HBCU Defenses Tops In FCS And D2

Tennessee State’s defense allows just 255 yards per game, tops in the FCS. (Commercial Appeal photo)

If the old adage that defense wins championships holds true, then more than a few HBCUs could be contenders in 2013. With over half the season in the books, six HBCUs rank in the top of total defense at the FCS and Division II levels including leaders Tennessee State (FCS) and Winston-Salem State (D2).

At the FCS level, four of the the top five defenses hail from HBCUs, as Bethune-Cookman (2nd), SC State (4th) and Alabama A&M (5th) join a stingy Tennessee State defense that allows just 255 yards per game. TSU (13.3) and BCU (16) rank second and fifth in the FCS in scoring defense.

// At the Division II level, Winston-Salem State allows just 221 yards per game on defense, more than 30 yards per game less than its nearest competitor. Joining WSSU at the Division II level is Stillman, which allows 265 yards per game.

Two of WSSU’s first six opponents (UNC-Pembroke and Johnson C. Smith) average more than 400 yards per game, but neither of them came within 100 yards of their average against WSSU.


Winston-Salem State allows a D2-low 215 yards per game. (Garrett Garms/WSSU photo)

“Our defense has been dominating all year long, and they have been giving up just 13 or 14 points a game,” Winston-Salem State coach Connell Maynor told the Winston-Salem Journal. “They’ve been a great defense for three or four years, and I said at the beginning of the season they could be better than last year’s defense, and they are proving that.”

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