|NC A&T and South Carolina State will meet in the Georgia Dome on Saturday. (Chris Martin photo)
South Carolina State vs. North Carolina A&T
The Atlanta Classic
When this matchup was announced as the centerpiece of the Atlanta Classic, a lot of folks were left scratching their heads or just plain salty. Florida A&M has been a fixture at this game for years, and many question whether or not the classic can back the Georgia Dome without the Rattlers.
Well, if it has anything to do with the action on the field, the place should be backed. Points figure to be hard to come by as both A&T (16.7) and SCSU (18.2) are the top two teams in the conference in terms of points allowed per game.
Tweets Is Watching
Why It Matters:
SC State (3-2) and A&T (3-0) have been fierce rivals for decades, and there’s a lot on the line for an early October game. The Bulldogs and Aggies were picked to finish second and third in the MEAC behind defending champion Bethune-Cookman, and both are coming off wins in their conference openers. This game is particularly important for SCSU as it has to face both A&T and BCU, while A&T and BCU don’t meet this season.
Best Matchup: SC State’s Tyler McDonald vs. A&T’s D’Vonte Graham
This game features two seniors with a lot of experience and big plays between them. McDonald has just 14 catches through five games, but he has scored four touchdowns and averages an electrifying 30 yards per catch. Graham is second in the MEAC with four passes defended, including an interception last week against Howard. At 6’3, McDonald has more than half a foot on Graham, which doesn’t mean quite as much when you are as talented as Graham is, but it is something to watch.
Prediction: A&T has gotten off to its perfect start by dominating the first half, outscoring opponents 61-19 in its first three games. The Aggie offense hasn’t really had to play from behind this season, which makes you wonder how they will respond when they have to dig out of a whole. If South Carolina State can hang around against through halftime, it has a good chance of winning this game. If not, the Aggies will stay perfect.