Saturday, October 31, 2009

Week Eight: No Suprises in MEAC/SWAC

Prarie View A&M head football coach Henry Frazier III and the Panthers are doing the laughing now as the team to beat in the SWAC.

Lookin' Ahead

As expected, South Carolina State is steamrolling everyone in the MEAC and Prairie View A&M is the class of the SWAC. We don't see South Carolina State stumbling with a remaining schedule consisting of Howard, Morgan State and North Carolina A&T. If the Bulldogs stay healthy, they should make some real noise in the FCS Playoffs.

The only unanswered MEAC question is--will the FCS Playoff Selection Committee invite Florida A&M with only two losses? FAMU loss two road games, to #11 ranked Miami and highly regarded MEAC power S.C. State. Just expect the Rattlers to continue to find a way to win with QB Curtis Pulley and electrifying kick returner, LeRoy Vann leading the way. The Rattlers remaining games starts with North Carolina A&T at home next Saturday. Coach Joe Taylor has a homecoming date with Hampton on Nov. 14. But the snakes must face an in-state rival with no place to go and nothing up for grabs other than state bragging rights. Look for the regular season final with Bethune Cookman to be a game where legends are born--for Curtis Pulley, LeRoy Vann and a host of Rattlers defenders. You don't want to miss this barn burner on Nov. 21 at the Orlando Citrus Bowl.

Close call, but expect to see Joe Taylor's FAMU Rattlers in the FCS Playoffs! Now, let's catch up on last week games.

Florida A&M 34, Norfolk St. 20
South Carolina St. 21, Hampton 9
North Carolina A&T 30, Howard 19
Delaware St. 35, Morgan St. 22
Winston Salem St. 16, Bethune Cookman 10
Alabama St. 24, Alcorn St. 17
Jackson St. 25, MVSU 16
Arkansas Pine Bluff 38, Edward Waters 12
Prairie View 16, Southern 14
Old Dominion 38, Savannah St. 17

FAMU's Pulley too much for NSU
Florida A&M QB rattles off impressive numbers vs. NSU
As season winds down, Bulldogs tough out injuries
Bulldogs put the bite on Pirates' celebration
Aggies end 11-year drought at Howard
A&T spoils Howard's homecoming in 30-19 victory
Morgan streak ends in 35-22 loss
Former coach Hayes returns to Winston-Salem State as AD
WSSU hires Bill Hayes as athletics director
Winston-Salem defeats Bethune-Cookman 16-10
Final: Alabama State 24, Alcorn State 17
ASU gets first SWAC victory
JSU wins 15th straight over Valley
Jackson State rallies to beat Valley
UAPB powers past Edward Waters
Arkansas-Pine Bluff tops Edward Waters 38-12
Babers leads Prairie View past Southern

Monday, October 19, 2009

Michigan Wolverines 63, Delaware State Hornets 6

Attendance: 106,304 @ Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI

DSU never had a chance in game that was lopsided from the get-go

Nothing about Saturday worked out for Delaware State. Only half the team was on the field for the national anthem. The Hornets had only one first down -- on a Michigan penalty. The defense allowed 28 points. They had a punt blocked and returned for a touchdown. Then they got to breathe, because the first quarter was over. While Delaware State, a Football Championship Subdivision (I-AA) team, found more of a rhythm as the game progressed, the Hornets appeared severely overmatched, losing to Michigan, 63-6, at Michigan Stadium.

"We came to play an outstanding football team and an outstanding football team showed up," Delaware State coach Al Lavan said. "Essentially, except for moments in the third quarter, they dominated us -- with our help. Make no mistake about it, Michigan played just like they played on the DVDs. ... I was not shocked, but I was surprised at how much the domination was." The Wolverines (5-2, 1-2 Big Ten) set a modern school record for total offense with 727 yards, tied a record with the 28 first-quarter points and set another with 442 yards in the first half.

Wild day: Delaware St. loses twice, gets $550K

Two losses in one day won't seem so bad once Delaware State checks its bank balance. The Hornets lost to Michigan in Ann Arbor on Saturday, a game they agreed to play despite having a previously scheduled conference game the same day. By rule, the Hornets were forced to forfeit their contest against fellow Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference foe North Carolina A&T, giving them two losses in one day. The reason for the double-booking? Michigan paid Delaware State $550,000 to give up the loss and make the trip to the Big House.

The far superior Wolverines squad had little trouble against the second-tier program, posting a 63-6 drubbing. The Wolverines (5-2) set team marks with 442 yards in the first half and 727 total in the game. They matched a school record with a 28-point first quarter and led 49-3 with their second-highest score by halftime.


Michigan gets RBs Shaw, Smith needed experience
UM extra points
Reviewin' Michigan's 63-6 blowout over Delaware State or How I learned to stop ...
Big House of horror for DSU
Historic day for Michigan
Hornets savor wow factor
Running wild: UM rolls with record 727 yards of offense

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Battle of Bands: SCSU 101 vs. FAMU Marching 100

South Carolina State 35, Florida A&M 20

FAMU vs. SCSU REPLAY: Watch Replay »

Victory a big rush for SC State

ORANGEBURG - Will Ford picked the perfect stage to make history on Saturday before 24,449 fans at Oliver C. Dawson Stadium. The senior running back from Travelers Rest ran for 141 yards and two touchdowns to help the 12th-ranked Bulldogs score a 35-20 win over No. 22 Florida A&M in a key MEAC game. It was the Bulldogs' 14th consecutive conference win - a school record - and their seventh victory in a row against Florida A&M. In the process, Ford became S.C. State's all-time leading rusher. His 7-yard run on the first play of the second half allowed him to surpass previous leader Michael Hicks.

Ford, who has 4,164 rushing yards, also moved into second place on the MEAC rushing chart. He needs 480 yards to surpass Hampton's Alonzo Hampton. "Getting a win is always the first priority, but luckily I was able to get the record too," Ford said. "It was a great day all the way around. We knew this was a game we had to win, and playing in front of a crowd like that made it even more special."

Famu's MEAC hopes bitten by Bulldogs

ORANGEBURG, S.C. — FAMU is going to need a lot of help from somebody else in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference to remain in contention for the league title. South Carolina State simply refused to give the Rattlers an assist. Saturday, the Rattlers sputtered in every way possible, falling prey to costly mistakes and an SCSU defense that allowed only 35 yards rushing. FAMU got 320 yards in the air but that meant little in a 35-20 loss that jeopardizes its chances of winning its first conference title in more than a decade.

"They just played a little harder than we did for whatever reason," said Coach Joe Taylor after FAMU's first conference loss this season at Dawson Stadium. "Their defensive line kept on our offensive line and rushed (quarterback Curtis) Pulley the whole day." Both teams came into the game with undefeated MEAC records, their only losses being to BCS schools. Conference championship implications and even a post-season berth added to the hype that drew the second largest crowd (24,496) to attend a home game for the Bulldogs.

Photo Gallery: FAMU v SC State


SC State tops FAMU in MEAC showdown
South Carolina State beats Florida A&M 35-20
Pulley realizes all eyes are on him
Bulldogs blast Rattlers, 35-20
Though injured, Wallace still has a plan for helping Rattlers
Ford Powers SCSU Over FAMU 35-20

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Arkansas-Pine Bluff 20, Jackson State 13 (O.T.)


JACKSON, MISS. — Monte Coleman knew the decision he had just made was risky. But that didn’t mean it was necessarily difficult. His Arkansas-Pine Bluff team had just taken a three point lead on a Carlos Reyes field goal from 38 yards out in an overtime series that was made possible by a spark lit by the insertion of backup quarterback Josh Boudreaux. But a personal foul penalty on Jackson State’s Malcolm Palmer gave Coleman the option of extending the lead and making it a little bit harder on the Tigers. His team had the potentially winning points on the scoreboard, and Coleman took them off.

“We had momentum,” he said. “That’s what I was counting on.” Coleman’s faith was paid back by Boudreaux, who hadn’t seen game-action since a season-opening loss to Arkansas-Monticello on Sept. 5. Two plays after the penalty, Boudreaux scrambled to his left, saw Raymond Webber in the back of the end zone and lofted a pass that landed safely in the senior wide receiver’s arms. A James Harrell tip of a Tray Rutland pass on fourth-and-2 ended Jackson State’s hopes of forcing another overtime period, and it set off a celebration alongside UAPB’s sideline as the Golden Lions finished the improbable 20-13 overtime win at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium on Saturday.


JACKSON, MISS.— One of the biggest disappointments that came from last week’s canceled game against Alcorn State was the nullification of the stellar defensive statistics Arkansas-Pine Bluff put up through two quarters on Oct. 1. That game was canceled after halftime because of a rain and lightning storm and, among those numbers lost to Mother Nature, was Kevin Thornton’s fifth interception of the season. That development upset UAPB coach Monte Coleman and Thornton, a senior free safety who has made it his mission this year to break the school’s career interception record — even if nobody can seem to figure out what that record is. In the Golden Lions first game since that night it didn’t take long for Thornton to get the interception back.

Kareem Copeland's Talking Points

Jackson State had several opportunities to put Arkansas-Pine Bluff away, or at least extend the lead, but couldn't. JSU forced UAPB into a three-and-out after scoring the first touchdown of the game, but quarterback Tray Rutland threw an interception on the very next play. Not only was the pass picked off, but Carlos Everett had two steps on the defender when the ball was underthrown. The Golden Lions had four drives that stalled after a maximum of four plays, but Rutland threw interceptions on three of the ensuing drives.

Taking a U-turn

It's almost impossible to imagine two more different scenes within the same locale. Seven days ago, Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium was the site of the world's largest Jackson State party after a win over Southern. On Saturday, silence reigned supreme despite the blaring of the Arkansas-Pine Bluff band. Seven days ago, JSU players ran around the field waving the pep squad's flags. On Saturday, Terrance Onyiuke and Marcell Young sat dejected on the metal bench, staring at the grass in front of them. It was the look of a team that was two minutes from victory but watched its opponent score 14 straight points for a 20-13 overtime victory in front of an announced crowd of 11,082.

For JSU football coach, death of wife a loss like no other

They had driven 10 1/2 hours, from Jackson to Cincinnati. Only 53 miles remained to their destination of Xenia, Ohio, when the oldies radio station played a song Jackson State University head football coach Rick Comegy had heard a thousand times - the 1971 Bill Withers hit, Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone. This time he listened to the lyrics. Every word felt like a knife to the heart. ... Ain't no sunshine when she's gone/only darkness every day/ain't no sunshine when she's gone/and this house just ain't no home anytime she goes away ... A family friend was driving Comegy and his 15-year-old son Rick Jr. to a hometown memorial service for Comegy's wife of 25 years, Connie, who died June 22 of cancer. She was 54. In the passenger seat, Comegy wanted to let it all out. Cry. Scream. Kick. Punch the dash. "But I couldn't let Rick Jr. see me like that," he says.

Tigers' defense falters at crunch time

Jackson State will find itself in the midst of a defensive battle quite often this season. That's what happens when a club excels on defense and employs a low-scoring, ball-control offense. So, there was no surprise when neither offense could get going when JSU hosted Arkansas-Pine Bluff. However, the Dark Side defense rarely gets outplayed, but it did Saturday in a 20-13 overtime loss. "I walked the sideline and I was looking in the eyes of guys that weren't even playing and the guys that were playing, I knew we were going to win that football game," UAPB coach Monte Coleman said. "It was something about tonight that was going to be no give up by anybody.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Grambling State Tigers 41, Alabama A&M Bulldogs 20

Grambling goes 'wild': New formation earns A&M victory

GRAMBLING, LA -— The Wildcat offense is the latest trend to permeate throughout the football world. It’s seen every Friday night in the high school ranks. Arkansas put it on the map two years ago. It’s even in the NFL, with the Miami Dolphins leading the charge. And on Saturday, it made its first big splash at Grambling. With dual-threat quarterback Greg Dillon hobbled by an injury, Grambling inserted backup wide receiver Rodale Pippen into the lineup as its Wildcat quarterback, and Pippen ran for two scores in Grambling’s 41-20 victory over Alabama A&M.

A&M still has no wins at Grambling

GRAMBLING, La. - There's something about Robinson Stadium that brings out the worst in Alabama A&M. It happened to the Bulldogs again Saturday as the Tigers broke open a close game in the second half and won going away. Trailing by a point early in the second quarter, A&M watched Grambling score 27 unanswered points en route to yet another lopsided loss - this time 41-20 - before an announced crowd of 2,661 in a Southwestern Athletic Conference game. "We played poorly today," A&M inside linebacker Afu Okosun said. "They hit us with a lot of quick stuff, and we didn't make the plays to stop them from driving down the field. Once they got rolling, it was hard for us to stop them."

Grambling earns first conference win over Alabama A&M

Grambling earned its first conference win of the season on Saturday, pulling away from Alabama A&M in the second half for a 41-20 victory. It was Grambling's first win in three games, and it came on the heels of losses to Oklahoma State and Prairie View A&M. The first half was a back-and-forth affair. Grambling scored on its first possession, marching 88 yards in just four plays, capped by a 13-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Greg Dillon to wide receiver Bakari Maxwell. It didn't take long for Alabama A&M to respond. Quarterback Kevin Atkins moved the Bulldogs deep into Grambling territory, and Jeremy Licea narrowed the GSU lead with a 27-yard field goal to make it 7-3.


Photo Galleries:

Ala A&M vs Grambling
GSU vs A&M halftime show
Grambling you cam

Tigers welcome A&M team that's never won in Grambling
New Grambling men's coach: 'We just need time to come together'
Grambling's Harris, Williams announce new Black College Hall of Fame
Grambling looking to fix errors after loss to Prairie View
Grambling learns this is not the same old Prairie View
Prairie View presents rested, ready challenge for Grambling
Grambling licks its wounds after Oklahoma State blowout

Alabama A&M University Maroon and White Marching Band @ Drumline 2009 show in Chattanooga, Tennessee 10/5/2009

#11 Miami (FL) 48, Florida A&M Rattlers 16

Hurricanes not rattled

UM manhandled Florida A&M, beating the Rattlers for the seventh time in a row. Six Hurricanes scored one touchdown apiece, and 12 Canes caught at least one pass in the rout.

The FAMU Marching 100 did not disappoint. The No. 11 Miami Hurricanes did pretty well, too. Though the biggest cheers Saturday night went to Florida A&M's famed marching band for its tribute to Michael Jackson, the University of Miami showcased plenty of its own young talent in a 48-16 victory against the Rattlers. Starting quarterback Jacory Harris played the first half and completed 16 of 24 passes for 217 yards and touchdowns to wide receiver Leonard Hankerson and tight end Jimmy Graham. Harris did enough to power UM (4-1) to a 31-3 halftime lead, but he was pressured more than usual and did a good deal of scrambling. Harris threw two interceptions.

Watch ESPN's 360 FAMU Rattlers vs. Miami Hurricanes Game Replay

Junior tailback Damien Berry got the first carries of his career and made them count. Berry rushed for 162 yards and one touchdown on 14 carries. It marked the most rushing yards by a Hurricane since Tyrone Moss had 195 yards in 2005 at the Orange Bowl. ``I was a little nervous,'' Berry said. ``My heart was going 150 miles an hour. After I got in and I got used to it, everything went great.'' Berry scored UM's final touchdown on a 35-yard run down the left side in the fourth quarter.

Rattlers get good experience by playing Hurricanes

MIAMI GARDENS — Jacory Harris had already engineered six touchdown drives and yet the Miami crowd kept cheering for more. They rooted a little louder each time that FAMU's defenders found one of the few gaps to put pressure on Harris. Linebacker Greg Boler quieted them for a moment. He sacked the Hurricanes' star quarterback, briefly disrupting yet another drive that still ended with a Miami touchdown on the way to a 48-16 victory. The Rattlers defense didn't have too many other shots at Harris or any other Miami playmakers for that matter, but the unit showed some encouraging signs. The defensive front created enough of an opening to pressure Harris into two mistakes that resulted in interceptions for Fabian Wilson and Curtis Holcomb.

The interceptions were the first by the defense in five games. That they came against a BCS team is a statement — however small — for the defense. "The experience was good," FAMU coach Joe Taylor said. "We will be better as a result. That was some good competition and we competed. It's definitely going to make us better for the rest of the way."

Photo Galleries: UM vs. FAMU Oct. 10, 2009
Game stats UM 48, FAMU 16
Blog FAMU postgame notes, thoughts

Miami Hurricanes backup AJ Highsmith has strong debut

Somewhere, former Hurricane Alonzo Highsmith was sweating bullets Saturday night. His son, UM freshman quarterback A.J. Highsmith, saw his first action of the season in the second half against Florida A&M. And he didn't disappoint the Canes -- or his dad. After going three-and-out on his opening series, Highsmith completed his first pass -- a 4-yarder to redshirt freshman fullback John Calhoun -- then led UM to a field goal on his next drive. Along the way, Highsmith rolled out of the pocket and completed a 29-yard pass to Tommy Streeter, who was wide open along the sideline. Highsmith finished 3 of 3 for 36 yards and ran once for a 2-yard loss. More importantly, he didn't fumble and didn't make any bad decisions.

Attendance: 47,859 @ Land Shark Stadium, Miami, FL


Rattlers fall short vs. 'Canes
University of Miami football team routs Florida A&M
FAMU not a true test for Miami Hurricanes
Moral victory for Florida A&M regardless of outcome
Miami Hurricanes backup A.J. Highsmith has strong debut
University of Miami is well aware of Florida A&M Rattlers' talent
No. 11 Hurricanes beat Florida A&M 48-16
Miami cruises past FAMU
Miami A Homecoming For Many Rattlers
Hurricanes rattle FAMU, win 48-16
These Rattlers prepared like they played fearlessly »
FAMU tight ends coach finds trip to Miami therapeutic
GAME BLOG: Final Score FAMU 16, Miami 48 »
'Canes worried about Rattlers »
FAMU players hope to have a happy 'business trip' »
Work ethic has never eluded FAMU receiver West »
Rattlers believe they can top Miami »
Two QBs who turned around their teams »
FAMU is getting some new scoreboards »
FAMU's Sylvester does good work off the field »

Morgan State Bears 7, North Carolina A&T Aggies 6

Blocked extra point gives Morgan State the win

There were few secrets Saturday between Morgan State and visiting North Carolina A&T. Not with former Bears coaches Alonzo Lee and Chennis Berry standing on the opposite sideline as the Aggies' first-year head coach and offensive coordinator, respectively. So for the better part of three hours, each team successfully snuffed out what the other does best on both sides of the ball. It was special teams, however, that ultimately made the difference in Morgan's 7-6 win before an announced 12,045 on Homecoming Day at Hughes Stadium.

First, Bears linebacker Fred Davis blocked Patrick Courtney's extra-point try in the third quarter after A&T's only touchdown, then Wallace Miles' 51-yard desperation field-goal attempt fell short as time expired, helping the Bears improve to 4-1 for the first time since 1979. "It was like fighting with your brother over bread," Bears coach Donald Hill-Eley said. "When you've been together for 15 or 20 years, they know your tendencies. It's very difficult because there's only so much you can do. It was a chess match." The win gave Morgan (4-1 overall, 2-0 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) just its second four-game winning streak since moving to Division I in 1984.

Attendance: 12,045 @ Hughes Stadium, Baltimore, MD

Aggies come up a little bit short again
Morgan State defense holds off NC A&T at Homecoming, 7-6

Rutgers 42, Texas Southern Tigers 0

Rutgers' defense comes up big in 42-0 victory over Texas Southern

It’s easy to look at Rutgers’ dominant defensive performance Saturday and pooh-pooh it because it came against an overmatched Texas Southern team, and not, say, Pittsburgh. But it’s not David Rowe’s fault that Texas Southern was Rutgers’ opponent. So Rowe won’t make any apologies for his first career interception, which he returned 56 yards for his first college touchdown in Rutgers’ 42-0 demolition of Texas Southern Saturday on Homecoming Day at Rutgers Stadium. Instead, Rowe will focus on the fact that his play, which opened the scoring, got the Scarlet Knights off and running to the easy victory that will serve to prep them for this Friday’s visit by 5-1 Pittsburgh.

“I saw the quarterback’s eyes go that way, I just jumped the corner route and I looked to my left I saw a whole bunch of blockers, so I figured I could get into the zone,” Rowe said. “When the defense puts the first points on the board, it’s kind of like the defense set the tone.” In a game where the biggest question going in was how quarterback Tom Savage would look in his first action since suffering a concussion against Florida International Sept. 19, the Rutgers defense made a statement that it is playing a whole lot better than it did in that embarrassing season-opening loss to Cincinnati. The RU defense held Texas Southern to 147 yards in total offense, including minus-3 yards rushing. Rutgers also piled up seven sacks — the most they have recorded in a game since they had seven against South Florida in 2007 — and forced four turnovers.

The Morning After: Breaking down Rutgers' 42-0 victory over Texas Southern


Yes, that’s all this game amounted to. But with an important game coming up Friday against Pittsburgh, it was important to get everybody on the field after a weekend off and run through the plays and get tuned up. Tom Savage returned to action for the first time since suffering a concussion Sept. 19 against Florida International. Savage (14-for-21, 150 yards, one TD) looked fine in everything he did in his three quarters-plus of action. He connected on a 53-yard pass to Mohamed Sanu in the first series of the third quarter that was wiped out by a holding penalty, and he ran six times for 32 yards. He had one 28-yard run in the second quarter where he passed up an opportunity to run out of bounds or slide to avoid the hit. Instead he kept going until he was tackled. He also was sacked twice and hit hard on several of his runs, but appeared fine.


David Rowe’s 56-yard interception return for a touchdown was the Scarlet Knights’ fourth defensive touchdown on the season, and gave them a three-game streak in which they have scored at least one defensive touchdown. Texas Southern did a bunch of spread formation, empty-backfield stuff, with lots of no-huddle. But the Rutgers defense was not confused. It gave up a few medium-range passes early on, but had seven sacks, forced four turnovers, and surrendered just 126 yards.

Sidelights: Rutgers routs Texas Southern for 600th victory - NCAA College ...

Rutgers scheduled the bottom of the SWAC and MEAC as part of its 12-game slate for this season. The Scarlett Knights beat Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Howard University 45-7 on Sept. 12. The positive for Texas Southern was that it got a $400,000 payday to come to the birthplace of college football. Rutgers played the first college game against Princeton in 1869. The Scarlet Knights are now 600-591-42 in their 140-year history. They are the 38th FCS school to win 600 games. Texas Southern will forever be in Rutger's football history as the 600th win. The NCAA allows Football Bowl Subdivision schools to count only one victory over an FCS opponent (Howard and Texas Southern) toward the six-win minimum to qualify for a bowl berth.


Attendance: 50,169@ Rutgers Stadium, Piscataway, NJ

Photo Galleries:
Texas Southern at Rutgers "Homecoming"
Slideshow: Rutgers 42, Texas Southern 0

Tennessee State 20, Eastern Kentucky 17

Late Touchdown Leads Tennessee State to 20-17 Win Over EKU

RICHMOND, KY. – Preston Brown’s two-yard touchdown run with 1:34 left in the game gave Tennessee State a 20-17 win over No. 16 Eastern Kentucky Saturday night at Roy Kidd Stadium. The Tigers (3-3, 2-0 OVC) rushed for 159 yards on a Colonel (3-2, 3-1 OVC) defense that had not given up more than 100 yards on the ground all season. Tennessee State’s game-winning drive began with 5:48 left in the game. On 3rd-and-14, quarterback Calvin McNairl found Joseph Hills for 15 yards to the EKU 48-yard line. McNairl connected with Marquez Wilkens on the very next play for 29 yards to move the ball to the Eastern 19-yard line. The Tigers then put the ball in Preston Brown’s hands on six straight plays. Brown picked up 12 yards on the first two carries to get to the seven-yard line. On 3rd-and-4, Brown picked up only two to set up a huge fourth down. After a time out by both teams, Brown scored the game-winner from two yards out.

Tigers score late to top Colonels

RICHMOND, KY — With the outcome of a first-place Ohio Valley Conference showdown hanging in the balance, Preston Brown powered Tennessee State to an impressive victory. Brown scored a pair of second-half touchdowns, including the game-winning score with 1:34 left in the game, as the Tigers stunned the two-time defending conference champion Colonels (3-2, 3-1 OVC), 20-17, Saturday at Roy Kidd Stadium. Tennessee State (3-3, 2-0 OVC) put together a 10-play, 59-yard scoring drive in the closing minutes, then stopped EKU on its final possession to wrap up the win.

The victory was the second-straight for the Tigers over the Colonels. It was also just the second-ever win for TSU in Richmond. “That’s what the last drive was about — guts and pride,” TSU coach James Webster said. “That’s all that it was about. Guts and pride.” The loss snaps the Colonels’ 10-game OVC winning streak. In the past three seasons, EKU is 22-2 against league opponents, with both losses coming against Tennessee State. The Colonels ranked third in the nation (FCS) in rush defense heading into the game, but allowed a season-high 159 yards rushing to the Tigers. With Jacksonville State ineligible for the title because of NCAA-imposed sanctions, Tennessee State is the only remaining undefeated team left in the OVC.

Attendance: 7,100 @Roy Kidd Stadium, Richmond, Kentucky

Injuries take toll on TSU offensive line

Tennessee State Coach James Webster hoped to get more of his offensive line starters back before today's road game with Eastern Kentucky, but that didn't happen. The Colonels (3-1, 3-0) recorded seven sacks in last week's 36-31 win over Eastern Illinois and are ranked third in the Football Championship Subdivision against the run (52.3 yards). TSU (2-3, 1-0 OVC) will be without starting guard Justin Ridgeway (sprained ankle) and tackle Darius Myers, who underwent knee surgery Tuesday. Starting tackle Alex Davis (knee) missed his third game last week but practiced some this week and could play. Starting center Dumaka Atkins broke his ankle last season and is limited to one practice per week because of the pain he experiences after each game. "It's a big concern not having so many of our starters against Eastern Kentucky,'' Webster said. "Their front seven are very active. They're not what you might consider a big group physically. They're very quick. They don't stay blocked."


Appalachian State 55, North Carolina Central 21

Mountaineers run over NC Central

BOONE, N.C. - Appalachian State football coach Jerry Moore was rattling off the mistakes his team made Saturday in a non-conference game against North Carolina Central. He wasn't happy with the eight penalties his team committed. He didn't think his team tackled very well. And he was not at all pleased about a blown coverage that led to a long touchdown pass by the Eagles. Listening to Moore, you'd never guess his team turned in one of its most dominating statistical performances ever, rolling to a 55-21 victory in front of 25,017 fans at Kidd Brewer Stadium. Coaches and players were nonchalant after defeating the winless Eagles (0-6), who stunned the hosts early by turning two Mountaineers turnovers into touchdowns and a 14-7 lead midway through the second quarter.

Photo Album

Mountaineers Blast NCCU, 55-21

Appalachian State University football racked up 644 yards of total offense and 34 first downs and held a 407-5 advantage in rushing yardage en route to a 55-21 homecoming rout over North Carolina Central on Saturday at Kidd Brewer Stadium. Appalachian (3-2) dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball to claim the commanding triumph. Led by 124 yards from Devon Moore, ASU rushed for more than 400 yards for the sixth time in its last 25 games while its defense held an opponent to fewer than 50 rushing yards for the third time since the beginning of the 2003 season and less than five rushing yards for the second time in the past eight games (ASU limited Western Carolina to minus-two yards on the ground in last year’s regular-season finale).

In all, Appalachian out-gained N.C. Central, 644-194. ASU’s 644 yards were the most NCCU has ever allowed in its 86-year football history.Despite the eye-popping numbers, the Mountaineers had to overcome a sluggish start to post the dominating win. Thanks to a pair of turnovers deep in their own territory, the Apps trailed, 14-7, after one quarter.

Attendance: 25,017 @Kidd Brewer Stadium, Boone, N.C.


NCCU plans 'biggest homecoming' ever
NCCU women to face five ACC opponents
Scott moving up NCCU's lists

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Florida A&M at #11 Miami (FL)

Miami awaits with high anticipation for the FAMU Marching 100 Band.

Enjoy the telecast on the Internet at 7 p.m. ET, at

UM aware of Rattlers' talent

The University of Miami aired radio commercials promoting Saturday's football game by touting the famed Florida A&M Marching 100 band's 15-minute, postgame show at Land Shark Stadium. The 60-minute main event that precedes it, however, could be a lot more interesting than some might expect. This is not the same FAMU team that UM defeated 51-10 in 2006. The undefeated 2009 Rattlers (4-0) come into Miami Gardens ranked No. 22 in the Football Championship Subdivision Coaches' Poll. The Rattlers last were ranked nationally in 2001.

If you are imagining that UM coach Randy Shannon reminded the Hurricanes that former Division I-AA Appalachian State defeated Michigan in 2007, or even more relevant, that two fellow Atlantic Coast Conference teams have fallen this season to FCS teams (Richmond defeated Duke 24-16 and William & Mary defeated Virginia 26-14) -- you are right. "They're excellent players,'' said UM cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke, who played at Miami Pace with FAMU left guard Anthony Collins and defensive tackle Demtris Lane. ``All those guys at FAMU are real good. Demtris had Division I offers, and Anthony Collins did, too." Seventeen Rattlers grew up in South Florida.

Around FCS: FAMU looks to upset Miami again

Florida A&M fans remember the coaching tenure of Rudy Hubbard fondly, if for nothing more than two games. Taking over in 1974, Hubbard rebuilt a FAMU squad that had fallen into disrepair after the legendary Jake Gaither retired in 1969. By the end of the decade, Hubbard had led the Rattlers to the first NCAA I-AA Football Championship in 1978 with a 35-28 victory over Massachusetts.

That capped off back-to-back seasons where the Rattlers finished 11-0 and then 12-1, a stretch of success that FAMU hasn't duplicated since. But few people could have expected what would happen the following year. Playing Miami for the first time, Florida A&M pulled off one of the biggest upsets Football Championship Subdivision history, beating the Hurricanes 16-13 before a crowd of 34,743 fans at Florida State's Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, FL.

After 30 years, Miami upset still fresh in famu's mind

Howard Schnellenberger couldn't remember too much of the details. After all, it was exactly 30 years to the day, as he was trying to recall how his Miami Hurricanes were shocked by FAMU.
"We knew we were playing a great football team that had more talent than we did," Schnellenberger's voice boomed over the phone. "We just wanted to kick the field goal and get the tie." But instead, Dan Miller's 20-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left, securing a 16-13 victory for FAMU in its first meeting with the Hurricanes. Lost in all of the hoopla and history written on that day at Doak Campbell Stadium was the biggest moment in the career of FAMU defensive tackle Algie Hendrieth.

Thirty years later, Hendrieth is probably better remembered locally as a football coach at Rickards and Lincoln high schools. But it was his one big play in that game so long ago that made sure that the Rattlers would have earned no worse than a tie against a Miami team that was ranked 10th in the nation at the time. On third-and-goal from FAMU's 3-yard line, Hendrieth swatted away quarterback Mike Rodrique's pass, forcing the failed field-goal attempt. It was the second straight bat-away for the Rattlers, who on the first play of the series had stopped Hurricane running back Lorenzo Roan for no gain.

FAMU QB Curtis Pulley is on the Payton Watch List along with KR LeRoy Vann.

Game preview: Florida A & M at No. 11 Miami

Quick slantAfter facing four straight ranked opponents, the Hurricanes (3-1) play the first of two consecutive non-conference opponents (the Hurricanes visit UCF next week). The Rattlers (4-0) are off to their best start in 12 years and ranked No. 24 in Division I-AA. UM hasn't lost a game in the series since the opener in 1979.

About FAMUThe Rattlers have two candidates for the Walter Payton Award, given to the nation's best Division I-AA player. QB Curtis Pulley has thrown for 877 yards and seven touchdowns with one interception. Special-teams player LeRoy Vann has scored on four punt returns and is the I-AA career leader in kickoff-return yardage. Vann has twice been named national player of the week. FAMU has outscored its opponents 134-44. The defense, led by LB Bryan Parker, has yet to allow more than 12 points in a game this season. Parker has 31 tackles, including 4.5 for losses.

Famed band may steal the show at Miami-FAMU game against Florida A&M,

Hurricanes coach Randy Shannon will hurry off the field. And then he'll hurry right back out. For many in the stands Saturday night, the matchup between No. 11 Miami (3-1) and Florida A&M (4-0) will serve only as a warm-up act. The best show may very well come from FAMU's fabled "Marching 100" band, which will perform for seven minutes at halftime, then hit the turf again for another 15-minute set postgame.
The beat of the drums, the blasts from the horns, synched with dance moves ... Shannon simply can't wait.

"I'll be watching it," said Shannon, who helped hatch the idea for the after-game festivities. "It's very rare that you get an opportunity to play a team like Florida A&M. And then you get a band to perform that everybody knows about. After enjoying a game and coaching in a game like that, you can't miss out on enjoying that band." His players don't want to miss out, either.

As soon as word spread that FAMU's band was playing postgame -- it'll be a tribute to Michael Jackson -- much of the Hurricanes' locker room starting buzzing. "They make the average band look so subpar," said Miami cornerback Ryan Hill, a native of Tallahassee, where Florida A&M is based. The band's name is a misnomer: There's actually more than 400 membe

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Morgan State Bears 24, Bethune Cookman Wildcats 13

· 'Cats better, but still 0-4

DAYTONA BEACH -- After every game so far this season, Bethune-Cookman announced its season would start anew the following week. Four straight losses will do that to team -- make it want to forget about the past and look ahead to a brighter future. But with the calendar now turned to October, there was something in the air Saturday at Municipal Stadium, and it wasn't a chill. It was the slightest hint of optimism.
Once again mistakes kept B-CU winless as Morgan State held off the Wildcats for a 24-13 victory in front of 3,428 mostly disappointed fans.

"You hate to take positives from losing," B-CU coach Alvin Wyatt. "But I think our kids have improved from game to game." Saturday's stats will certainly support that statement. The Wildcats (0-4, 0-3 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) came into the game with a rushing total of 255 yards and an average of 111.7 yards of offense per game. Against the Bears (3-1, 1-0), they rolled up 343 yards on offense, including 283 on the ground. They had three more first downs than Morgan State, and they held the ball for 6 1/2 minutes longer than the visitors. But two wide kicks and one dropped ball made a huge difference.

Photo Gallery: Bear Shots

Bears Hand Bethune-Cookman Fourth-Straight Loss, 24-13

DAYTONA, Fla. – Morgan State had its best scoring output of the season and the defense held when it counted most to help the Bears improve to a three-game winning streak and extend Bethune-Cookman’s rough season with a 24-13 win Saturday at Daytona Municipal Stadium. The Bears captured its first conference win of the season, and hold a 3-1 overall record for the first time since 1996. MSU held a 17-7 lead at the break, but the Wildcats came out with renewed energy in the second half.

Starting on its own 4 yardline, Francois opened the drive with an option pitch to Fred McCaskill for a 60-yard gain to help setup an 11-yard TD run by Courtney Keith with 4:07 remaining in the third quarter. Kory Kowalski’s point extra attempt was blocked by defensive tackle James Cole. It was senior’s second extra point block of the season. The Bears quickly countered on its next possession. Carlton Jackson guided the Bears 60 yards in six plays and connected with junior wideout Edwin Baptiste for a 19 yard touchdown pass to lift the Bears to a 24-13 advantage.


Mississippi Valley 61, Texas College 6

MVSU Wins Homecoming

Paul Roberts threw five touchdown passes and Mississippi Valley State beat Texas College 61-6 on Saturday. Roberts passed for 329 yards and the Delta Devils (2-2) amassed 549 total yards of offense. Roberts, who is averaging 258 yards passing in the past three weeks, connected with Cameron Russ for touchdown passes of 4 and 23 yards in the first half. Stephen Robert scored on runs of 15 and 3 yards for the Delta Devils. MVSU had scored a total of 17 points in its first three games of the season. Texas College (0-4), an NAIA team, was led by X.Z. Bloodsaw, who scored on a 4-yard run. He was 20-for-32 for 137 yards and threw one interception.

Valley wins big

Mississippi Valley State got what it expected - and what it badly needed. MVSU saw its struggling offense finally get on track against a hapless Texas College team in a 61-6 homecoming victory in front of a sun-splashed crowd of 4,987 at Rice-Totten Stadium in Itta Bena Saturday. The Delta Devil offense had scored just 17 points in the team's first three games but found the going quite easy against the Steer defense, which came in allowing an average of 76 points a contest. Senior quarterback Paul Roberts carved up the Steers by completing 24-of-35 passes for 329 yards and five touchdowns with one interception in three quarters of play.

"We found some offensive continuity that we had been lacking, and that was good to see," Valley coach Willie Totten said. "Paul really played well and did a good job of distributing the ball." MVSU, which came in last in the SWAC in total offense and scoring offense, finished with 549 total yards. Totten knows things will get much tougher this week on the road against Alcorn, but he believes this win will be a confidence-booster for his guys."We can build off this. Hopefully, it will get us ready for Alcorn. That's a big game for us coming up," Totten said.Texas College, a NAIA team from Tyler, Texas, falls to 0-5 and has been outscored 348-12 so far this season.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

North Carolina A&T Aggies 23, North Carolina Central Eagles 17

N.C. A&T wins OT thriller over N.C. Central

GREENSBORO -- Carlton Fears and Wallace Miles decided they had to accept responsibility for turning around N.C. A&T's struggles. So over the last couple weeks, as the Aggies battled through back-to-back losses, the roommates enacted a self-imposed curfew, agreed to new rules by which the pair would live to discipline their routines, and put in extra work in the hope that it would pay off on the field. And after Fears hit Miles on a 24-yard touchdown pass in double overtime to beat N.C. Central 23-17 Saturday night at Aggie Stadium, the senior quarterback said what the pair had been doing must be working. The game winner was the second touchdown the pair hooked up for Saturday, and capped a wild win.

NC A&T Wins in Double OT Over NC Central

Greensboro - Wallace Miles caught a 24-yard touchdown pass from Carlton Fears in the second overtime as North Carolina A&T snapped a three-game losing streak with a 23-17 victory over rival North Carolina Central on Saturday night. The Aggies started strong, getting an early touchdown pass from the Fears-Miles combination from a 7-0 first-quarter lead. Tony Coles padded the Aggies lead with a 1-yard touchdown run and Patrick Courtney booted a 34-yard field goal for a 17-0 advantage in the second quarter. But led by Will Scott, who caught five passes for 179 yards and a touchdown, the Eagles rallied, scoring 17 unanswered points to tie the game late in the fourth quarter.

Attendance: 19,534 @ Aggie Stadium, Greensboro, N.C.

SCSU Marching 101 @ USC 10/3/09

South Carolina Gamecocks 38, South Carolina State Bulldogs 14

South Carolina State Bulldogs QB Malcolm Long scores first TD against FBC competition in 2nd quarter.

Long stays cool with the heat on

Malcolm Long has had his share of success at Williams-Brice Stadium, twice hoisting the Class 4A state championship trophy as the quarterback for Gaffney High School. But with South Carolina State 5 yards from the USC end zone, a place that had eluded the Bulldogs in their four prior meetings with FBS teams, even the 235-pound Long was shocked after being charged to chase down that feat, which he did. "I don't know what possessed him (coach Buddy Pough) to call that for me, but he did," said Long, who also rushed for 1-yard score to cap the scoring in the Bulldogs' 38-14 loss. "I'm not a speedy guy, but I have a lot of power behind me, where I can push for 10, maybe 15 yards."

And the Bulldogs gave the Gamecocks more than a playful shove during a closely contested first half. Much of that had to do with Long's pocket presence and his ability to avoid the pass rush. On four occasions, the junior escaped potential sacks, converting three consecutive third downs on a 75-yard scoring drive that cut USC's lead to 10-7. "I was just taking what the defense was giving me," Long said. "I was feeling good on that drive, and we were clicking as an offense."

Long scores first Bulldogs' touchdown against FBS school

COLUMBIA — Oddsmakers had South Carolina State listed as a 37½-point underdog Saturday night against the University of South Carolina. The odds were arguably even longer of Bulldog quarterback Malcolm Long using his legs to score the team’s first touchdown against a Division I school. Yet it’s exactly what happened with 17 seconds left in the first half when the Gaffney native once again wrote his name in the S.C. State history books with a 5-yard touchdown run. For Long, who won three state championships with the Indians in the same stadium – two as a starting quarterback – he found the achievement more surprising than how it was accomplished.
USC breaks free of SC State

COLUMBIA -- Steve Spurrier predicted a dogfight with South Carolina State. He was right. For a half. South Carolina turned a three-point halftime lead into a 38-14 rout Saturday night in front of a crowd of 77,066 at Williams-Brice Stadium. The Gamecocks scored 28 consecutive points against their FCS counterpart before the Bulldogs punched a second score in with four seconds left in the game. Spurrier had warned all that would listen that the Bulldogs weren't to be taken lightly.

"South Carolina State is a good team," Spurrier said. "They played with us. They played just as well as we did in the first half -- maybe a little bit better." Despite being down a field goal, the Bulldogs (3-1) did in fact outgain the Gamecocks (4-1) 159-149 through two quarters. The word used to describe the first half for the offense -- by both quarterback Stephen Garcia and running back Kenny Miles -- was flat.

South Carolina State University RB Will Ford rushes away from USC Gamecock defender.

South Carolina rolls past SC State, 38-14

COLUMBIA — Steve Spurrier predicted a “dogfight” with South Carolina State. He was right. For a half. The Gamecocks turned a three-point halftime lead into a 38-14 rout Saturday night in front of 77,066 at Williams-Brice Stadium. South Carolina scored 28 consecutive points against its FCS counterpart, until the Bulldogs punched a second score in with four seconds left in the game. Playing despite a bruised left side, Gamecocks quarterback Stephen Garcia was needed for a good portion of the evening.

And his throws - mostly to senior Moe Brown - made the difference in the team’s third-quarter push. Garcia found Brown for a 40-yard score that pushed the Gamecocks ahead 24-7 at the 5:22 mark of the third quarter. On the following drive, facing third-and-5 inside the S.C. State 10, Garcia lobbed the ball over a Bulldogs defender for a 9-yard touchdown that pushed the lead to 31-7. Garcia and Brown also hooked up for a 23-yard play earlier in that scoring drive.

Gillespie: Pough's gambling ways give game spark

SO WHO KNEW BUDDY Pough had so much riverboat gambler in his soul? Heck, the guy grew up in Orangeburg, a stone's throw from the South Carolina State campus where he now plies his trade as the Bulldogs' coach. Closest thing to "gambling" in his hometown back then was bingo on Wednesday nights - and that was the Episcopalians. But when you're coaching a lower-division team - even one coming in 3-0 and ranked No. 15 in the FCS - and going up against a South Carolina team fresh off a 16-10 manhandling of then-No. 4 Ole Miss, you figure: What have I got to lose?

So in the first half of Saturday night's 38-14 USC win, a game that all along figured to be a blowout - they don't do point-spreads for games involving FCS teams, but 35 points is a good number - Pough threw caution to the wind early and often. First, with S.C. State backed up on its own 2-yard line, quarterback Malcolm Long stepped back and heaved a 38-yard rainbow to receiver Tre Young, whose acrobatic catch got the Bulldogs out of the hole. In fact, "if (Long) puts more air under the ball, that's 99 yards for a touchdown, you know," Pough said. "It takes a pretty cool guy to stand in that end zone knowing he'd better hurry and get that sucker out of there."

Attendance: 77,066 @ William Brice Stadium, Columbia, S.C.


Reviewing SC State at South Carolina: The Positives and Negatives
South Carolina begins new week in poll at 25th
Garcia scores 3 TDs in South Carolina's 38-14 win
Changing 'Moe'-mentum
Halftime: SC State
SC State's Long knows how to win
ESPN Classic College Football Odds: South Carolina State vs. South ...
FCS teams are improving, but don't expect an upset