By Dr. J. Kenyatta Cavil and Brandon Bolden
Inside the HBCU Huddle Columnists
College Sporting News
The Magic City Classic is set to be broadcast on ESPN3 live at 1:30pm CST and taped delay on ESPNU 9:30pm, this Saturday.
First place in the conference is at stake as the No. 8 N. C. A & T State Aggies travel to the No. 4 Norfolk State Spartans; both looking to get back to their winning ways after upset losses in the MEAC last week.
After a rare tough home loss that included giving up a 11 point lead in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs of South Carolina State travel to the upset minded Bison of Howard.
The final show, the Shreveport Classic in Louisiana, stars the SWAC programs coming from outside the state lines as the No. 2 Jackson State Tigers tangle with the No. 6 Panthers of Prairie View A & M with both teams getting back to action after an open week.
HBCU MAJOR DIVISION FOOTBALL TOP 10 POLL
Week 8 – Released 10/24/11
1. Alabama State--(6-1)
2. Jackson State--(6-1)
3. Alabama A & M--(5-2)
4. Norfolk State--(6-2)
5. Florida A & M--(5-3)
6. Prairie View A & M--(4-3)
8. N. C. A & T State--(4-3)
9. Arkansas P. B.--(4-3)
@-Texas Southern--(3-4) = N/R
@ = TSPN & 3C 2010 HBCU Football Major Division National Champion
MEAC GAME OF WEEK.
South Carolina State (4-4, 3-2) at Howard (4-4, 3-2)
Howard looks to put another win streak together as they take on South Carolina State at home. The Bison are coming off a thrilling overtime homecoming victory against North Carolina A&T, 35-28. Bison RB, Terrence Leffall punched home the game-winning touchdown on a 3-yard run in overtime to give Howard the win. Howard QB, Greg McGhee had a stellar performance going 21 of 35 for 242 yards and two touchdowns leading the Bison’s offensive attack. South Carolina State is hoping to rebound after suffering a tough loss against Florida A&M, 27-24. The Bulldogs led the contest 24-13 heading into the 4th quarter, but shortly afterwards the wheels began to fall off. South Carolina State allowed Florida A&M to score 14 unanswered points. Rattler RB, Lavante Page scored both 4th quarter touchdowns including the game winner which was a 3-yard run with 2:31 left to play in regulation. The South Carolina State defense was no match for the Rattlers’ offense, allowing 439 yards of total offense. This game is a make or break for both teams as they carry identical records. The winner keeps their 2011 MEAC title hopes alive but the loser can count their season as over and start focusing on offseason workouts. In their last meeting South Carolina State demolished Howard 54-14.
Game Outcome: South Carolina State (Score 38-27)
SWAC GAME OF WEEK
#6 Prairie View A & M (4-3, 4-2) at #2 Jackson State (6-1, 4-1)
The Prairie View A&M Panthers looks to take care of business against Jackson State this Saturday in the Shreveport Classic. Jackson State survived a close scare two weeks ago as the Blue Bengals rallied to beat Mississippi Valley State, 17-16. The “Air Raid” offense proved to be too much to handle for the Delta Devil defense as Bengals RB, Tommy Gooden ran for 88 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown. Gooden also burned the Delta Devils on the receiving end as well, hauling in four catches for 101 yards and a receiving touchdown. Quarterback, Casey Therriault completed 22 of 55 passes for 254 yards, one passing touchdown and 71 rushing yards on 10 carries. The Panthers allowed their last game to slip through their fingers as they were defeated by Alabama State Hornets on last Saturday, 20-7. Prairie View A&M led in almost every offensive category in the game but turned the ball over three times which proved to be costly in their loss. The Panthers offense’ outgained the Hornets recording 456 yards of total offense, 29 first downs and even controlling the time of possession. Panther’s RB, Fred Anderson rushed for 101 yards on 20 carries. Despite receiving their second conference loss of the season, Prairie View A&M still sit atop the SWAC Western division. In their last meeting, Jackson State defeated Prairie View, 30-13.
Game Outcome: Prairie View A&M (Score 13-6)
HBCU CLASSIC GAME OF WEEK
#1 Alabama State (6-1, 6-0) at #3 Alabama A & M (5-2, 4-1)
The consensus No.1 Alabama State travels to Birmingham to face-off with No. 3 Alabama A & M in the 70th Magic City Classic. The Hornets are playing at the top of their game, remaining undefeated (6-0) in SWAC play so far this season. Alabama State made Prairie View A&M their latest victim, defeating the Panthers 20-7 at home two weeks ago. Hornets WR, Nick Andrews had a record-breaking day as he became Alabama States’ career receptions leader on a 34-yard touchdown pass. Andrews finished with nine grabs for 118 yards and a touchdown. The Hornets are not the only team on a roll as Alabama A&M strolls in this Saturday on a 5-game winning streak. Both the Hornets and Bulldogs should be fresh and well rested as they return to action coming off their bye weeks. In their last game Alabama A&M did not have an impressive showing but were able to get the job done on a Deaunte Mason 70-yard touchdown connection with WR, Reshaad DeJarnett that gave the Bulldogs the victory, 24-21. Mason finished the game completing eight of 24 passes for 289 yards and two touchdowns. This Saturday will mark the 70th meeting between these two teams in the Magic City Classic. Not only does this matchup put No. 1 versus No. 3 in Dr. Cavils’ HBCU poll but also holds implications on which team would represent the SWAC Eastern division in the conference title game. In their last-season meeting the Hornets had their way with the Bulldogs defeating them by 21 points, 31-10.
Game Outcome: Alabama State (Score 21-9)
HBCU MAJOR DIVISION GAME OF WEEK
#8 North Carolina A & T State (4-3, 3-1) at #4 Norfolk State (6-2, 4-1)
Norfolk State looks to avenge their first conference loss of the season as they host the Aggies of North Carolina A&T State. The Spartans were not the only team to taste defeat last Saturday as North Carolina A&T dropped a tough one against Howard University in overtime, 35-28. The Aggies came back from a 13-0 halftime deficit to take a 14-13 lead heading into the 4th quarter. Both teams went back and forth with scoring in the 4th sending it to overtime. After two incompletions and a 1-yard loss on a Mike Mayhew run, Aggie QB, Lewis Kindle was stopped one-yard short of the goal-line which sealed the victory for the Bison. Kindle finished the game 13 of 25 for 162 yards, one touchdown and an interception. Running back, Mike Mayhew had a solid game rushing for 100 yards on 25 carries and two touchdowns. Norfolk State saw their dreams of an undefeated season in conference play shattered last Saturday, losing a thriller to Bethune-Cookman, 14-6 on game ending interception on the goal-line. The Spartans rushing defense was completely useless against the Wildcats running attack allowing Bethune-Cookman to rack up 245 yards. Wildcats RB, Isidore Jackson had a monster day trucking the Spartans defense for 206 yards on 34 carries. The Spartans rushing defense will receive another stout test this weekend as they face-off against the third ranked rushing attack in the MEAC in North Carolina A&T State. In their last meeting Norfolk State prevailed over the Aggies, 23-14.
Game Outcome: North Carolina A&T State (Score 24-23)