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BASN Black College Football Roundup: Week Seven
By Tony McClean
Updated: October 6, 2005
NEW HAVEN, Ct.— In 2002, Shaw University and St Augustine’s College of the CIAA re-emerged unto the football scene after a long hiatus. Last year, the Bears went 10-2 en route to a CIAA Championship and a wictory in the Pioneer Bowl.
Six weeks into the season, the undefeated Falcons are trying to follow suit. Coming off last week’s impressive 22-8 victory at N.C. Central, St. Aug’s 6-0 start is the school’s best since 1965 when they finished 8-1-1.
The Falcons, now ranked eighth in this week’s SBN Black College Football Poll, are also ranked number one in the NCAA’s Southeast Region. This is the first time since the NCAA began regional rankings in 1995 that a team from the CIAA has held the top ranking.
St. Aug’s looks to make it 7-0 Saturday in their homecoming battle with Johnson C. Smith (0-6, 0-3 CIAA West). The Falcons are tied with Winston-Salem State for the top spot in the Western Division at 3-0.
Three other HBCU squads (Albany State at No. 3; NCCU at No. 5; and Fort Valley State at No. 9) are also in the regional poll as well. While the Golden Rams (4-1, 4-1 SIAC) are idle this week, both the Eagles (5-1, 2-1 CIAA West) and the Wildcats (5-0, 5-1 SIAC) will be in action on Saturday.
N.C. Central, ranked 10th in the SBN poll, will host Fayetteville State (3-3, 1-2 CIAA West) in Durham. The Broncos have won the last four meetings against NCCU by a combined score of 97-34.
As for Fort Valley, ninth in the SBN poll, they’ll visit Kentucky State (4-2, 3-1 SIAC) Saturday. FVSU had to go into overtime last week before they outlasted Miles College. The Thorobreds nipped Lane College 24-21.
The HBCU football weekend got off to an early start Thursday night in Norfolk, Va. as the second-ranked Bulldogs of South Carolina State defeated Norfolk State 35-21 in a MEAC battle at Dick Price Stadium.
(SBN rankings in parentheses)
(1) HAMPTON (5-0) at GARDNER WEBB (2-2)
The top-ranked Pirates step out of conference play this week to battle the Bulldogs at Boiling Springs, N.C. HU won last year’s meeting at home. GW enters the game looking to snap a two-game skid. The Bulldogs opened the season with convincing wins over NAIA opponents Union (65-12) and Belhaven (54-7), but they have fell to I-AA foes UT-Martin and Furman.
(2) GRAMBLING ST. (2-1, 2-0 SWAC West) vs MISS. VALLEY ST. (2-2, 2-2 East)
The number two and number three teams in the conference in total offense will face off in a game featuring two of the top quarterbacks in the SWAC. Grambling State’s Bruce Eugene (363.3 passing yards – 1st in SWAC) will look to remain undefeated in conference play as he and the Tigers play host to Mississippi Valley State and quarterback Aries Nelson (338.0 total offensive yards – 2nd in SWAC).
(4) ALABAMA ST. (4-1, 4-0 SWAC East) at JACKSON ST (2-2, 2-0)
The Eastern Division will have only one undefeated team when this game is concluded. The Jackson State defense leads the conference allowing 110.5 pass yards per game while Alabama State is third in the SWAC averaging 305.6 passing yards per outing. The Hornet offensive unit (averaging 476.2 yards per contest) is tops in the SWAC and will be facing the third-ranked unit in total defense (JSU is allowing 324.0 yards per game).
(5) BETHUNE-COOKMAN (4-1, 2-1 MEAC) at DELAWARE ST (2-2, 1-1)
Two teams that appear to be going in opposite directions meet in Dover. The Wildcats are the MEAC’s highest scoring team and ranked ninth in the nation in scoring. Since their 2-0 start, the Hornets have dropped three straight with the opposition averaging nearly 40 points a game (38.3) during that stretch. BCC has won two straight overall and their last five meetings against DSU.
(7) TUSKEGEE (4-1, 3-1 SIAC) at MOREHOUSE (2-3, 1-3)
(70th Annual Morehouse-Skeege Classic)
The Golden Tigers will look to bounce back after last week’s 31-21 loss against Albany State. Morehouse has been idle since a 31-22 loss to Kentucky State on September 24th. In last year’s meeting, the Golden Tigers hammered the Maroon Tigers 56-8.