Your BASN guide to HBCU football: Week Three

Updated: September 16, 2016
By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus

NEW HAVEN (BASN) — Just a mere two weeks into the 2016 HBCU football season, we may already have a “Game Of The Year” candidate following last weekend’s action.

If you stayed up late Saturday night/early Sunday morning to watch the end of North Carolina A&T’s four-overtime victory over FBS opponent Kent State, you saw not only a great finish but a historic win for the Aggie program.
Rod Broadway’s crew would overcome a two-hour delay and the loss of two quarterbacks to defeat the Golden Flashes 39-36 in what was truly a game for the ages.
Third-string quarterback Oluwafemi Bamiro, a fifth-year senior, hit Denzel Keyes for the game-winning TD after A&T’s defense would hold Kent State to a field goal in the fourth overtime.
The win over Kent State is the Aggies’ first over an FBS program which typically have more financial resources and are allotted 85 scholarships versus 63 on the FCS level.
A&T had lost to their previous three FBS opponents by an average of 39.7.
Bamiro responded by completing 7 of 14 passes for 95 yards, no interceptions, and two touchdowns. He entered the game after sophomore Kylil Carter left with an injury and redshirt sophomore starter Lamar Raynard was taken out of the game.
To no one’s surprise, running back Tarik Cohen was in the middle of all the action for the Aggies. The two-time MEAC Offensive Player of the Year had an enormous day, rushing for 133 yards and a touchdown to go along with nine receptions for 125 yards.
The Aggies (2-0) will only get one week to bask in the glow of their historic win. A&T will travel to Tulsa, Oklahoma to face Tulsa University — another FBS opponent — Saturday at 2 p.m. ET.
Last week, Ohio State took advantage of four first-half Tulsa (1-1) turnovers to take a 20-3 halftime lead and went on to a 48-3 victory at Columbus.
The first-ever battle between the two schools can be seen live on ESPN3.

Brandon Duncan had a career-high 505 yards passing with four TD passes on Thursday night and Arkansas-Pine Bluff rallied from a 16-point, fourth-quarter deficit to upset two-time defending SWAC champion Alcorn State 45-43 in the third overtime.

The Golden Lions (1-2, 1-0 SWAC) had the second possession in the third overtime and trailed by six when Duncan hit Willie Young for a 25-yard score on Pine Bluff’s first play. Duncan then found John Hawkins on an underneath route for the winning two-point conversion.

Young finished with 13 catches for 232 yards and two touchdowns.

Alcorn State’s Noah Johnson threw for 353 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 62 yards and another three scores. He ran for two of his touchdowns in overtime, the second making it 43-37. But the Braves failed (1-1, 1-1) on the ensuing two-point conversion which created the opening for Pine Bluff.

Both teams fumbled their possessions away in the first overtime and traded touchdowns in the second.

The Braves scored four straight touchdowns to lead 30-14 with 12:50 left in the fourth quarter. The Golden Lions scored twice in the final 5:55 of regulation, converting both 2-point conversions to force overtime.

Before Steve McNair was taken third overall in the 1995 NFL Draft, who was the last Alcorn State product chosen in the first round?
football_photo-e1436545102612OTHER KEY GAMES TO WATCH
In this SWAC opening battle of the Tigers, Grambling State (1-1) will looking to bounce back from a disappointing road loss at the hands of the Arizona Wildcats. Up 21-3 at the half, GSU allowed 28 unanswered points and committed six turnovers as UA rallied for the 31-21 victory. As for JSU (0-2), they’ll play their home opener still seeking its first win of the season. Tony Hughes’ squad fell 40-26 last week to Tennessee State in the Southern Heritage Classic at Memphis. The game can be seen live on ESPN3.
The Rams (1-1) were able to hold off Catawba College 23-17 last weekend to gain their first win of the season. WSSU jumped out to a 17-7 lead and was able to withstand a late Indian scoring chance. They’ll host a winless VUU squad (0-2) in the inaugural Winston Classic at Bowman Gray Stadium. Despite an impressive performance by senior quarterback Shawheem Dowdy (12-of-20, 208 yards, and two TDs), the Panthers fell to Newberry College 42-22. VUU hasn’t opened the season 0-3 since a 0-4 start in 2013.
For the second straight season and the third time under coach Rod Reed, the aforementioned Tigers have opened the season 2-0. TSU trailed Jackson State 23-19 at the half before outscoring JSU by a 21-3 margin in the second half to pull away. They’ll hit the road for the first time this year when they travel to Daytona Beach to meet the Wildcats (0-1). After having their opener canceled due to weather conditions, BCC fell to North Texas 41-20 at Denton. It’s the first meeting between the two schools since a 12-9 Wildcat victory in 2013. TSU leads the all-time series 6-2.
It will be a battle of the unbeaten when the Dragons (2-0) travel to Tulsa to meet the NAIA Lions (2-0) in the Black Wall Street Classic at Booker T. Washington High. Lane remained perfect as they outlasted Fort Valley State 10-7. It was their first win in eight tries against the Wildcats dating back to 2005. As for LU, Kievon Jackson led the Lions’ ground attack with 123 yards on 21 carries and two TDs in their 30-7 win over Bethany College. For his efforts, Jackson was tabbed as the Central States Football League’s Offensive Player of the Week.
battle of real huCLASSIC SPOTLIGHT
For the second year, the “Battle of the Real HU” will be featured in the AT&T Football Classic at RFK Stadium. The two teams coming into the game looking for their first win. The Pirates (0-2, 0-0 in the MEAC) are coming off a 24-14 home loss to 13th ranked William & Mary this past Saturday while the Bison (0-2, 0-0 in the MEAC) dropped a 52-14 decision at Rutgers on Saturday.  Hampton won last year’s contest, 37-19 to snap a four-game losing skid to Howard. The Pirates lead the hotly contested rivalry, 48-43-3.  The game will be webcast on
Meanwhile in Alabama, the Tuskegee University Golden Tigers will face Florida A&M for the first time in 20 years at the 5th Quarter Classic powered by the Mobile Sports Authority. The two schools last met in 1996, but will kick off Saturday night at 6 pm inside Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The Golden Tigers are coming into the weekend matchup off of conference wins over Clark Atlanta and Albany State, while Florida A&M enters off of losses to Miami (Fla.) and Coastal Carolina. The game will be the third consecutive games for both schools away from home this season. The game will be carried on HSRN and on the Tuskegee Digital Network (audio only).
In 1994, the Chicago Bears selected defensive end John Thierry as the 11th overall pick. Alcorn State’s only other first-round pick was defensive back Roynell Young who was taken 23rd overall by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1980.
Anthony McClean can be reached via email at

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