HBCU Weekend Roundup: Week Six

By Tony McClean
Updated: September 26, 2008

NEW HAVEN, Ct. — I don’t know who actually said it, but someone smarter than me once said football is a collision sport. This weekend, a major collision between two longtime Black College powers will take place in Atlanta.

Coming off a conference opening win against Eastern Kentucky, Tennessee State (4-0) puts their perfect record on the line at the Georgia Dome to meet the Rattlers of Florida A&M (2-1) in the 20th annual Atlanta Classic.

Ranked number two in the latest BTRC/BASN HBCU Top 10 Poll, the Tigers already have wins against three SWAC opponents (Alabama A&M, Southern, and Jackson State) this season and are seeking their first 5-0 start since 2001.

FAMU, tied for 10th with MEAC foe Norfolk State in the BTRC/BASN poll, are coming off a road 51-24 shellacking over Howard. The Rattlers had four takeaways vs. the Bison returning both an interception and a fumble for touchdowns.

The game also features two of college football’s best running backs in TSU’s Javarris Williams and FAMU’s Phillip Sylvester. A member of the BTRC/BASN Preseason All-America Team, Williams has run for 291 yards (72.8 ypg.) and five TDs thru four games including 117 yards against Eastern Kentucky last week.

The 2007 MEAC’s Rookie Of The Year, Sylvester is averaging 55 yards per game. He had his best outing of the year last week against by totalling 132 yards on 14 carries with an 11-yard TD run.

The game, scheduled to start at 4 p.m. ET, will be seen nationally on VERSUS and can be heard on Classics Sports Radio Network. The game can also be heard on the Internet at www.classicsportsradio.com.


No. 1 Tuskegee at Fort Valley State

The Golden Tigers (3-0, 3-0 SIAC) are seeking their 19th straight victory dating back to 2006. They’ve won seven of their last eight meetings against FVSU. Since a 1-1 start, the Wildcats (1-3, 1-1 SIAC) have lost two straight home games to Morehouse College and Virginia Union.

Morehouse College vs. No. 3 Prairie View at Los Angeles

In the second annual Angel City Classic, the Panthers (3-0) look to stay unbeaten against an improving Morehouse squad (3-1). Last year, the classic drew 39,583 fans for its inaugural event that saw Prairie View down North Carolina A&T. The Tigers have three straight SIAC games after opening the season with a loss to Tuskegee.

No. 5 Albany State at Benedict College

After a week off, the Golden Rams (3-0, 2-0 SIAC) look to stay perfect in a game against league foe Benedict (2-2, 1-1 SIAC). Both of the Tigers wins have come at Charlie W. Johnson Stadium, including last week’s 39-13 win against Lenoir-Rhyne.

Central Connecticut at No. 6 Delaware State

The Hornets (1-1) return to action after a week off looking to extend their nine-game home winning streak at Alumni Stadium. The Blue Devils (2-1), who are ranked ninth in the nation in rushing offense, are coming off a 35-23 home victory over North Carolina Central last week.

No. 8 South Carolina State at Winston-Salem State

The Bulldogs (2-2) lead the all-time series 5-1 against WSSU, including the last two meetings. The winless Rams (0-3) are playing the third of four consecutive home games. Both teams are coming off losses: WSSU fell 21-7 to Morgan State while Clemson thrashed SCSU 54-0.

Langston College at No. 9 Grambling State

A week away from their showdown with Prairie View, the Tigers (2-2) look to maintain their winning ways against their NAIA opponent. GSU pulled out a hard fought 14-5 win against Jackson State last week.

No. 10 Norfolk State at Bethune-Cookman

Last year, the Spartans snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Wildcats (2-1, 0-1 MEAC) scoring in the final minute to pull out a 38-31 win. NSU (2-2, 1-0 MEAC) will have to keep their eye on BCC freshman QB Maurice Francois, who ran for 121 yards in his first start last week. The “Wyattbone” offense generated 412 yards on the ground in their win against Savannah State.