HBCU Weekend Roundup: Week Five

By Tony McClean
Updated: September 19, 2008

FAMU Tubas NEW HAVEN, Ct. — The last time Jackson State and Grambling State last met on the football field, it was not only reminiscent of this past Monday night’s Eagles-Cowboys shootout, it was for the SWAC Championship.

Rick Comegy’s Tigers, who lost during the regular season meeting 30-20 against GSU, would avenge that loss by defeating them 42-31 in the title game at Birmingham. The teams are set to meet again Saturday night at Grambling in a pivotal SWAC contest.

Graduations have made several changes to both rosters, especially when it comes to the team’s signal callers — both of whom are transfers. JSU’s Trae Rutland, who played in eight games last season, led the Tigers to a win over Stillman two weeks ago.

The junior from Atlanta and Mississippi State transfer is completing over 55 percent of his passes and has thrown one TD pass in each game this season.

As for Grambling, (ranked 10th in the last BTRC/BASN poll) they’re being lead by sophomore J.P. Tillman, a Houston native and University of Missouri transfer who came off the bench two weeks ago to lead the Tigers to a win over Alcorn State.

Last week he made his first start at Northwestern State, completing 15 of 30 passes for 169 yards and had a TD run in the loss. Since the 1999 Championship game, the team that won the title is 6-2 in the championship game rematch the following year.

Grambling State has had the upper hand this decade, winning seven of the last nine match ups since 2000.

OTHER KEY GAMES

NO. 1 TUSKEGEE at STILLMAN

The top-ranked Golden Tigers (2-0, 2-0 SIAC) look to win their 19th straight dating back to October 2006 as they visit league foe Stillman College (1-2, 1-1 SIAC). The Tigers have lost all three previous meetings against TU being outscored 91-33, including last year’s 35-7 romp.

EASTERN KENTUCKY at NO. 2 TENNESSEE STATE

The unbeaten Tigers (3-0) open their Ohio Valley Conference schedule against the Colonels (1-2). TSU is seeking their first 4-0 start since 2001, when they finished 8-3. However, they’ve lost nine straight against EKU.

NO. 3 PRAIRIE VIEW at MISSISSIPPI VALLEY

The Panthers (2-0) had last week’s game at Sam Houston State cancelled due to Hurricane Ike. Prairie View A&M is bidding for its first 3-0 start since 1964. Dating back to last year, the Panthers have won four straight. The Delta Devils (1-1) are coming off a road loss at Southern.

N.C. A&T at NO. 4 HAMPTON

The Aggies (2-1, 0-1 MEAC) are coming off a tough loss to Norfolk State by a score of 27-21, while the Pirates (2-1, 1-0) are coming off a tough second-half win against Howard 38-27. A&T’s last victory over Hampton came back on Nov. 15, 2003, when they defeated the Pirates 38-28 at Aggie Stadium.

NO. 6 S.C. STATE at CLEMSON

The inaugural “Battle of South Carolina” commences at Frank Howard Stadium. The game will also be the site of a Hamlin family reunion this weekend. There will be three brothers on the field with that last name, Clemson starting safety Michael Hamlin and South Carolina State defensive backs Markee Hamlin, a junior, and Marquais Hamlin, a freshman.

NO. 8 NORFOLK STATE at WILLIAM & MARY

After winning its MEAC opener last week to improve to 2-1, NSU steps out of conference to face area foe William & Mary in Williamsburg. This will just the third time the schools have met on the gridiron, and first since 1985. The Tribe won both prior meetings and is 5-0 all-time against MEAC opponents. The Spartans will be playing a CAA school for just the fifth time ever and first since 2000, when it lost at Villanova.

NO. 9 WEST VIRGINIA STATE at CHARLESTON

The Yellow Jackets (3-0) will try to stay unbeaten in the WVC after their 21-20 road victory against Fairmont State last week. They’ll travel to Charleston to go up against the Eagles’ triple-gun offense. Last year, they scored the second-most points against WVSU, earning a 49-32 victory at Lakin Field for their third victory in three meetings between the teams.

NOTE: No. 5 Albany State and No. 7 Delaware State are idle.

THURSDAY’S RESULT

Alcorn State 13, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 3: A struggling Alcorn St. found the end zone only once on a touchdown strike from Tim Buckley, but it would be enough to give the host Braves their first win of the season over Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The Golden Lions couldn’t find the end zone and scored their only points in the first quarter on a 25-yard field goal from Carlos Reyes.

The Lions could only muster 62 yards on the ground on 29 carries. Quarterback Jonathan Moore was 10-of-20 passing for 104 yards, but killed a second-quarter drive with an interception on Alcorn’s 36. Gvona Turner also saw some playing time for the Lions, but was sacked four times and completed only 3 of 6 passes.

The Braves (1-3) also added a pair of field goals after taking the lead for good in the second quarter. Tayl Richardson kicked two 37-yarders, one each in the third and fourth quarters.