Your BASN guide to HBCU football: Week Four

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Updated: September 23, 2016

By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus

NEW HAVEN (BASN) — For the two-time defending SWAC champions of Alcorn State, the start of their three-game road trip comes at a crucial time. Especially after blowing a 16-point lead at home to Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
The Braves (1-1, 1-1 SWAC) would eventually fall in three overtimes to the Golden Lions 45-43. ASU was up 30-14 with 12:50 remaining when UAPB rallied to force the extra session(s).
Now Fred McNair’s bunch will begin a very important three-game trip that begins against the Tigers of Grambling State. The SWAC Championship Game rematch could have an early say on whether these two teams will see each other again this season.
GSU quarterback Devante Kincade, a junior transfer from Ole Miss, has proven to be a key for the Tigers’ offense (2-1, 1-0 SWAC). He currently leads the league in passing efficiency.
In last week’s 35-14 win at Jackson State, Kincade was 19-of-32 for 227 yards and a touchdown. His favorite target has been Chad Williams, who currently leads the SWAC with 20 receptions.
He had seven catches for 131 yards and a touchdown in the win over JSU.
As for Alcorn State, they currently lead the league in total offense (441.5 ypg), rushing offense (197.0 ypg) and rushing defense (134.0 ypg). Freshman quarterback Noah Johnson, who was making his first career start, went 30-for-41 in the air for 355 yards and three touchdown passes.
He also rushed for 72 yards and three more scores.The Braves have won five consecutive road games, and seven straight SWAC road contests dating back to 2014.
The game can be seen live on the SWAC Digital Network. Following the Grambling State contest, Alcorn will meet SEC power Arkansas and then travel to Alabama A&M.
TRIVIA QUESTION
Arkansas-Pine Bluff quarterback Brandon Duncan threw for a school record 505 yards in last week’s upset victory over Alcorn State. Who previously held the Golden Lions’ single-game passing record?
football_photo-e1436545102612OTHER KEY GAMES TO WATCH
LANE COLLEGE at TUSKEGEE
The top two scoring teams in the SIAC meet Saturday in the Golden Tigers’ home opener at Cleve L. Abbott Memorial Alumni Stadium at 1 p.m. ET. Lane (3-0) is averaging 33.3 points per game – in wins over Texas College, Fort Valley State and Langston. Tuskegee (3-0) is averaging 28 points per game and coming off a victory over Florida A&M. Defensively, Tuskegee — ranked 17th nationally — leads the way allowing 16 points per game, while Lane allows 19 points per game. An irresistible force set to clash with an immovable object? It’s all that and an early hold on the Western Division crown.
JACKSON STATE at ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF
Not only did the aforementioned overtime victory by the Golden Lions over the two-time defending champs send reverberations throughout the SWAC, it put Monte Coleman’s squad (1-2, 1-0 SWAC) in an early four-way tie for the top spot in the Western Division. UAPB will try to take advantage of a Jackson State team (0-3, 0-1 SWAC) that’s still licking its wounds from a 35-14 spanking at the hands of Grambling State.
VIRGINIA STATE at WINSTON-SALEM STATE
It’s all good so far for first-year head coach Reggie Barlow and his Trojans. Not only are they off to their first 3-0 start since 1997, it’s their best start since opening 5-0 in 1993. In their rain-soaked 20-7 win over Kentucky State last week, the Trojans’ D held the usually explosive Thoroughbred offense scoreless in the first half. They’ll head to Bowman Gray Stadium Saturday to face a WSSU squad (1-2) that clearly hasn’t protected their house this season. Home losses to UNC Pembroke and Virginia State have left Ram fans shaking their heads. While WSSU opened 1-4 during last year’s title run, another home loss could prove to be a huge obstacle in repeating.
N.C. CENTRAL at NORFOLK STATE
In the MEAC opener for both schools, a pair of 1-2 squads will look to gain some early momentum at Dick Price Stadium. The Eagles amassed 676 yards of total offense in their demolition of Saint Augustine’s last weekend. It was NCCU’s first win of the season. NSU has suffered two straight losses after a season-opening win against Elizabeth City State. They’ve lost their last three meetings against the Eagles.
circle city classicCLASSIC SPOTLIGHT
Central State University and Kentucky State University will continue their longstanding rivalry at the 33rd Circle City Classic Saturday at 3 pm ET in Lucas Oil Stadium.
It will be the third straight year the Circle City Classic plays host to the CSU-KSU rivalry, which dates back to 1947. Central State (0-3, 0-1 SIAC) currently owns a 35-20-1 advantage in the all-time series with the only tie coming in 1957.
The Thoroughbreds (0-3, 0-1 SIAC) have had recent success in the series, including last year’s 21-17 win. Since CSU joined the SIAC in 2013, the game also holds significant implications in the SIAC West Division race.
The Marauders have a long history competing in the Circle City Classic dating back to 1986. CSU has a 3-3 all-time record in the Classic with wins coming in 1986, 1987, and 1992.
The game can be seen live on ESPN3.
TRIVIA ANSWER
In 2014, Ben Anderson threw for 467 yards in a 63-39 loss to Grambling State.
Anthony McClean can be reached via email at anthonymcclean1962@gmail.com.

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