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BASN’S HBCU 2015 – WEEK #3
BASN’S HBCU REPORT 2015 – WEEK #3
By Anthony McClean, Editor – in – Chief, Emeritus
NEW HAVEN (BASN) — For the second time since Rod Reed took over as head coach at Tennessee State, the Tigers are off to a 2-0 start. Fresh off their 35-25 victory over Jackson State in the Southern Heritage Classic, Reed’s squad now opens conference play on Saturday.
The Tigers will facing an OVC foe that despite coming off a loss, will be more than ready. The Gamecocks of Jacksonville State (1-1) sent shivers down the college football world last week as they nearly pulled off the upset of the season.
JSU battled all day with the Auburn Tigers last weekend at Jordan-Hare Stadium. In fact, the Gamecocks led by a touchdown with less than a minute remaining.
Auburn would rally to tie the score with 39 seconds in regulation, then scored on its first possession in overtime to claim a 27-20 victory on Saturday in the first meeting between the schools.
Despite the loss, JSU enters Saturday’s contest as the No. 1 ranked team in FCS football. As for TSU, it’s their best start since opening the 2012 campaign at 7-0. The meeting will be the 11th all-time between the schools, with the Gamecocks holding an 8-2 advantage.
JSU won last year’s matchup 27-20. The positive note for the Tigers heading into Burgess-Snow Field is that both wins versus JSU have come in Jacksonville. TSU earned wins on the road in 2006 and 2013.
The game, scheduled for a 1 p.m. ET kickoff, can be seen on ESPN3 and Watch ESPN.
Another 2-0 squad, the Golden Tigers of Tuskegee University will be looking to keep up their winning ways on Saturday as well. Willie Slater’s team will host an 0-2 Winston-Salem State squad who was ranked in the preseason polls, but have been knocked out since losing to non-conference foes UNC-Pembroke and Valdosta State.
Tuskegee enters the game coming off a 27-14 victory over Albany State, a game in which they had three scoring plays go for 70-plus yards. But they also struggled offensively, managing just 232 yards of total offense.
This season, the Golden Tigers rank fifth in the SIAC in scoring offense at 26.5 points per game and are sixth in total offense at 272 yards per game. They are also fourth in the league in rushing offense at 138 yards per game.
The Rams are led offensively by quarterback Rod Tinsley who has thrown for 195 yards and a touchdown, while Marcel Caver has eight receptions for 90 yards. On the ground, Tyree Massey has carried the ball 12 times for 58 yards to lead Winston-Salem State.
The contest will be the seventh meeting all-time between the two schools, with the series being tied at 3 game apiece. The Rams have won the last two meetings, 35-13 in 2013 (played in Cleveland, OH); and last year’s meeting 24-13 (played in Winston-Salem, NC).
The 1 p.m. ET game can be seen, and heard on a variety of different platforms, which include ESPN3, the Tuskegee Sports Network (106.5 FM/1300 AM in Tallassee), HSRN (Sirius 126/XM 204), the Tune-In app for the network, and in the stadium (only) at 102.5 FM.
OTHER KEY GAMES
J.C. SMITH (1-1) at MOREHOUSE (1-1)
The Maroon Tigers, who were seeking their first 2-0 start since 1997, lost a non-conference triple-overtime game to Arkansas Pine-Bluff on the road last week. Neither team was able to score until the fourth quarter. After giving up a 15-yard touchdown run in the early stages of the fourth quarter, Morehouse tied the game, forcing overtime with just 1:34 remaining when Amyr Smith caught a 3-yard pass from Monqavious John. The two teams battled through three overtime periods, but UAPB stopped a two-point conversion attempt by Morehouse in the third overtime to come away with the win. As for the Golden Bulls, they’re coming off an impressive defensive performance last week at Kentucky State. JCSU held the KSU offense in check, only allowing 139 total yards and gave up no offensive touchdowns. Particularly impressive was the JCSU run defense, as it only allowed 63 total yards on the ground.
MISSISSIPPI VALLEY (0-2, 0-1 SWAC) at ALCORN STATE (1-1, 1-0 SWAC)
The Braves finally return to Jack Spinks Stadium for the first time this season to take on the struggling Delta Devils. ASU used tough defense and efficient offense to defeat Alabama State, 31-14, at the Hornets’ new stadium last weekend. DE Michael Brooks Jr. had a career day sacking Hornet quarterbacks three time for a loss of 27 yards and a quarterback hurry. He also led the team in tackles with eight. Offensively, John Gibbs Jr. had his second career 300-yard passing game as the Braves churned out 460 total yards. As for MVSU, they’ve been outscored 116-13 in their first two games including last week’s 50-13 home loss to Southern.
VIRGINIA UNION (2-0) at GARDNER-WEBB (0-2)
Off to their first 2-0 start since 2012, the Panthers will get a true test this weekend when they travel to Boiling Springs, N.C., to face the winless Bulldogs. Freshman RB Hakeem Holland has become a mainstay in just two games on offense for VUU. He’s the first VUU running back to have two consecutive 100+ yards rushing games since Jerell Washington had back-to-back 100+ yard games in 2010. Gardner-Webb is coming off a three-overtime 21-13 loss to Elon University last weekend. This will mark the first meeting between the two schools since VUU defeated the Bulldogs 28-15 on October 13, 2001, in Hovey Field in Richmond, Va.
JACKSON STATE (0-2) at SOUTHERN (1-1, 1-0 SWAC)
The aforementioned Jaguars welcome the Tigers in their home opener. SU’s dominating victory at Mississippi Valley last week was a showcase for WR/KR Willie Quinn. The 5-foot-5 senior from Miami recorded his fourth career punt return for a TD on a spectacular 39-yard return where he eluded several Valley defenders with an array of stutter steps, spins, and stiff arms, punctuated by a flip into the endzone. He added an 89-yard touchdown pass to Randall Menard that gave SU a commanding 33-0 lead. After MVSU scored on the opening drive of the second half, Quinn returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown providing the exclamation point. The Jags hold a 31-29 edge in the all-time series, but JSU holds a 3-2 regular season series edge in the last five meetings, with two of those victories taking place at A.W. Mumford Stadium. The game can be seen live (5 p.m. CT) on ESPN3 and Watch ESPN. It will also be shown on a tape-delayed basis at 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU.