All eyes will be on Memphis Saturday as Jackson State (1-0) and Tennessee State (0-1) meet in the top HBCU football game of Week 2 in the Southern Heritage Classic. The game will match the latest two NFL stars to join the HBCU coaching ranks – JSU’s Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders and TSU’s Eddie George.
Both head coaches have brought some of their NFL buddies with them on the sidelines.
HBCU football: NFLers matching wits
JSU defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman played nine years in the league and spent another 13 years as a defensive assistant. He was the defensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills in the 2015 and 2016 seasons. George’s offensive coordinator is Hue Jackson who was an NFL head coach at Oakland (2011) and Cincinnati (2016-2018).
Thurman’s defense, in a 7-6 win over Florida A&M last Sunday, performed admirably. Jackson’s unit, in a 16-10 loss to Grambling Sunday, struggled. The chess match between the two should be quite interesting.
HBCU football: Impressive winners
Fayetteville State (1-0) had one of the more impressive wins last week rolling up 415 yards while holding Elizabeth City State to just 101 yards in a 47-6 blowout win. FSU has a much tougher date this week as it travels south Saturday (6 p.m. ET) to play at nationally-ranked Wingate (1-0). The Bulldogs, ranked 21st in the AFCA Div. II Coaches poll, won at home last week over Shaw, 30-7.
Alabama A&M, who defeated SC State 42-41, Arlansas-Pine Bluff, who handled Lane 34-6 and Prairie View A&M, who dispatched SWAC Houston area rival Texas Southern 40-17, are all off this week.
HBCU football: Getting off the deck
Bowie State (0-1), after giving Delaware State a tough battle on the road before falling 32-24, hosts (1-0) Saginaw Valley State. SVSU defeated Texas A&M-Kingsville last week, 13-9. Despite the loss, Bowie State stayed in the AFCA NCAA Div. II poll at 25th.
Virginia Union (0-1) battled Hampton to the wire in a 42-28 loss Saturday. The Panthers get a good measuring stick hosting nationally-ranked Valdosta State (1-0) Saturday (5 p.m. ET). VSU, ranked fifth in the AFCA Div. II poll, hammered SIAC favorite Savannah State 53-7 last week.
After a week off following its loss to North Carolina Central, Alcorn State (0-1) is back in action hosting Northwestern State (6 p.m., CT). The Demons (0-1) were beaten up last week by North Texas, 44-14.
SWAC vs. SIAC
Florida A&M (0-1), a 7-6 loser to Jackson State, will try to rebound (6 p.m. ET) against surprising and dangerous Fort Valley State (1-0). The Wildcats gave new head coach Maurice Flowers a rousing debut with a 30-0 whipping of Tuskegee Sunday in the Red Tails Classic in Birmingham.
Miles has another date against a SWAC opponent on the road as they travel to Southern (0-1) Saturday (6 p.m. CT). Southern (0-1) is coming off a 55-3 drubbing from Troy. Miles was a PAT short in a 14-13 overtime loss last week at Alabama State. The game is the Pete Richardson Classic named for the former Jaguars coach. The Jaguars’ first home game will be dubbed the PRC going forward.
FCS paydays vs. the FBS
This week’s schedule also has a lot of HBCU FCS teams facing FBS opponents on the road beginning with 0-1 North Carolina A&T’s date Friday (8 p.m. ET) at 0-1 Duke of the ACC. While A&T fell to Furman 29-18 last week, Duke was stunned at Charlotte, as the 49ers scored in the last minute to pull out a 31-28 win. The last time the teams met, Duke downed NC A&T 45-13 in Durham in 2019. A&T RB Jah-Maine Martin had a 66-yard TD run in that game (see photo above).
On Saturday, 1-0 Alabama State is at 1-0 Auburn (11 a.m., CT) of the SEC, 0-1 Norfolk State is at the ACC’s Wake Forest (1-0, 12 noon, ET) and 0-1 South Carolina State is at 0-1 Clemson (5 p.m. ET) the ACC power ranked sixth nationally in the FBS. Three 6 p.m. (CT) games have Texas Southern (0-1) at 1-0 Baylor of the Big 12, Grambling (1-0) at 0-1 Southern Miss and Morgan State (0-1) at (0-1) Tulane.
In the late games, (1-0) N. C. Central is at 1-0 Marshall (6:30 p.m.), (0-1) Bethune-Cookman is at (1-0) Central Florida (6:30 p.m.), (1-0 Hampton is at 0-1 Old Dominion (7 p. m.) and 0-1 Howard is at 1-0 Maryland (7 p.m.) of the Big 10.
HBCU FOOTBALL GAMES THIS WEEK
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 9
Benedict 44, Edward Waters 3
Northwest Missouri vs. Lincoln (MO) – Cancelled
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 10
Duke vs. NC A&T in Durham, NC – ACC Network 8 pm ET
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 11
Alcorn State vs. Northwestern State in Lorman, MS 6 pm CT
Clark Atlanta vs. Lane in Atlanta, GA 4 pm ET
Florida Memorial vs. Cumberlands in Miami, FL
Tuskegee vs. West Alabama in Tuskegee, AL 1 pm CT
Bowie State vs. Saginaw Valley State in Bowie, MD 1 pm ET
Kentucky State vs. Kentucky Wesleyan in Frankfort, KY 1 pm ET
Lincoln (PA) vs. Central State in Lincoln University, PA 1 pm ET
Ohio Dominican vs. Virginia State in Columbus, OH 1 pm ET
Tusculum vs. Chowan in Greeneville, TN 1 pm ET
Eliz. City State vs. Bluefield State in Eliz. City, NC 1:30 pm ET
Clemson vs. SC State in Clemson, SC 5 pm ET
Virginia Union vs. Valdosta State in Richmond, VA 5 pm ET
Langston vs. Texas College in Langston, OK 6 pm CT
Davidson vs. Shaw in Davidson, NC 6 pm ET
Florida A&M vs. Fort Valley State in Tallahassee, FL 6 pm ET
Johnson C. Smith vs. Allen in Charlotte, NC 6 pm ET
Savannah State vs. Livingstone in Savannah, GA 6 pm ET
West Georgia vs. Morehouse in Carrollton, GA 6 pm ET
Wingate vs. Fayetteville State in Wingate, NC 6 pm ET
Incarnate Word vs. Prairie View A&M in San Antonio, TX 7 pm CT
Albany State vs. Shorter in Albany, GA 7 pm ET
Catawba vs. Winston-Salem State in Salisbury, NC 7 pm ET
Limestone vs. Saint Augustine’s in Gaffney, SC 7 pm ET
– Pete Richardson Classic
Southern vs. Miles in Baton Rouge, LA 6 pm CT
TV GAMES / WEBCASTS
Auburn vs. Alabama State in Auburn, AL – SEC Network 11 am CT
Wake Forest vs. Norfolk State in W-Salem, NC – ACC Network 12n ET
Delaware State vs. Georgetown in Dover, DE – ESPN3 or ESPN+ 2 pm ET
Baylor vs. Texas Southern in Waco, TX – ESPN+ 6 pm CT
S. Miss vs. Grambling State in Hattiesburg, MS – ESPN3 6 pm CT
– Southern Heritage Classic – ESPN3
Tennessee State vs. Jackson State in Memphis, TN 6 pm CT
Tulane vs. Morgan State in New Orleans, LA – ESPN+ 6 pm CT
C. Florida vs. Bethune-Cookman in Orlando, FL – ESPN+ 6:30 pm ET
Marshall vs. NC Central in Huntington, WV – ESPN+ 6:30 pm ET
Maryland vs. Howard in College Park, MD – Big Ten Network 7 pm ET
Old Dominion vs. Hampton in Norfolk, VA – ESPN3 7 pm ET