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D2 HBCU Review: Week Eight

Tavon Gatlin caught two touchdown passes for Fayetteville State on Saturday. (James Robinson photo)

Biggest Win: Fayetteville State over St. Augustine’s

Fayetteville State entered this game with a lot on the line. Not only was it homecoming, but with Shaw breathing down its neck for second place in the CIAA South, FSU needed this win to keep its championship game aspirations alive. The Broncos responded with a big first half, taking a 33-0 lead before the band touched the field for the halftime show.

Benedict spoiled Morehouse’s homecoming with this game-winning kick. (Benedict photo)

Toughest Loss: Benedict squeezes by Morehouse at homecoming

It’s been a tough season at Morehouse, and Saturday’s game was just the latest in a string of disappointments. The Maroon Tigers led 26-19 as late as the mid-fourth quarter, giving almost 20,000 fans at B.T. Harvey reason to believe they were on the verge of their first conference win of the season. But Benedict responded big-time, scoring 10 unanswered points to win via an Eduard Hernadez field goal with 31 seconds remaining. #SadderDay

Not-So-Random Thoughts

*Virginia State’s Latrell Scott and Fayetteville State’s Lawerence Kershaw have been the story of the CIAA football season so far. Both teams were finished to pick in the bottom third of the conference as they adjusted to new coaching regimes. Take away VSU’s game win over FSU and the two teams are a combined 11-3 this season. Pretty good when you consider their teams won a combined six games all of 2012.

*Winston-Salem State continues to struggle in the first-half. WSSU has scored just 28 points in its last three first halves, even though those three opponents are a combined 9-15. WSSU went on to outscore those teams 92-17 in the second half, but that is a trend that Shaw and Fayetteville State should look to exploit in the next two weeks.

*Tuskegee is clearly the class of the SIAC, but will its level of competition hurt it in the playoffs? Tuskegee improved to 7-1 with its win over Kentucky State on Saturday. One has to wonder how much rolling through conference play will help the Golden Tigers, though, as it is clearly a down year for the SIAC.

HBCU Gameday D2 Power Rankings

1. Winston-Salem State (7-1, 5-0): WSSU’s offense was insufferable against a weak Livingstone team for much of the game.
2. Tuskegee (7-1, 3-0): Skegee easily disposed of Kentucky State to stay atop the SIAC.
3. Virginia State (7-1, 5-0): VSU is now one win away from doubling it’s 2012 total.
4. Fayetteville State (5-3, 4-1): A win against lowly Livingstone could set FSU up with a big showdown vs. WSSU.
5. Shaw (5-3, 3-2): Shaw will look to play spoiler and end WSSU’s 22-game CIAA winning streak.

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