By Dr. J. Kenyatta Cavil and Demetrius Gatewood
Inside the HBCU Huddle Columnists
College Sporting News
HBCU CLASSIC (CHAMPIONSHIP) GAME OF WEEK
#5 Southern Jaguars (8-4, 7-2) versus #4 Jackson State Tigers (8-3, 8-1)
Houston, TX Reliant Stadium
SWAC Championship Game
Sat, Dec 7 1:00 PM CT ESPNU
Houston, TX will be rocking this week as they host the Southwestern Athletic Conference 2013 Toyota Football Champion Game at the Reliant Stadium. The kickoff is set for 1:00pm and as of Thursday they have sold 30,000 presale tickets for the game. This contest will be the second round matchup in the 2013 season between two historic winning football programs in the SWAC, the Jackson State Tigers and the Southern Jaguars. Southern is coming into this game will a great deal of momentum from last week’s big win over their state rival, the Grambling State Tigers, 40-17. The conference passing leader is quarterback, Dray Joseph. As a senior, this will Dray’s last performance as a Jaguar as he seeks to lead direct the offense and lead his team to victory. Joseph recorded 3,236 passing yards and 27 touchdowns for the season. His main target is wide receiver Lee Doss. This is also his last game as Jaguar. Lee has recorded 68 receptions with 1,047 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns this season. Southern ranks second in the SWAC in pass offense with 3,237 yards and 27 touchdowns averaging 269.8 passing yards per game. Meanwhile, Jackson State last week had an open date, allowing them an opportunity to have extra preparation for a second round against the Jaguars. Senior quarterback Clayton Moore will provide leadership for the offense as he compiled 1,747 passing yards and 13 touchdowns this season. His go to receiver is senior Zachary Pendleton. He recorded 970 receiving yards and nine touchdowns for the season. However, defense will be the key to victory for the Jackson State Tigers. They ranked third in the SWAC in total defense with 358.5 yards allowed per game. In the last meeting between the two teams, Jackson State defeated Southern in a contest that went down to the wire, 19-14.
Key Players To Watch
JSU, SR, Quarterback, Clayton Moore (6-2, 215lbs., Louisville, MS)
JSU, SR, Wide Receiver, Zachary Pendleton (6-3, 190lbs., Jackson, MS)
SU, SR, Quarterback, Dray Joseph (6-0, 210lbs., Edgard, LA)
SU, R-SR, Wide Receiver, Lee Doss (6-2, 180lbs., New Orleans, LA)
Last Game Outcome
Southern defeats Grambling State, 40-17
Jackson State - Open
*** Jaguars (Scores 28-24)
HBCU NON-CONFERENCE (TSU) MATCH-UP GAME OF WEEK
#1 Tennessee State Tigers (10-3, 6-2) at Eastern Illinois Panthers (11-1, 8-0)
O'Brien Field Charleston, Ill.
Football Championship Subdivision 2nd Round Playoffs
Saturday, Dec. 7 1:00 p.m. CT
The Tennessee State Tigers advanced to the second round of the FCS playoffs and will face their Ohio Valley Conference rival and conference champion, the Eastern Illinois Panthers. This will be the second meeting between these two teams. Eastern Illinois defeated Tennessee State, 34-16, with the Panthers recording 567 total yards, leaning heavily on their passing game. Senior quarterback and finalists for the 27th Walter Payton Award Jimmy Garoppolo produced 410 passing yards and four touchdowns against the Tiger’s defense in the first matchup. Wide receivers Keiondre Gober and Jeff LePak each had over 100 yards and two touchdowns. While running back Shephard Little ran for 138 yards and a touchdown. The No. 17 nationally ranked Tennessee State football team won its first playoff game since 1986 with a, 31-0, victory over the Butler Bulldogs last Saturday. The Panthers will be a great challenge for the Tigers of Tennessee State. The key for the Tigers to prevail in their contest is for their playmakers to showup and show out, sustaining the momentum during the game. Junior tight end A. C. Leonard had 441 receiving yards and five touchdowns along with senior running back Tim Broughton with 1,120 rushing yards and five touchdowns (out for the game with a knee injury). Meaning quarterback Michael German will have to carry an even bigger load in the contest. Michael missed the first contest with a shoulder injury and had his first action coming back off the injury in last week’s contest against the Bulldogs. The Tigers are ranked first in the Ohio Valley Conference in total defense with 276.2 yards allowed per game and are second in the conference in pass defense, only allowing 170.1 yards per game.
Key Players To Watch
EIU, SR- Quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo (6-3, 222lbs., Arlington Heights, IL)
EIU, SR, Wide Receiver, Erik Lora (5-11, 190lbs., Miami, FL)
EIU, JR, Defensive Back, Jourdan Wickliffe (6-1, 195lbs., Columbus, OH)
TSU, R-JR Defensive Back, Stephen Godbolt III (6-1, 180lbs., Cross City, FL)
TSU, SR, Running Back, Tim Broughton (5-10, 190lbs., Mobile, AL)
TSU, rJR, Quarterback, Ronald Butler (6-1, 215lbs., Pompano Beach, FL)
Last Game Outcome
Tennessee State defeats Butler, 31-0
Eastern Illinois – bye
***Panthers (Scores 35-28)
MEAC CONFERENCE FOOTBALL SEASON SUMMARY
The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference closed out its football season with great success having two teams participated such as Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (10-3, 7-1) and South Carolina State Bulldogs (9-4, 7-1). Although both teams fought a hard battle and were defeated against their opponents, both teams manage to have an overall great season as the two top teams in the MEAC. The most improved team in the conference that was a surprise is the Morgan State University Bears. For preseason they were picked to finished tenth out of the 11 teams in the conference; however, the Bears finished third overall (5-7, 5-3). The most overrated team in the MEAC was Florida A&M University Rattlers as they were picked to finished the season fifth overall but they finished tenth overall for the 2013 season. Bethune-Cookman’s head coach Brian Jenkins earned his third consecutive Coach of the Years honors as he led the Wildcats to three MEAC titles in four years.
SWAC CONFERENCE FOOTBALL SEASON SUMMARY
The Southwestern Conferences closes out its football season this weekend in the SWAC Champion held in Houston, TX between Southern University A&M College Jaguars and Jackson State University Tigers. The Blue Bengals managed to become first in the Eastern Division of the SWAC overall as they were predicted during preseason to finished second overall in the division. Meanwhile, the Jags were predicted to finish second behind University Arkansas Pine Bluff, but catapulted to first place in the West Division of the SWAC after Jackson State defeated Prairie View A&M University Panthers on October 26, 51-38. Both teams manage to have an overall great season as the two top teams in the SWAC. Surprisingly the most shocking underrated team in the SWAC was Arkansas Pine Bluff in which was predicted to finished first in the West Division and also to become defending Champs of the Southwestern Athletic Conference in 2013, but had an horrible season going 2-7 in conference play and 2-9 overall. However, the most improved team this year was Alcorn State University braves as they were predicted to finished last in the Eastern Division of the SWAC during preseason; instead, finished second behind Jackson State in which the Braves defeated Jackson State on November 16, 48-33. This year’s Coach of the Year of the SWAC will go to first year Head coach of the Southern University Jaguars, Dawson Odums.