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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

HBCU Poll Watch: BCU Leaps, TSU Inches Forward

BCU is now ranked no. 18 on multiple FCS polls. (Bethune-Cookman photo)

One week of college football is in the books and a pair of HBCU football squads are trending forward in the latest polls. Both Tennessee State and Bethune-Cookman saw their rankings increase after opening-week wins.

Bethune-Cookman made the bigger jump, going to the 18th spot in both the FCS Coaches and The Sports Network polls after beating FBS opponent Florida International 14-12 on Saturday. BCU had previously ranked 23rd and 22nd in the two polls.

Tennessee State inched forward too, though not as drastically as their rivals in the MEAC. TSU's 58-6 route of NAIA opponent Edward Waters helped them forward one spot in each of the polls. TSU now ranks 14th in The Sports Network Poll and 16th in the Coaches' poll.

BCU and TSU remained the only HBCU teams ranked, but several teams received votes. South Carolina State, Jackson State, Alcorn State, North Carolina A&T and Southern all received votes in one or both polls.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Fields Signed To Bucs Practice Squad

(Raiders.com photo)

Carlos Fields has found a new NFL home. Two days after being released by the Oakland Raiders, the former Winston-Salem State star has signed to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice squad, according to multiple sources.

Fields was a two-time Division II All-American at Winston-Salem State.

FCS Week One: Players of the Week and Power Rankings

Offensive Player of the Week: Tarik Cohen, North Carolina A&T

The sophomore picked up right where he left off last season, rushing for 162 yards and two touchdowns on just 10 carries. Looks like he's headed for another 1,000-plus rushing year.

Defensive Player of the Week: Erick Williams, Bethune-Cookman

Once again, defense came up big for Bethune-Cookman. And nobody on Bethune-Cookman came up bigger than Williams, who was in the FIU backfield all day. Williams racked up three sacks and had two quarterback hurries as BCU held on for a 14-12 win.

FCS Power Rankings

1) Tennessee State: Sure, TSU didn't do anything special by blowing out an NAIA team. Still, the Tigers have the highest ceiling and did what they had to do.

2) Bethune-Cookman: BCU took the opposite route, playing an FBS school for its opener. While beating an FBS team is always big for an FCS team, BCU's margin of victory was much smaller than in 2013.

3) South Carolina State: It's hard to pick-apart a shutout win, and a 63-point one at that. But a middle-of-the-road Division II team held SC State to 14 points in the first half before being worn down in the second half. Still, there's no way they drop after that win.

4) North Carolina A&T: A&T moves up a spot after its dominating win over Alabama A&M. Tarik Cohen and the defense were as good as expected, and Kwashaun Quick lived up to his name with his feet. They have a much taller task next week as nationally ranked Coastal Carolina comes to Aggie Land.

5) Jackson State: The Tigers break into the power rankings thanks to Prairie View's loss and it's last-second thriller against FAMU. They should have no trouble with VUL before the matchup against Tennessee State in Week Three.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

VSU's New Unis: Trendy or Tragic?

(VSU Follower Twitter)

Virginia State's motto for this football season is "Business as Usual," but there will be something new about the Trojans when they trot on the field Saturday. Looks like VSU has some new jerseys, as a couple players tweeted photos of them wearing slightly altered gear.

Check out the back of Javion Smallwood's uni

And we gotta show the big boys some love.

What do we think? Are the Trojans new unis Trendy or tragic?

A&T Runs Past Alabama A&M in MEAC/SWAC Challenge

North Carolina A&T enters the 2014 season with a reasonable shot at winning the MEAC title. They did nothing to weaken their case on Sunday, beating Alabama A&M 45-15 in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge on ESPN.

Running back Tarik Cohen and quarterback Kwashaun Quick simply ran wild on the Bulldogs. Cohen, an HBCU Gameday Preseason All-American, rushed for 161 yards and two touchdowns on just 10 carries. Quick rushed for 94 yards and a pair of rushing touchdowns, including this one:

A&T starts the season 1-0 and will return to Greensboro for its home-opener against nationally ranked Coastal Carolina. A&M will play against D2 rival Tuskegee next week.

Slideshow: NCCU falls to ECU 52-7

Jerry Mack's North Carolina Central coaching debut started off stellar but ended off pretty predictable. East Carolina handed NCCU a 52-7 loss in the season opener in Greenville. NCCU played tough with ECU early on before their opponents opened up on them.

NCCU will return to Durham next week for its home opener against former CIAA foe Elizabeth City State.

Check out this photo gallery of photos from the game via William E. Anthony. You can check out more of his photos on his website. 

Created with flickr slideshow.

Week One: FCS HBCU Scores

Doug Williams passes against Lamar. (Grambling Sports Info Twitter)


Jackson State 22, FAMU 17
Bethune-Cookman 14, Florida International 12
Maine 10, Norfolk State 6
Sam Houston State 51, Alabama State 20
East Carolina 52, North Carolina Central 7
Texas State 65, UAPB 0
South Carolina State 63, Benedict 0
Monmouth 52, Delaware State 21
Old Dominion 41, Hampton 28
Eastern Michigan 31, Morgan State 28
Middle Tennessee 61, Savannah State 7
Tennessee State 58, Edward Waters 6
Alcorn State 55, VUL 7
Mississippi Valley State 32, Faith 7

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About Me

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Steven J. Gaither is a multimedia journalist and founder of HBCU Gameday. Steven began covering HBCU Sports nearly a decade ago as a student at Winston-Salem State University. His work can also be found at The Shadow League, Diverse Issues In Higher Education and Slam Online.