2022 Football

Eight 2-0 HBCU teams enter Week Three

After rushing for 313 yards and three TDs in last week’s 45-40 stunner over nationally-ranked Valdosta State, Virginia Union RB Jada Byers (above) was voted the national player of the week by D2football.com. VUU, one of eight HBCU programs who enter this week at 2-0, hosts Livingstone Saturday.

It’s only Week Three of the 2022 football season and there are just eight undefeated (2-0) HBCU teams left.

There is one in the CIAA and one in the MEAC. There are two in the SIAC, SWAC and the non-HBCU conferences.

That’s it.

Let’s see what the eight have next and what everyone else is facing this week.

HBCU teams: CIAA

The lone 2-0 team in the CIAA is Virginia Union. The Panthers and head coach Dr. Alvin Parker, behind a school-record 313 rushing yards and three touchdowns from sophomore running back Jada Byers, are coming off a big 45-40 upset win at NCAA Div. II No. 3 Valdosta State Saturday.

The loss was the first at home for Valdosta State since 2017. The Blazers were last year’s runners-up in the Div. II championship game (to Ferris State).

“Our guys were focused the entire trip,” said VUU Head Football Coach Dr. Alvin Parker on vuusports.com. “Any time you take your program 10 hours away from home focus is definitely required. The coaches did an amazing job of putting together a solid game plan and the players did an amazing job of carrying it out. I was also happy to see so many VUU fans in attendance all the way in Georgia. I’m proud of this group, and after a long trip back home our job now turns to preparing for Livingstone College.”

VUU head coach Dr. Alvin Parker was interviewed on D2football.com after the Panthers’ big win over nationally-ranked Valdosta State.

“The Division II make-up, you know bus rides are a part of that,” Parker said during an interview on D2football.com. “It’s almost like the minor league baseball system. You gotta pack it in and go. We didn’t shy away from that. They came up to us last year and they took a bus. So, we just kind of returned the favor and went down the same way.”

Valdosta State beat VUU in Richmond (Va.) last season, 51-7.

The Byers profile

For his efforts, Byers was named national NCAA Div. II player of the week by D2football.com.

Byers, a former high school record-setter from Hammonton, N.J., currently leads all Div. II rushers with 417 yards through two games. His 208.5 yards per game also tops the Div. II charts.

Panthers moving up

D2football.com rates the Panthers 23rd in its national poll this week, just ahead of three-time CIAA champion Bowie State. This marks the first time a VUU football team has been ranked in the nation’s Top 25 ranking since 2019. The Panthers did not break into the AFCA Div. II Coaches Poll Top 25 this week.

BSU fell from 11th to 24th in the D2football poll after its 40-12 loss to Saginaw Valley State Saturday.

This week VUU entertains Livingstone (1-1) Saturday (6 p.m.). Bowie State plays at 0-2 Shaw at 1 p.m. Elsewhere in the conference, Fayetteville State (1-1) is at Lincoln (1-1) at 7 p.m. and in a battle of 0-2 teams, Elizabeth City State hosts Winston-Salem State. Virginia State (1-1) is hosting 0-2 Saint Augustine’s (6 p.m.).

HBCU teams: MEAC

Head coach Trei Oliver has his North Carolina Central team out of the MEAC at 2-0 after wins over former rivals NC A&T and Winston-Salem State. The Eagles will be traveling to face another 2-0 team, New Hampshire of the CAA, on Saturday (6 p.m., ESPN+). 

Other MEAC teams are also playing non-conference games. 

Norfolk State (0-2) is hosting unbeaten CAA member (2-0) Hampton (2 p.m., ESPN+) in a game previously known as ‘The Battle of the Bay.’ Morgan State (0-2) is playing at home vs. Sacred Heart (1-1) at 12 noon.

Howard (0-3) faces Morehouse (0-2) of the SIAC at the new HBCU New York City Football Classic at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ (3 p.m., CNBC). 

SC State and Delaware State are off this week.

HBCU teams: SWAC

Jackson State and Arkansas-Pine Bluff of the SWAC are both 2-0. 

JSU and head coach Deion “Coach Prime Sanders have their first home game Saturday (1 p.m., ESPN3) vs. Grambling State (1-1). Sanders said the game will go on despite the water crisis in Jackson, Ms. “Everybody bring a bottle of water,” Sanders said Monday on the SWAC Coaches Media Teleconference.

Grambling and head coach Hue Jackson tangles with Jackson State and head coach Deion Sanders Saturday in Jackson, Ms. It is 2-0 JSU’s first home game.

Grambling got big games from quarterback Quaterius Hawkins (293 passing yards, 3 TDs) and running back Maurice Washington (95 rushing yards, 2 TDs of 61 and 25 yards) in getting its first win Saturday 47-21 over Northwestern (La.) State. It was also the first win for new head coach Hue Jackson

After wins over Lane (48-42) and North American (76-3), UAPB and head coach Doc Gamble will have a hard time keeping their record clean. The Golden Lions play on the road( 6 p.m., ESPN+) at 2-0 Oklahoma State of the Big 12. 

Prairie View (1-1) is home (6 p.m.) vs. Incarnate Word (2-0). 

Southern (1-1) meets 0-2 Texas Southern in Arlington, Texas in a SWAC West Division game to be carried live on HBCUGo. Texas Southern got its first win against Southern in over a decade last season, 35-31. It was one of three TSU wins on the season.

Alabama A&M and Alcorn State will be trying to get off an 0-2 schneid. A&M hosts (2 p.m.) 1-1 Austin Peay in the Louis Crews Classic while Alcorn plays (7 p.m., ESPN+) at McNeese State (2-1). 

HBCU teams: SIAC

Fort Valley State with new head coach Shawn Gibbs is the surprise SIAC team at 2-0. Chennis Berry’s Tigers of Benedict are the other 2-0 squad.

FVSU has wins over Tuskegee (21-6) and Kentucky State (9-7). The Wildcats will attempt to add another notch to their belt hosting 0-1 Allen Saturday (2 p.m., ESPN+).  

New Fort Valley State head coach Shawn Gibbs has his Wildcats off to a 2-0 start. They look for No. 3 Saturday hosting Allen.

The SIAC schedule begins Thursday as Benedict entertains Savannah State (1-1) in Columbia, SC (7:30 p.m, ESPNU). Benedict has been playing two quarterbacks – Eric Phoenix and Jphn Lampley. That should continue Thursday. SSU handed Benedict its first loss last season, 41-34.

Winless Miles (0-2) and new head coach Sam Shade is hosting (6 p.m.) what’s sure to be an ornery Valdosta State team (1-1) after its loss to Virginia Union. Defending SIAC champ Albany State (1-1) is at undefeated Shorter (2-0) Saturday at 12 noon. 

Central State (1-1) is at Bluefield State (1-1) at 12 noon Saturday while Lane (0-2) hosts 1-1 Clark Atlanta at 2 p.m. 

Non-HBCU conferences

In addition to Hampton and head coach Robert Prunty of the CAA, Langston of the NAIA Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) is 2-0. The Lions, led by head coach Quinton Morgan, will host 1-1 Wayland Baptist Saturday (2 p.m.). 

North Carolina A&T, playing in the Big South, is off to an 0-2 start and tries to avoid an 0-3 start playing at ACC member Duke (2-0) Saturday (6 p.m., ACC Network).

Tennessee State (0-2) of the OVC, coming off a tough, close 16-3 loss to Jackson State, plays at Middle Tennessee (6 p.m., ESPN+)   

Games This Week

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15

Benedict vs Savannah State in Columbia, SC – ESPNU 7:30p 

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17

Shorter vs. Albany State in Rome, GA 12n

Bluefield State vs. Central State in Bluefield, WV 12n

Elizabeth City State vs. W-Salem State in Elizabeth City, NC 12n 

Chowan vs. J. C. Smith in Murfeesboro, NC 1p

Dayton vs. Kentucky State in Dayton, OH 1p

Shaw vs. Bowie State in Durham, NC 1p

West Virginia State vs. Fairmont State in Institute, WV 1p 

Louis Crews Classic 

Alabama A&M vs. Austin Peay in Huntsville, AL 2p

Lane vs. Clark Atlanta in Jackson, TN 2p

Langston vs. Wayland Baptist in Langston, OK 2p 

Delaware State vs. VA-Lynchburg in Dover, DE 2p

Florida Memorial vs. Warner in Miami Gardens, FL 3p 

Lincoln (MO) vs. Fort Hays State in Jeff. City, MO 6p

Miles vs. Valdosta State in Fairfield, AL 6p

Mississippi Valley State vs. Delta State in Itta Bena, MS 6p

Oklahoma Panhandle St. vs. Texas College in Goodwell, OK 6p

Virginia Union vs. Livingstone in Richmond, VA 6p

Lincoln (PA) vs. Fayetteville State in Lincoln Univ., PA 7p

STREAMED OR TV GAMES

Morgan State vs. Sacred Heart in Baltimore, MD – ESPN+ 12n 

W. C. Gorden Classic

Jackson State vs. Grambling State in Jackson, MS – ESPN3 1p

Fort Valley State vs. Allen in Fort Valley, GA – ESPN+ 2p

Norfolk State vs. Hampton in Norfolk, VA – ESPN+ 2p 

West Alabama vs. Tuskegee in Livingston, AL – FloSports 2p 

HBCU NYC Football Classic

Howard vs. Morehouse in E. Rutherford, NJ – CNBC 3p 

Arlington Football Showdown 

Southern vs. Texas Southern in Arlington, TX – HBCUGo 4p 

Middle Tenn. State vs. Tennessee State in Murfreesboro, TN – ESPN+ 6p 

Oklahoma State vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff in Stillwater, OK – ESPN+ 6p 

Prairie View A&M vs. Incarnate Word in Prairie View, TX – ESPN+ 6p

Duke vs. NC A&T in Durham, NC – ESPN+ / ACCNX 6p

New Hampshire vs. NC Central in Durham, NH – FloSports 6p

Virginia State vs. Saint Augustine’s in Ettrick, VA – HBCUGO 6p 

McNeese St. vs. Alcorn State in Lake Charles, LA – ESPN+ 7p

Eight 2-0 HBCU teams enter Week Three
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