By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
BASN HBCU Game Of The Week: No. 3 Alabama A&M vs. No. 8 Southern
NEW HAVEN, Ct. — This week’s Black College football action began this past Thursday night when Alcorn State nipped Prairie View A&M 17-14 in a SWAC match up at Blackshear Stadium.
Two other key SWAC match ups, which include four teams from BASN’s Black College Football Top 10 Poll, are a part of another full slate of HBCU games this weekend.
No. 3 Alabama A&M (3-1, 2-1 SWAC East) will host No. 8 Southern (3-2, 2-1 SWAC West) at Lewis Crews Stadium. Two weeks ago, the Bulldogs rallied to defeat Texas Southern 19-14 at Houston.
The Jaguars took advantage of four Alabama State turnovers, which they converted into 21 points, en route to a 38-20 defeat against the Hornets. Defensive back Michael Williams’ 82-yard interception return for a score also helped key SU’s victory.
Also, No. 5 Grambling State (1-3, 1-1 SWAC West) travels to Itta Bena, Mississippi to meet the ninth-ranked Delta Devils of Mississippi Valley State (3-2, 2-2 SWAC East) at Rice-Totten Stadium.
MVSU received a major score last week from NAIA opponent Concordia College before they outlasted the Hornets 21-14. Down 14-13 in late in the game, the Delta Devils got a one-yard touchdown run from Walter Burnett with 31 seconds remaining to seal the win.
GSU got its first win of the season last week as they pummeled Prairie View 53-7. SWAC Offensive Player of the Week Ab Kuuan ran for 113 yards and a touchdown to help key the Tigers’ victory.
In other games matching teams in the BASN Top 10: (1) Hampton vs. Central State (Ohio) at Indianapolis (Circle City Classic at the RCA Dome) Coming off a 55-53 overtime loss to Virginia Union, the Marauders (0-2) now meet the top-ranked Pirates (5-0) on neutral ground. In the only previous meeting between the two schools, Central prevailed 80-13 back in 1997. Hampton tailback Alonzo Coleman could become the MEAC’s all-time leading rusher. He needs just 143 yards to break the mark.
(2) N.C. Central at Saint Augustine’s College Last year’s contest was a battle for the top slot in the region and St. Aug’s handled NCCU in its worst loss of the season, 22-8. The Falcons easily handled the Eagles and looked to be on a fast track toward the NCAA Playoffs and the CIAA title game. However, St. Aug lost its final two contests and allowed NCCU to slip into the Championship Game and the rest is history.
(4) Jackson State vs. Alabama State (Gulf Coast Classic at Mobile, Ala.) The Tigers are sitting with a 2-0 conference mark (3-1 overall) and at the top of the Eastern Division. The Hornets (2-3 overall, 2-2 SWAC) have lost two straight and need this game to have an outside shot at the divisional title. The game will be seen live on CSTV.
(6) Lane College at Kentucky State The Dragons (6-0, 3-0 SIAC) top-rated offense travels to Frankfurt to battle with the SIAC’s top-ranked defense in KSU (3-2, 2-1 SIAC). Needless to say, something will have to give on Saturday. Keep this in mind: Lane’s opponents have combined for a 7-26 overall record. The Thoroughbreds will be the first team with a winning record that LC has faced this season.
Virginia State at (7) Elizabeth City State ECSU junior QB Curtis Rich has thrown 12 touchdowns and only one interception in ‘06 in leading the Vikings to a surprising 4-1 start. Defensively, the Vikings have one of the best fronts in Division II with Maceo Thomas, and Greg Moore. VSU took a difficult loss at homecoming last weekend when Fayetteville State nearly shut them out 30-3. The Trojans face a difficult task looking for its first win at ECSU.
(10) Miles College at Albany State Two 3-0 teams meet in Albany for the top spot in the SIAC. Miles (4-1) is coming off an impressive victory against Savannah State, while ASU (3-2) used special teams to outlast Benedict. Look for ASU to try and make this a low scoring, defensive struggle. The Golden Rams lead the SIAC in total rushing defense. With the Division II regional polls set to be released this Monday, this game takes on an added significance.
OTHER GAMES OF NOTE Delaware State at Bethune-Cookman Both teams suffered losses disappointing losses last week and desperately need wins to stay in the MEAC title hunt. The Wildcats are haven’t forgotten about last year’s 17-0 shutout in what BCC coach Alvin Wyatt called “weather you could bearly walk in”. DSU’s offense has been struggling over the last two weeks, while BCC is trying to get healthy.
Morehouse vs. Tuskegee at Columbus, Ga.
(71st Annual Morehouse-’Skegee Classic) Both teams enter this contest coming off losses to SWAC opponents in their last games. Morehouse (2-4, 1-3 SIAC) lost to Alcorn State 23-6 in Los Angeles, while Tuskegee (3-2, 3-1 SIAC) fell 35-19 to Arkansas-Pine Bluff in the Gateway Classic at St. Louis. TU leads the all-time series 61-27-7.
Johnson C. Smith at Livingstone The oldest rivalry in black college football will be renewed this weekend in Salisbury, N.C. The first contest between the Golden Bulls and Blue Bears took place in 1892 and 104 years later there is still no love lost on the football field. JCSU still controls its own postseason destiny. With only one conference loss, the Golden Bulls remain one game behind undefeated N.C. Central.