The only conference match-up in the SWAC features the unranked teams of Grambling State Tigers hosting the winless Delta Devils of Mississippi Valley State searching for their first win in their last 18 tries.
By Dr. J. Kenyatta Cavil and Brandon Bolden
Inside the HBCU Huddle Columnists
College Sporting News
HBCU MAJOR DIVISION POLL
Week 7 – Released 10/17/11
1. Alabama State--(6-1)
2. Norfolk State--(6-1)
3. Jackson State--(6-1)
4. S. C. State--(4-3)
5. Alabama A & M--(5-2)
6. N. C. A & T State--(4-2)
7. Prairie View A & M--(4-3)
9. Florida A & M--(4-3)
10. Arkansas P. B.--(4-3)
@-Texas Southern--(2-3) = N/R
@ = TSPN & 3C 2010 HBCU Football Major Division National Champion
HBCU MAJOR DIVISION GAME OF WEEK
– ESPNU – Saturday
#9 Florida A & M (4-3, 2-2) at #4 South Carolina State (4-3, 3-1)
The Florida A&M Rattlers travel to Orangeburg to take on the heavy-favored South Carolina State Bulldogs in an important MEAC matchup. The Rattlers have won three out of their last four, including a victory last week where Florida A&M dismantled Savannah State 47-7. Florida A&M scored a season-high 47 points and racked up 448 yards of total offense in the 40-point rout. Rattlers RB, Al-Terek McBurse rushed for 218 yards and three touchdowns leading the offensive assault. South Carolina State put together their first winning streak of the season on last week as they edged the Georgia State, 23-13 last Saturday. The Bulldogs trailed in the third quarter 13-10 before mounting a 13-point swing to come back and win the game. Bulldogs QB, Richard Cue provided all the offense South Carolina State would need, completing 16 of 30 for 216 yards and rushing for 45 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns. South Carolina State is currently tied for third place in the conference and needs a win to stay in the thick of the standings to vie for a spot in the MEAC Championship race. Florida A&M on the other hand has to run the table for the rest of the season to even have a chance of grasping the MEAC title. South Carolina State won their last meeting with Florida A&M, 19-0 in Tallahassee, FL.
Game Outcome: South Carolina State (Score 37-21)
MEAC GAME OF WEEK
Howard (3-4, 2-2) at #6 North Carolina A & T State (4-2, 3-0)
North Carolina A&T State tries to remain one of the last unbeatens in MEAC conference play as they travel to DC to play spoiler for Howards homecoming. The Aggies continued their dominance of conference foes on last Saturday as they pounced on Delaware State 42-24. North Carolina A&T State displayed a mixture of offensive balance as RB, Mike Mayhew had 24 carries for 128 yards and three touchdowns while QB, Lewis Kindle threw for three touchdowns on 13 of 20 passing for 173 yards. The Bison are hoping that homecoming could bring back some traditional winning ways the way their season has been going, as they look to record their first home-win of the season. Howard is coming off a disappointing 21-3 loss to Georgetown on last week. The Bison kept the game close until the 4th quarter when the Hoyas scored 14-unanswered to put the game out of reach. This game will feature two of the best defenses in the MEAC, with North Carolina A&T State ranked first and Howard ranked third. The Aggies clearly control their own destiny on their journey for a MEAC title, as they are currently seeded as the second place team in the conference standings with five games left in the season. North Carolina A&T State won their last meeting with Howard, 52-32.
Game Outcome: North Carolina A&T State (Score 17-13)
SWAC GAME OF WEEK
Mississippi Valley State (0-7, 0-6) at Grambling State (2-4, 1-3)
Grambling State looks to add to the misery of a winless Mississippi Valley State team as the Tigers host the Delta Devils in their homecoming game. The woes continued for the Delta Devils in their last week matchup as Valley could not hold on to a 13-10 lead, allowing Jackson State to eventually take the victory 17-16. The Devils controlled the ground game rushing for 229 yards as a team, but Valley’s defense was a victim to another “Air Raid” assault as Jackson State QB, Ryan Therriault connected with Tommy Gooden on a 75-yard touchdown pass for the game-winner. Grambling State certainly relieved some pent up stress as they demolished Concordia College 44-0 last week in front of their Tiger faithful to end a four-game skid. Grambling QB, Frank Rivers threw for two touchdowns on seven of 16 passing and 169 yards, but the Tigers defense was the talk of the town forcing five turnovers capped off with an interception by Naquan Smith that was returned 7-yards for the score. Valley may be exactly what the doctor ordered for Grambling as the Tigers try and put together consecutive wins for the first time this season. The Delta Devils are playing hard, but are statistically alarming all across the board, as they possess the worst ranked defense and next to last ranked offense in the SWAC, making another winless season a huge possibility for their team. Grambling is not that much better either, being ranked next to Valley in both categories. In their last meeting, Grambling wiped the floor with Mississippi Valley State, 35-14.
Game Outcome: Mississippi Valley State (Score 41-33)
HBCU MAJOR DIVISION GAME OF WEEK
(Bonus) – ESPNU – Thursday
Bethune-Cookman (3-3, 1-2) at #2 Norfolk State (6-1, 4-0)
The No. 2 ranked team in Dr. Cavil’s HBCU Major Division Poll, Norfolk State, tries to stay perfect in conference action as they play host to the struggling Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman University this Thursday night on ESPNU. Bethune-Cookman is looking to master the art of piecing wins together after coming off a 28-point win over Fort Valley State, 58-30. Wildcats RB, Isidore Jackson led the way rushing for 150 yards on 19 carries and three touchdowns. Jackson was at the forefront of the Wildcat rushing attack that manufactured 418 yards on the ground lifting Bethune-Cookman back to .500 for the season. Norfolk State continues to roll over opponents like the Juggernaut winning their fifth in a row as they defeated Hampton 34-24 last week. Spartans QB, Chris Walley guided his squad to the victory completing 20 of 35 passes for 265 yards and three touchdowns. Norfolk State RB, Randy Maynes ran for 72 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown which proved to be the game winner. Norfolk State is unbeaten at home this season (3-0), but Bethune-Cookman on the other hand is winless on the road (0-2). The Wildcats defeated Norfolk State in their last-season meeting, 21-7.
Game Outcome: Norfolk State (Score 33-20)