Game of the Week: Shaw at Fayetteville State

By Tony McClean, BASN Editor In Chief
Updated: October 8, 2009

NEW HAVEN, Ct. (BASN) — For Shaw and Fayetteville State, Saturday’s game at Luther “Nick” Jeralds Stadium has been circled on their calendars ever since the CIAA schedule was released.

However, the contest will mean different things to both schools.

For the Bears (5-1, 2-1 CIAA), they look to maintain their hold on the Western Division lead. As for the Broncos (3-3, 2-1), they’re tied with Johnson C. Smith, a half-game behind Shaw.

A Fayetteville State victory would put them in the driver’s seat in the division while a loss would all but eliminate their chances to play in the CIAA title game in November.

The Broncos have bounced back nicely after an 0-2 start. That includes last week’s 37-17 win against Chowan. The FSU defense played its most complete game of the season by keeping the CIAA’s leading passer, C.J. Westler in check.

Junior quarterback Tyler Hosler will get his second start at FSU against the Bears. Last week, the Peoria, Az. native finished 9-for-28 for 161 yards a touchdown and an interception. He’ll look to give the Broncos their first home win (0-3) of the season.

The Bears currently lead the conference with 30 takeaways and have a +15 turnover margin.

They rallied from a 17-3 halftime deficit to defeat Saint Augustine’s 42-32. Travis Robinson threw for two touchdowns and rushed for another, becoming one of eight Bears to score as they reeled off 26 unanswered points on their way to the victory.

FSU leads the all-time series 13-6-5. The teams have met five times since 2002, including the 2004 CIAA Championship game, and all five contests have been decided by 10 points or less.

The game will be nationally televised by the Urban Sports and Entertainment Group.

OTHER KEY GAMES PRAIRIE VIEW A&M at ALABAMA STATE Last week’s win against Grambling State not only broke the Panthers’ 21-game losing streak against the Tigers, it put Henry Frazier’s squad (2-1, 2-0) in the driver’s seat for the SWAC West crown. They’ll travel to Montgomery to take on a Hornet squad (3-1, 0-1) that suffered their first loss of the season two weeks ago to Mississippi Valley State at the Chicago Football Classic. Despite the loss, ASU’s defense has held their opponents scoreless in the second half in each of the last three games BOWIE STATE at ELIZABETH CITY STATE The Bulldogs (4-2) sit undefeated on top of the CIAA’s East Division (3-0) and all truly control their own destiny. BSU has been the most balanced team in the league with the top-ranked offense and defense. The stalwart of the offense has been leading rusher Rodney Webb at 105 yards per contest. ECSU (4-2, 2-1) must bounce back quickly with no time to lick its wounds from last week’s upset loss to Virginia State. Injuries have plagued the Vikings this season with stars Dexter Manley and DL Larry Jones unable to play in last Saturday’s loss.

SOUTH CAROLINA STATE at NORFOLK STATE One week away from their home showdown with undefeated Florida A&M, the Bulldogs (3-1, 1-0 MEAC) travel to Dick Price Stadium to meet the pesky Spartans (2-2, 1-1). While SCSU played tough in suffering their first loss of the season at South Carolina, a win against NSU won’t be easy. Dick Adrian’s squad is coming off a 40-14 win over Bethune-Cookman two weeks ago. The NSU defense — which is ranked first in the MEAC (allowing 230.8 yards per game) — recorded a season-high five sacks, five interceptions and 11 tackles for loss in the win.

ALBANY STATE at MILES Two SIAC teams headed in different directions prepare to meet Saturday night in Fairfield, Ala. The Golden Rams (5-0, 4-0 SIAC) come in with the league’s top scoring offense (34.6 ppg.)and its best passer — senior A. J. McKenna — who has completed 56% of his passes (60 of 107) for 12 touchdowns and just one interception. Since their upset win against Tuskegee, the Golden Bears (3-3, 3-2) have lost three of their last four games (the only win was a 6-0 decision over Clark Atlanta).