By Dr. J. Kenyatta Cavil and Brandon Bolden
Inside the HBCU Huddle Columnists
College Sporting News
The No. 3 Hornets try to bounce back after a tough loss and losing the their consensus No. 1 Black College (HBCU) ranking, but will have to do it on the road with a tough Arkansas at Pine Bluff Golden Lions team that is also coming off of their own home loss as both teams fight to stay in the conference race to earn a spot in the SWAC Championship Game in Birmingham, AL.
HBCU MAJOR DIVISION FOOTBALL TOP 10 POLL
Week 9 - Released 10/31/11
1. Jackson State--(7-1)
2. Alabama A & M--(6-2)
3. Alabama State--(6-2)
4. Norfolk State--(7-2)
6. Florida A & M--(5-3)
8. Morgan State--(5-3)
9. S. C. State--(5-4)
10. Prairie View A & M--(4-4)
@-Texas Southern--(3-5) = N/R
@ = TSPN & 3C 2010 HBCU Football Major Division National Champion
MEAC GAME OF WEEK
#8 Morgan State (5-3, 4-1) at #7 Bethune-Cookman (5-3, 3-2)
Bethune-Cookman looks to keep the party going and extend their win streak to four as they host Morgan State in their homecoming game this Saturday. Morgan State enters the contest looking forward to keeping their current win streak alive as well. The Bears are vying for their fourth victory in a row. Morgan State had their way with Delaware State in their last game, shutting the Hornets out 12-0. The Bears were led by RB, Tracy Martins as he rushed for 154 yards on 38 carries and two touchdowns. Morgan States’ defense held Delaware States’ offense to just 54 yards of total offense (52 passing, 2 rushing) and forced a turnover. Bethune-Cookman pounced all over North Carolina Central on the road, 34-6. The Wildcats offense had another big day at the office, posting 525 yards of total offense. Wildcats QB, Jackie Wilson led the charge on the ground and through the air, throwing for 183 yards on 12 of 15 passing and rushing for 113 yards on nine carries. Wilson threw and rushed for a touchdown. Bethune RB, Isidore Jackson finished with 107 yards on 12 carries. Morgan State definitely has their work cut out for them this Saturday as the face-off against the number one ranked rushing offense in the MEAC this season. The Bears bring in the number four ranked rushing defense in the conference but have yet to face a rushing attack of the Bethune-Cookmans’ caliber this season. In their last-season meeting, Bethune-Cookman demolished the Bears 69-32.
Game Outcome: Bethune-Cookman (Score 35-10)
SWAC GAME OF WEEK
#3 Alabama State (6-2, 6-1) at Arkansas at Pine Bluff (4-4, 3-3)
Arkansas Pine-Bluff plans to turn their current misfortune around real fast as they look to collect a victory in front of the Golden Lions faithful against Alabama State for Homecoming. Since starting off the season 3-1, the Golden Lions have done a total 180 losing their last three of four. In the most recent chapter of their losing saga, Pine-Bluff allowed a 14-point lead to disappear and never crossed the pylon again, falling victim to the Grambling State Tigers, 27-20. Golden Lions QB, Benjamin Anderson completed 18 of 38 passes for 223 yards with two touchdowns in the losing campaign. Alabama State looks to bounce-back from a heartbreaking loss to their cross-state rivals, the Alabama A&M Bulldogs, 20-19. The Hornets fought all the way back from a 14-point deficit to pull within one on a Devin Dominguez 59-yard run. The Bulldogs, Chartavious Keith blocked the extra–point attempt by the Hornets K, Bobby Wenzig which put the nail in the coffin for an Alabama State comeback. Hornets QB, Dominguez finished the contest completing 15 of 30 passes for 206 yards. The loss to Alabama A&M put an end to the Hornets’ 5-game winning streak. This game holds heavy SWAC title game implications for both teams. With a loss the Hornets could drop as far number three in the SWAC Eastern division standings. For Arkansas Pine-Bluff, a loss can make their whole season can drop them as far as fourth in the Western division standings. In their last season matchup the Hornets slipped past Arkansas Pine-Bluff 38-31.
Game Outcome: Arkansas Pine-Bluff (Score 21-17)
HBCU CLASSIC GAME OF WEEK
Howard (4-5, 3-3) at #5 Hampton (5-3, 3-2)
The Bison of Howard University square off against the Pirates of Hampton in the “Battle of The Real HU”. Howard looks to find their bearings after suffering a humiliating loss as they were shutout by South Carolina State last Saturday, 31-0. The Bison offense was almost non-existent being stifled by the Bulldogs with just 189 (45 passing, 144 rushing) yards of total offense. Howards’ pass defense was stout only allowing 27 passing yards, but run defense was a different story as they gave up 176 yards and three rushing touchdowns on the ground. Howard RB, Terrence Lefall finished with 30 carries for 106 yards in the losing effort. Hampton’s outing last Saturday ended on a better note as the Pirates defeated Savannah State, 22-5. Hampton’s defense completely owned Savannah State’s offense holding the Tiger’s to just 150 (70 passing, 80 rushing) yards of total offense and one turnover. This matchup will showcase the number one ranked passing offense in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in Hampton versus the number one ranked passing defense in Howard University. With that in mind, the winner of this matchup may very well be determined by the team that has the most effective running game. In their last season meeting, Hampton came out victorious defeating Howard, 31-21.
Game Outcome: Howard (Score 19-13)
HBCU MAJOR DIVISION GAME OF WEEK
Grambling State (4-4, 3-3) at #1 Jackson State (7-1, 5-1)
The Blue Bengals of Jackson State attempt to take one step closer to the number one spot in SWAC Eastern division as they host Grambling State this Saturday. Jackson State played like a team possessed as they steam-rolled Prairie View A&M last Saturday, 44-14. The “Air Raid” offense was at it again, racking up 722 yards of total offense (407 passing, 315 rushing). The Bengals QB, Casey Therriault finished with 398 yards through the air on 28 of 42 passing and 56 yards on the ground. Therriault accounted for all six of Jackson’s touchdowns, throwing for three and running for three more. Wide receivers, Rico Richardson hauled in four catches for 87 yards and two touchdowns and Marcellos Wilder caught six passes for 101 yards. Grambling State is riding high as they reached .500 for the first time this season after defeating Western division rival Arkansas Pine-Bluff, 27-20. Grambling DB, Edward Patterson had a 26-yard pick six which sealed the victory with 2:25 left to play in regulation. Tigers QB, Frank Rivers passed for 140 yards and two touchdowns completing 12 of 22 passes. The Tigers WR, Damien Jefferson caught six of those passes for 108 yards and both scores. With the win against Pine-Bluff, Grambling pulled in to second place in the SWAC Western Division standings, just a half-game back of Prairie View. The real test lies ahead for Grambling this Saturday, as they try to tame a Blue Bengal offense that leads the conference in Total and Scoring Offense, with a defense that is ranked sixth against the pass and eighth against the run. In their last meeting Grambling edged Jackson State 28-21.
Game Outcome: Jackson State (Score 48-21)