After a week full of non-conference games, the MEAC, SWAC, CIAA and SIAC are starting to get into the meat of their confernence schedules. Now, the real HBCU football season starts.
Jackson State at Southern-Boombox Classic
Everyone knows about the Bayou Classic between Southern and Grambling. But folks in the Bayou will tell you that Southern and Jackson State aka the Boombox Classic, is just as good. From the players, to the bands, to the dancers (shoutout to the Dancing Dolls and J-Settes) The series itself is tight, with Southern holding a 29-28 edge heading into Saturday's game.
Both sides have produced tons of elite NFL talent: Walter Payton and Jimmy Smith for JSU, Mel Blount and Aenaes Williams at SU are just a few of them. This year's game features two of the best players in HBCU football: Jackson State cornerback Qua Cox and Southern's Lee Doss (31 catches, 531 yards). Both teams enter the game 2-2, and with the SWAC wide-open this year, both will be hoping to make a statement should these two meet in Houston in December.
Johnson C. Smith at Virginia State
Both teams enter Saturday's game looking to build off of big wins last week. Former Richmond coach Latrell Scott kicked off his first home game in style, as Virginia State blanked Kentucky State 41-0. Johnson C. Smith enters this contest as the CIAA's hottest team, having won seven in a row dating back to last season, including a win over Division I Davidson last week.
This game could turn into a shootout, as both teams have some dynamic playmakers on offense. Virginia State has a pair of former FCS players in the backfield as both quarterback Justin Thorpe and running back Jordan Anderson followed Scott to VSU from James Madison. Johnson C. Smith is averaging over 42 points per game behind quarterback Keahn Wallace (7 TDs in two games).
Hampton at South Carolina State
Not too long ago, these two teams were the cream of the MEAC crop. From 2004 to 2010 one of these programs either shared our out-right won the MEAC crown all but one season. Both teams struggled in 2012, going a combined 8-13 on the season.
SC State enters the game on a two-game winning streak, including a 59-6 blowout of D2 Benedict last week. Hampton limps into conference play 0-4, with head coach Donovan Rose rumored to be on the hotseat. That seat doesn't figure to get any warmer as his struggling offense goes up against a defense that has given up just one touchdown in its last eight quarters and an offense averaging a conference-high 31 points per game.
Stillman College at Kentucky State
Both Stillman and Kentucky State started the season hot, with blowout wins in their first two games. Both teams got a mean slice of humble pie last week, as they found themselves on the other end of embarassing losses, with Stillman falling 35-7 to St. Augustine's and Kentucky State being blanked by Virginia State.
The winner of this matchup woul take sole possession of the SIAC East. It may still be early in the season, but playing in the same division with defending champion Tuskegee means the winner of this game would have a big leg up, while the loser leaves little margin for error. Expect this to be a high-scoring game with playmakers like Stillman quarterback Josh Straughan (571 passing yards) and Kentucky State running back Jacquise Lockett (375 yards, 6 TDs).