BASN Black College Football Roundup: Week Three

By Tony McClean
Updated: September 9, 2005

NEW HAVEN, Ct. — After a week which saw the Gulf Coast states of Louisiana and Mississippi attempt to recover from the ravages of Hurricane Katrina, the players of Southern University, Alcorn State, and Grambling State will try get back on the football field.

The Braves, who were scheduled to open the season against GSU last Saturday, will open on the road Saturday against SE Louisiana. ASU’s game against SELU was originally scheduled to played this past Thursday.
The Tigers, ranked sixth in this week’s SBN Black College Football Poll, will host the Bulldogs of Alabama A&M Saturday at Eddie Robinson Stadium. December 10th will be the makeup date for GSU’s contest against Alcorn State.
As for Southern, the school’s basketball arena, the F.G. Clark Activity Center, is currently being used as a shelter and is housing more than 500 evacuees. The fifth-ranked Jaguars will open on road against Mississippi Valley State on Saturday night.
Both Grambling and Southern are sending food and money to victims, and have enrolled displaced students from area schools Dillard, Southern Uniiversity of New Orleans, and Xavier.
(Rankings in parentheses; All games are Saturday unless noted)
The Bison had their way with Winston-Salem last Saturday. QB Ronald Venters threw for 217 yards and the Howard defense held the Rams to -22 yards on the ground and 80 in the air in their 20-6 win. It will probably be a different story when they take on the top-ranked Pirates. Hampton has gone 9-2 against Howard under Coach Joe Taylor. Since the Bison won 26-7 in 1996, the Pirates have won the last eight meetings.
The Bulldogs were impressive in last week’s 27-14 opening win against Alabama State in the inaugural MEAC-SWAC Challenge. They now take on a Ram squad still searching for its first win of the season. In only his second career start, QB Cleveland McCoy combined for 243 yards of offense and was named the MEAC’s Offensive Player of The Week. WSSU head coach Kermit Blount is 2-12-1 all-time against MEAC opponents. However, one of those wins was a 39-28 victory against the Bulldogs back in 2000.
After a week off, the Golden Tigers return against the Golden Tigers at Birmingham on Saturday. TU produced 453 yards of total offense, 214 passing and 239 rushing in their 32-20 opening win against Stillman back on August 28. Miles is winless after conference losses to Albany State (24-23) and Clark Atlanta (21-2). In last year’s contest, the Golden Tigers coasted to 59-14 win over MC.

This game will feature two teams looking to make a serious push for their respective conference titles. Arkansas-Pine Bluff had a remarkable 2004 season, but found themselves on the losing end of a 30-17 decision in the season-opening Chicago Football Classic. A key figure on the Golden Lion defense looks to be Justin Bass, who tallied 13 total tackles including 3.0 tackles for loss, one forced fumble and one sack against Mississippi Valley State. Quarterback John Pierce completed 11-of18 passes for 170 yards in Chicago. Bethune-Cookman captured last year’s game 27-14.
The Eagles defeated North Carolina A&T 23-22, avenging last year’s last-second 16-15 defeat in the Aggie-Eagle Classic. However, the game was played on Monday and they have only a five-day turnaround from a hard-fought contest. The Bears also pulled off a surprising 32-27 win at Kentucky State last Saturday. By the way, the SAC has not lost a contest to the CIAA this season and they will hope to extend that streak.
The Hornets enter the game after a week one defeat in the Ford MEAC/SWAC Challenge. The team from Montgomery boasts one of the more potent offensive attacks in the conference with preseason player of the year Tarvaris Jackson and running back Keldrick Williams. Jackson completed 16-of-33 passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns. Williams struggled in the season opener and will look to have a better showing against the Tigers. Texas Southern is another team opening their season after the effects of the hurricane. The Tigers will be led by quarterback Tino Edgecombe and defensive back Stacey Thomas
Both teams are coming off bitter losses. After nipping Miles in their opener, ASU was defeated by Valdosta State on the road. The Thoroughbreds fell to Lenoir Rhyne at home. This game will be seen on ESPNU.