By Dr. J. Kenyatta Cavil and Brandon Bolden
Inside the HBCU Huddle Columnists
College Sporting News
First place in the Western Division is up for grabs, unfortunately like the Tigers, the Jaguars are ineligible for the 2011 SCG. The defending HBCU Football Major Division National Champion Texas Southern host the No. 1 Alabama State Hornets. While an unranked and undefeated in conference play NC A&T Aggies squad have a chance to make a statement as they host the No. 5 B-CU Wildcats in MEAC competition.
HBCU Football Major Division Poll
Week 5 Ė Released 10/03/11
1. Alabama State--(4-1)
2. Jackson State--(4-1)
3. Norfolk State--(4-1)
4. S. C. State--(2-3)
7. Prairie View A & M--(3-2)
8. Florida A & M--(3-2)
9. Alabama A & M--(3-2)
10. Arkansas Pine Bluff--(3-2)
@-Texas Southern--(2-2) = N/R
@ = TSPN & 3C 2010 HBCU Football Major Division National Champion
HBCU FOOTBALL MAJOR DIVISION GAME OF WEEK
Savannah State (1-4, 1-1) at Morgan State (2-3, 1-1)
The Savannah State Tigers travel to Baltimore looking to improve their conference record as they take on the Morgan State Bears in MEAC action. Morgan State is looking to regroup from their loss against North Carolina A&T last week, 24-3. The Bears were completely outmatched in the contest, trailing the Aggies for most of the game and being held to a field goal for their only score of the night. Morgan State QB, Seth Higgins struggled completing 22 of 40 passes for 169 yards and two interceptions. Savannah Stateís last outing was not impressive either as the Tigers were stampeded by Howard University Bison, 34-14, allowing the Bison to snap their 29-game losing streak in MEAC conference play. The Tigersí rushing defense showed why they are one of the worst rushing defenses in the MEAC allowing the Bison to rack up a season-high 224 yards on the ground. Morgan Statesí defense against the run is not much better as they are ranked dead last in the conference in rushing defense. In their last meeting, the Bears completely had their way with the Tigers, dominating Savannah State 47-7.
Game Outcome: Savannah State (Score 28-13)
HBCU FOOTBALL MAJOR DIVISION GAME OF WEEK (BONUS)
#10 Arkansas at Pine Bluff (3-2, 2-1) at #2 Jackson State (4-1, 2-1)
The No. 10 Golden Lions hope to get back to their winning ways as they take on the No. 2 Jackson State football team that has played very well at home this season. Pine Bluff experienced their first conference loss of the season last week against Alabama A&M, 27-28. The Golden Lions blew a 27-7 lead that they took heading into the 4th quarter, allowing Bulldogsí QB, Deaunte Mason to throw three of his four touchdown passes including the game winner with 57 seconds left to go in regulation. Pine-Bluff QB, Benjamin Anderson threw for 195 yards and two touchdowns in the losing effort. Jackson State took care of business last Thursday against the Texas Southern Tigers destroying the SWAC defending champs, 58-13. Blue Bengalsí QB, Casey Therriault led the "Air Raid" attack to another impressive showing, throwing for 300 yards on 15 of 27 passing and scoring four touchdowns (3 passing, 1 rushing). The Blue Bengals this week face an Arkansas Pine-Bluff team that is decent in stopping the run but susceptible to the passing attack, ranking 8th in the SWAC in pass defense. Jackson State won the last meeting between these two teams, 52-30.
Game Outcome: Jackson State (Score 35-17)
MEAC GAME OF WEEK
#5 Bethune-Cookman (2-2, 1-1) at North Carolina A & T State (2-2, 1-0)
No. 5 Bethune-Cookman heads to Greensboro to do battle with the Aggies of North Carolina A&T State in the MEAC Game of the Week. North Carolina A&T momentum is running high after showing their dominance against Morgan State last week, 24-3. The Aggies were in the driver seat for almost the entire game. North Carolina A&T State RB, Mike Mayhew led the way for the Aggies as he rushed for 233 yards on 26 carries and one touchdown. The Aggies defense was also dynamic stifling Morgan Statesí running game to just 33 yards on the ground and 169 yards through the air. Bethune-Cookman might be happy to be back in conference play after taking a brutal beating from the Miami Hurricanes of the BCS on last Saturday, 45-14. The Wildcats out-played the Hurricanes for the entire first quarter and part of the second until Miami fired back with two touchdowns, then it was all she wrote. The Hurricanes never took their foot off the gas and cruised to a 31-point win. Bethune-Cookman actually controlled the time of possession and even outgained the Hurricanes in offensive yardage 422-335. In their last season matchup, the Wildcats beat the daylights out of the Aggies winning by a 50-point margin, 67-17 on ESPNU.
Game Outcome: Bethune-Cookman (Score 42-27)
SWAC GAME OF WEEK
#7 Prairie View A & M (3-2, 3-1) at Southern (2-3, 2-1)
No. 7 Panthers continue to be on the prowl as they travel to Baton Rouge to take on the Jaguars of Southern University. The Panthers are coming off another come from behind win as they defeated Grambling in the State Fair Classic in Dallas last Saturday, 31-23. The comeback was led by backup QB, Jonathan Troast who took over for the injured starting QB, Jerry Lovelocke to start the 2nd half. Troast completed 21 of 27 passes for 312 yards and four touchdowns to three different Panther receivers. Southern had a tougher time sealing their win last week as the Jaguars edged the winless Mississippi Valley State, 28-21, handing the Delta Devils their 18th consecutive conference loss dating back to 2009. Jaguars QB, J. P. Douglas connected with WR, LaQuinton Evans to score the game-winning TD in the 4th quarter. Evans finished the game with eight catches for 127 yards and two touchdowns. Southernís offense was not completely sharp as they turned the ball over four times against a poor Mississippi Valley State defense. Although it is not certain who would start this game at the quarterback position for the Panthers with the injury to starter Jerry Lovelocke, it may not be hard for Prairie View to manufacture points on a sub-par Jaguar defense that is ranked 8th in the SWAC. This game holds heavy SWAC Title Game implications for the Panthers. If the Panthers, with a half a game lead in first place in the standing, defeat Southern, they start to solidly position themselves in the driver seat in the Western Division, with their only division loss coming from Arkansas Pine-Bluff. Prairie View A&M defeated Southern University in their last meeting, 30-16, in the inaugural Shreveport Classic.
Game Outcome: Southern (Score 46-39)