Black College Football Focus: Week One

By Tony McClean
Updated: August 22, 2008

NEW HAVEN, Ct. — An 8-3 finish in 2007 has Fort Valley State football fans feeling very optimistic as the 2008 campaign approaches. The Wildcats and head coach Deondri Clark have 15 starters from last year including All-SIAC RB Pierre Brown (conference leading 874 yards, six TD) and DB Eddie Young (five picks, 33 tackles).

Fort Valley State won five of their last six games and just missed the Division II playoffs after finishing eighth in the Southeast Region rankings. Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET, they’ll begin their quest for postseason play with a huge opening day road task — a date with the defending Division II champions from Valdosta State.

FVSUFort Valley State vs. Valdosta StateValdosta State

The Blazers are coming off a 13-1 campaign that saw VSU claim its second national title in school history. They averaged 413.6 yards and 38.6 points a game last season while giving up 326.4 yards and 17.6 a game.

VSU returns 11 starters from ts national title team from last season. WR Cedric Jones (102 catches, 1,171 yards, 10 TDs) is expected to lead the Blazers on offense after an All-America season last year.

Two-time All-America honoree FS Sherard Reynolds (seven picks, 101 tackles) will lead the defensive and special teams units. He’ll be facing a FVSU offense that tallied 307.5 yards and 19.7 points a game while surrendering 21.4 points and 288.1 yards a game in 2007.

Valdosta State leads the all-time series 15-3, including wins in each of the last seven contests. Last season, VSU secured a 69-0 victory at Fort Valley, its second largest margin of victory in school history and first shutout in 40 games.

The game will be broadcast live as a part of the NCAA/CBS College Sports Network Game of the Week package. The broadcast can be seen live on CBS College Sports (Channel 152 on Dish Network and 437 on DirecTV), SportSouth (Channel 613 on Dish Network and 649 on DirecTV) or on the Internet at