HBCU Roundup: Wild Weekend Throws MEAC Auto-Bid Up In Air

Norfolk State vs. Bethune Cookman 2013

By Alvin Hollins, Jr.

HBCU Columnist

College Sports Journal

 

TALLAHASSEE, FL. — The second weekend of play among the 22 Division One HBCU football programs saw the SWAC settle both its’ division titles, while a bit of uncertainty creeped into the MEAC chase as league-leading Bethune-Cookman was upset at home by Norfolk State, and Tennessee State snapped a two-game slide with a romp over Austin Peay.

 

MEAC ROUNDUP: Defending champion Bethune-Cookman (8-2, 5-1) had its hopes for a second straight undefeated conference mark dashed at home Saturday by visiting Norfolk State (3-7, 3-3), 27-24, which led 27-7 late in the third period.

 

The Wildcats’ loss dropped them into a first place tie with South Carolina State (7-3, 5-1), which held off a determined bunch from Florida A&M (3-7, 2-4), 25-21 at Orangeburg. B-CU does own the head-to-head tiebreaker over SCSU by virtue of their 14-3 win over the ‘Dogs on Oct. 26.

 

 

Idle Delaware State (4-5, 4-2) found its third place loft suddenly crowded Saturday, as Hampton (4-6, 4-2) and Morgan State (4-6, 4-2) both won to trade up in the standings with two weeks to play.

 

Hampton bowled past North Carolina Central (4-6, 2-4), 29-21 at Hampton, Va., while Morgan State got a last gasp field goal to nip visiting North Carolina A&T (5-4, 2-4), 24-23 at Baltimore.

 

In the day’s final game, the MEAC’s top offensive threat, QB Greg McGhee, rolled up 474 total yards, accounting for four TDs, to lead Howard University (4-7, 3-4) to a 42-14 romp over last place Savannah State (1-10, 0-7) at Washington, D.C.

 

How Things Stack Up Now

 

Bethune-Cookman and South Carolina State (5-1) are tied for the MEAC lead, although B-CU owns the head-to-head tiebreaker if the two end up with identical records at season’s end…. Idle Delaware State is in a three-team, third place logjam with Hampton and Morgan State at 4-2; Norfolk State (3-3) is all alone in sixth place, just ahead seventh place Howard (3-4), who is ahead of a three-team, eighth place logjam featuring North Carolina A&T, North Carolina Central, and Florida A&M at 2-4, Savannah State (0-7) in the final spot….

 

Next Week’s slate features all 11 schools in action in five conference bouts, plus one non-conference game… The action begins Thursday night with Morgan State at South Carolina State at 7:30 on ESPNU, followed by five games on Saturday, featuring Savannah State at North Carolina A&T (1 p.m.); Delaware State at Florida A&M (2 p.m.); Norfolk State at North Carolina Central (2:00); Howard at Texas Southern (3 p.m.) and Hampton at Bethune-Cookman (4 p.m.).

 

MEAC SATURDAY INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Howard’s Greg McGhee passed for 326 yards (26 of 37) and two TDs, while rushing for 148 yards (14 carries), and two TDs… North Carolina A&T’s Tarik Cohen rushed for a league-high 185 yards on 31 carries and a TD against Morgan State, while Hampton’s Marcus Hampton ran for 166 yards on 16 carries and a TD against NCCU…. Norfolk’s Rolandan Finch ran for 110 yards on 38 carries and a TD in the win over Bethune-Cookman, boosting his league-leading season total to 948 yards, just 17 yards ahead of A&T’s Cohen, who remained second with 925 yards rushing….

 

2013 MEAC FOOTBALL STANDINGS

Through November 9

Team ……………………  Conference ……..  Overall

Bethune-Cookman …….   5-1        .857          8-2      .800

South Carolina State ….  5-1        .857          7-3      .700

Delaware State …………    4-2        .667          4-5      .444

Hampton …………………     4-2        .667          4-6      .400

Morgan State ……………   4-2        .667          4-6      .400

Norfolk State …………..     3-3        .500          3-7      .300

Howard ………………….       3-4        .428          4-7      .363

North Carolina A&T ……   2-4        .333          5-4      .555

North Carolina Central .. 2-4        .333          4-6      .400

Florida A&M …………….      2-4        .333          3-7      .300

Savannah State ………..    0-7        .000          1-10    .090

 

MEAC WEEK 11 SCORECARD (November 9)

Hampton 29, North Carolina Central 21

Morgan State 24, North Carolina A&T 23

Howard 42, Savannah State 14

South Carolina State 25, Florida A&M 21

Norfolk State 27, Bethune-Cookman 24

 

GAMES OF NOVEMBER 14-16

 

Thursday Night

Morgan State at South Carolina State, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)

Saturday

Savannah State at North Carolina A&T, 1 p.m.

Delaware State at Florida A&M, 2 p.m.

Norfolk State at North Carolina Central, 2 p.m.

Howard at Texas Southern, 3 p.m.

Hampton at Bethune-Cookman, 4 p.m.

 

GAMES OF NOVEMBER 23

Howard at Hampton, 1 p.m.

North Carolina Central at North Carolina A&T, 1 p.m.

South Carolina State at Norfolk State, 1 p.m.

Morgan State at Delaware State, 2 p.m.

Bethune-Cookman vs. Florida A&M (Orlando), 2:30 p.m.

 

End of 2013 Regular Season

 

TENNESSEE STATE BIG BLUE UPDATE

 

OVC UPDATE: Tennessee State (5-2 OVC, 8-3 Overall) snapped a two-game skid with a 31-6 win over Austin Peay (1-10, 0-7) at LP Field in Nashville, TN. Saturday… The Tigers close the regular season next Saturday, November 16 at home against Murray State (3:30).

 

SWAC REVIEW: Southern, Jackson State clinch divisional titles

 

Southern University and Jackson State University won their respective divisional titles this weekend, punching their tickets for a December 7 showdown for the SWAC title in the SWAC Championship Game in Houston’s Reliant Stadium.

 

The weekend began Thursday night, as homestanding Alcorn State (8-3, 6-2) knocked off visiting Prairie View (5-5, 4-4), 50-35 in a nationally-televised (ESPNU) wild west shootout at Jack Spinks Stadium in Lorman, MS., which was the Western Division clincher for Southern.

 

On Saturday, Southern (6-4, 6-2) provided an assist to Jackson State, by scoring 17 fourth quarter points to edge past host Alabama State (6-4, 6-2), 31-28, eliminating the Hornets from the divisional race.

Jackson State (7-2, 7-0 SWAC) barely won the title Saturday though, ekeing out a 26-20 win over Alabama A&M (3-7, 3-5) at Normal, Alabama.

 

In other action, Mississippi Valley State (2-8, 2-6) eased past Texas Southern (2-9, 2-7), 20-17, and hard-luck Grambling (1-9, 1-6) lost a bitter 45-42 decision at Arkansas-Pine Bluff (2-7, 2-5) to round out the day’s action.

 

The Standings After Saturday

 

In the Western Division, division champ Southern University (6-2) extended their lead to two full games over Prairie View (4-4), with Texas Southern (2-7), a distant third.

 

In the Eastern Division, Jackson State (7-0) clinched the Divisional title thanks to their win and Alabama State (6-2) losing to Southern… JSU has one game left, against third place Alcorn State (6-2)… The Braves are in third place by virtue of their head-to-head loss to Alabama State (49-30) in September.

 

Next Week’s schedule will have six games on tap, three league games and three non-conference affairs: Abilene Christian at Prairie View, (2 p.m.); Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Alabama A&M (2 p.m.); Alabama State at Mississippi Valley (2 p.m.); Alcorn State at Jackson State (3 p.m.); Howard at Texas Southern (3 p.m.); and Clark Atlanta at Southern, 7 p.m.

 

SWAC SATURDAY INSIDE THE NUMBERS: UAPB QB Benjamin Anderson was the double threat in the Lions’ win over Grambling, rolling up 472 total yards (280, four TDs on 19 of 29 passing, plus 192 yards and a TD rushing (21 carries)… Southern QB Dray Joseph went 26 of 45 for 432 yards and four TDs against Alabama State… Jackson State QB Clayton Moore threw for 311 yards and two TDs on 18 of 31 passing, while his trusty receiver, Zachary Pendleton finished with 193 receiving yards on nine catches in the win over Alabama A&M… Alabama State RB Isaiah Crowell was the top rusher Saturday with 145 yards on 20 carries, scoring two TDs against Southern, while Alcorn’s Arnold Walker rushed for 130 yards and two TDs on 26 carries Thursday against Prairie View…

 

2013 SWAC FOOTBALL STANDINGS / Thru November 9, 2013

 

Eastern Division

Team ……………………………. SWAC …………… Overall

Jackson State ………………..        7-0*     1.000         7-2*     .777

Alabama State ……………….        6-2        .750         6-4      .600

Alcorn State …………………..        6-2        .714         8-3      .747

Alabama A&M ………………..        3-5        .375         3-7      .300

Mississippi Valley ……………        2-6        .250         2-8      .200

 

Western Division

Team ……………………………. SWAC …………… Overall

+Southern University ………….       6-2   .714         6-4      .600

Prairie View …………………..        4-4        .500         5-5      .500

Texas Southern ………………        2-7       .222        2-8      .200

Arkansas-Pine Bluff ………….        2-5     .285        2-7      .222

Grambling State ….…………..        1-6*   .142        1-9*    .100

 

(*)-NCAA declared Oct. 19 Grambling-Jackson State game as NO CONTEST

(+)-Clinches Western Division title

 

THIS WEEK’S SWAC SCORECARD (Nov. 7-9)

 

Thursday Night

Alcorn State 50, Prairie View 35 (ESPNU)

Saturday

Mississippi Valley 20, Texas Southern 17

Jackson State 26, Alabama A&M 20

Southern 31, Alabama State 28

Arkansas-Pine Bluff 45, Grambling 42

 

GAMES OF NOVEMBER 16

Abilene Christian at Prairie View, 2 p.m.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Alabama A&M, 2 p.m.

Alabama State at Mississippi Valley, 2 p.m.

Alcorn State at Jackson State, 3 p.m.

Howard at Texas Southern, 3 p.m.

Clark Atlanta at Southern, 7 p.m.

 

GAMES OF NOVEMBER 23

Alabama A&M at Georgia Tech, TBA

Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Prairie View, 2 p.m.

 

GAME OF NOVEMBER 28

Stillman College at Alabama State, 2 p.m.

 

GAME OF NOVEMBER 30

Southern vs. Grambling, New Orleans, 2:30 p.m.

 

Saturday, December 7 * Reliant Stadium * Houston, Texas

Southern University vs. Jackson State University

TBD – (ESPNU TV)

 

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