW HAVEN, Ct. — When SIAC rivals Tuskegee and Albany State meet on the gridiron, there’s usually something big at stake. Saturday’s showdown at Albany will be no exception. In last year’s battle, the Golden Rams’ 33-29 win came on a Hail Mary touchdown pass in the final seconds.
ASU (3-1, 3-1 SIAC) scored 26 fourth-quarter points to rally for the win, handing the Golden Tigers their only loss of the regular season. Needless to say, but TU (4-0, 3-0) and their fans have been anxiously awaiting the rematch.
While the Rams, ranked eighth in the SBN Black College Football Poll, are looking to stay in the title hunt, a Tuskegee win will keep the third-ranked Tigers atop the SIAC standings along with Fort Valley State (4-1, 4-0).
The Wildcats, who entered this week’s poll for the first time at No. 10, will host Miles College (1-4, 1-3) on Saturday. The Wildcats jumped out to a 21-0 lead against Benedict last week, but had to hold on for a 35-24 victory.
In the CIAA, a battle of unbeatens highlights the schedule for the second straight week. Fresh off their 38-19 win against Bowie State last week, N.C. Central (5-0, 2-0 CIAA) hosts St. Augustine’s (5-0, 2-0) in a Western Division showdown.
The fourth-ranked Eagles are 5-0 for the first time since 1969 when they opened the season with seven straight wins. NCCU leads the overall series 24-1-1 with St. Aug’s only victory coming in a 34-31 win at Durham in 2003.
The Falcons have posted two shutouts and allowed just 26 points in their first five games. They lead all of Division II in total defense (184.8 ypg.) and pass defense (66.8 ypg.), are second in scoring defense (5.2 ppg.) and third in rushing defense (54.8 ypg.).
(SBN rankings in parentheses)
DELAWARE STATE (2-1, 1-0 MEAC) at (1) HAMPTON (4-0, 3-0)
The Hornets are the last MEAC team to defeat the top-ranked Pirates. In fact, Saturday’s home opener for HU comes nearly a year to the day of DSU’s 28-23 shocker at Dover from last October. The Pirates churned out 576 yards of offense in last week’s 44-14 thrashing of Morgan State in the Urban League Classic at the Meadowlands. After a 2-0 start, the Hornets have been outscored 89-13 in their last two losses.
COASTAL CAROLINA (3-1) at (2) SOUTH CAROLINA STATE (3-0)
The battle for Division I-AA football supremacy in the state of South Carolina’s commences in Orangesburg Saturday as the Chanticleers and Bulldogs meet for the first time. While SCSU was idle last week, Coastal defeated Delaware State in Conway. Coastal enters the game on a nine-game winning streak. The Bulldogs nipped Bethune-Cookman two weeks ago and looks to keep pace with Hampton.
(5) GRAMBLING STATE (1-1, 1-0 SWAC) at PRAIRIE VIEW (1-1, 0-1)
Idle last week, Grambling State and Prairie View will meet in what some consider one of the more exciting games in black college football. While GSU has dominated the all-time series, PVAM made a strong showing last season and will look to reverse the winner’s fortune this season. Prairie View is currently averaging 303.5 offensive yards per contest and ranks seventh in the SWAC in total offense. It has been more than two decades since the Panthers averaged over 300 offensive yards. Grambling State is sixth in total offense averaging 307.5 yards per contest.
(9) SOUTHERN (1-1, 1-1 SWAC) at (6) ALABAMA STATE (3-1, 3-0)
These two programs hold the last two conference championships and have provided some of the best sports drama in the SWAC over the past five seasons. When they met during the regular season, Southern came from behind to win 42-41; their meeting in December saw Alabama State winning their first conference title in the SCG era. Both teams are powered by quarterbacks who can move the football: Alabama State’s Tarvaris Jackson (68-111-2, 1,128 yards, 282.0 ypg, 10 TDs) and Southern’s Joseph Lewis (43-67-1, 594 yards, 297.0 ypg, 4 TDs).
MORGAN STATE (2-1, 0-1 MEAC) at (7) BETHUNE-COOKMAN (2-1, 0-1)
The Wildcats are just hoping they can win in regulation during this week’s Homecoming contest. Alvin Wyatt’s crew survived a few scares as they outlasted Norfolk State 63-61 in four overtimes. P.J. Smith (a career-high 118 rushing yards) and Jimmie Russell each scored three times in what was an epic struggle for BCC. The Bears have lost six of their last seven meetings against the Wildcats.