By Professor Fred Whitted NORTH CAROLINA (BASN) — The title above...
Game of the Week: No. 1 vs. No. 2
Saturday’s MEAC battle between Florida A&M and South Carolina State will not only likely decide who will win the conference (identical records of 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the MEAC), but it could also be the deciding factor in who takes home a National Black College Championship as well.
The Bulldogs and Rattlers (ranked 1-2 in both BoxToRow/BASN HBCU polls) currently are the highest scoring teams in the MEAC and each has several players at the top of statistical categories.
For example, FAMU quarterback Curtis Pulley leads the league in passing (198 ypg.) and total offense (272.4 ypg.). His counterpart Malcolm Long is second in passing yards (173.8 ypg.) and third in total offense.
Also, Bulldog WR/KR Oliver “Tre” Young leads the MEAC in receptions (5.0 rpg.) and receiving yards (69.2 ypg.). FAMU receivers Isaac West (3.6 rpg., 68.4 ypg.) and Kevin Elliot (4.2 rpg., 62.2 ypg.) are just behind Young in both categories.
SCSU RB William Ford (76.6 ypg.) is just ahead of Pulley (74.4 ypg.) in rushing stats.
While FAMU leads the all-time series (32-18-3), the Bulldogs have won the last six meetings against the Rattlers. In fact, SCSU has 13 won straight MEAC games. It’s the first time the Bulldogs have pulled off the feat since they did it between the 1981 and 1982 seasons.
The 2 p.m. ET game can be heard live on www.classicsportsradio.com and www.hsrn.com. It will also be seen on a tape-delayed basis Saturday night at 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU.
OTHER KEY GAMES SAINT PAUL’S at BOWIE STATE Both teams are coming off huge road victories last week. The Bulldogs rallied from a 33-19 fourth quarter deficit to defeat Elizabeth City State 37-33. They’ll look to handle a Saint Paul’s squad that went on the road and shutout Virginia State 18-0 last week. The Tigers hope to continue their two-game win streak by spoiling BSU’s homecoming.
ALBANY STATE at CLARK ATLANTA One week before their SIAC showdown against Tuskegee, the Golden Rams (6-0) look to remain the only undefeated team in HBCU football against the struggling Panthers (3-3). Keith Higdon will be making his debut as CAU’s interim head coach, replacing the fired Ted Bahhur. ASU is currently tied with Miles College with 12 picks. They’ve also recorded 28 sacks in six games, averaging 4.33 per game.
ALABAMA A&M at ALCORN STATE The Braves (1-3, 1-1) got their first win of the season last week in defeating Mississippi Valley State. ASU’s defense set the tone with an NCAA record-tying 14 sacks. They’ll be hosting a Bulldog squad (4-2, 1-1) that had their two-game winning streak snapped last week at Grambling State. A&M currently leads the SWAC in rushing offense and sacks (25). They’ve also won the last five meetings against the Braves.