Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Kent State welcomes Delaware State for home opener

Kent State Athletic Communications

THE OPENING KICKOFF

After splitting a pair of season-opening road games at a pair of BCS schools, Kent State makes its 2007 debut at Dix Stadium at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15 against Delaware State.
The game will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools, and the Golden Flashes’ first contest against a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference opponent. KSU will be attempting to improve to 6-1 in its last seven home openers as the Football Championship Subdivision Hornets play their final game of the season outside of the MEAC.

The contest marks the Flashes’ only appearance at home over the course of the first five weeks of the season.

FLASH FACTS

• A win over the Hornets would move Kent State to 2-1 for the first time since 2003.
• Delaware State is the only opponent on this year’s schedule that the Flashes have never faced before. The Flashes are 25-22-1 all-time against FCS schools (formerly I-AA).
• Running back Eugene Jarvis is 22nd in the nation at 122.0 rushing yards per game, while quarterback Julian Edelman had a career-high 135 rushing yards at Kentucky. The pair have helped KSU to 263.0 ypg (15th in the nation).
• Defensive backs Jack Williams and Fritz Jaques lead the Flashes with 16 tackles each, while linebacker Jameson Konz has a pair of sacks.

THE SERIES

Saturday’s game will be the first meeting between Kent State and Delaware State, with the Hornets being the only new opponent on the Flashes’ 2007 schedule. KSU has never faced a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference school before and is 25-22-1 all-time against Football Championship Subdivision schools (formerly I-AA).

KSU VS. FCS SCHOOLS UNDER MARTIN
YEAR OPPONENT RESULT SCORE

2003 Youngstown St. W 16-13

2004 Liberty W 38-10

2005 SE Missouri St. W 33-12

The Flashes have won six straight against FCS opponents dating back to a 26-20 loss to Youngstown State on Sept. 16, 2000.

TELEVISION

None, although live video of the game can be seen via the K-Zone on http://www.kentstatesports.com/

RADIO

Together for the sixth straight year, Bill Needle (play-by-play), Tom Linder (color analyst) and Ty Linder (sidelines) call the excitement of Golden Flashes football on the Kent State Sports Network. KSU football may be heard on flagship station WNIR 100.1 FM in Northeast Ohio.

WEBSITE

Live audio for all Kent State football game broadcasts, live video of select games and live stats are available via the K-Zone on the official athletic department web site (http://www.kentstatesports.com/).

THE COACHES

• Doug Martin (Kentucky ‘85) is in his fourth season as a head coach, owning a 13-23 record at the helm of the Golden Flashes. He was promoted to head coach March 1, 2004, after serving as Kent State’s offensive coordinator in 2003.
• Al Lavan has a 20-14 record in his fourth season at Delaware State. Overall, he is 22-15 in five seasons as a head coach, including a 2-1 mark at Eastern Michigan in 2003 after taking over for Jeff Woodruff, who was fired after the Eagles started 1-8.

UP NEXT

Kent State makes the short trip west to visit arch rival Akron on Sept. 22 at noon. The Mid-American Conference opener for both schools will be broadcast on ESPN Regional. Meanwhile, after a week off, Delaware State returns to MEAC action at Hampton on Sept. 29.

Prairie View's 'special' play


By JOSEPH SCHIEFELBEIN, Advocate sportswriter

For this season’s first two weeks, Prairie View has had the Southwestern Athletic Conference’s Specialist of the Week.

In week two, it was junior free safety Val Ford, who returned two blocked punts for touchdowns and made a tackle for a safety, accounting for 15 points in a 22-7 win over North Carolina A&T on Saturday.

In week one, it was freshman kicker Brady Faggard, who kicked two field goals and was 4-for-4 on PATs in a 34-14 win over Texas Southern. PV made three field goals all last season.

The importance of this can’t be underestimated.
Prairie View (2-0, 1-0 SWAC), which visits Southern (2-0, 1-0) at 6 p.m. Saturday in A.W. Mumford Stadium, struggled mightily on special teams last season.

Punter Eric Hernandez, a three-time all-conference talent, had to also place-kick after preseason All-SWAC selection Mario Sanchez was academically ineligible. Then Hernandez struggled with a quad injury.

“That really hurt us last year,” Prairie View coach Henry Frazier III said. “Especially because we had so many close games.”

To that end, PV signed three kickers in the offseason. And the team had to replace the steady Hernandez.

Well, freshman Pedro Ventura is ninth nationally (and leads the SWAC) in punting, at 44.4 yards per punt. The Panthers are eighth in net punting (40.8 yards).

And Faggard is already 6-for-7 on PATs and 2-for-3 on field-goal tries. Last season, PV was 11-for-18 on PATs and 3-for-9 on field-goal tries.

More, College Sporting News, which covers the Football Championship Subdivision, named Ford and junior cornerback Riante Jones as its national special teams players of the week.

Jones blocked three kicks: the punts returned for TDs by Ford and a field-goal try.

Plus, against TSU, strong safety Anthony Beck blocked a field-goal try (and had a 92-yard interception return for a touchdown).

“Special teams has been huge for us,” Frazier said. “We were able to make some depth. We’re making plays.”

SU’s Smith honored

SU junior running back Kendrick Smith, who transferred from Southern Illinois and sat out last season after starring at Coffeyville Community College, was the SWAC Newcomer of the Week.

Smith turned two catches into two TDs and 32 yards and he came on late to run for 58 yards on seven carries.

Because of Smith’s offseason and because of hamstring issues in spring and early in preseason camp, the staff has worked him in slowly. But he’s shown spurts of some special talent.

“His thing is learning the system,” SU offensive coordinator Mark Orlando said. “He hits that hole. He’s got big-play ability.”

Yellow flags
Prairie View has been penalized 26 times for a SWAC-worst 278 yards in two games — 15 for 141 in the season opener, a 34-14 win over Texas Southern and 11 for 137 in a 22-7 win over North Carolina A&T.

“We have to do a better job in terms of discipline,” Frazier said. “That’s one thing we’re going to harp on this week.”

SU has been flagged nine times for 79 yards. Both totals are SWAC lows.

Quick view of Prairie View

Said SU coach Pete Richardson, “Coach Frazier is doing an outstanding job with that team. His kids are playing hard. They’re making plays. He has 22 seniors, led by his quarterback. He understands the systems and makes the plays.

“Defensively, they fly around to the football. Offensively, they do a lot of things to cause some problems.”

Quick view of Southern

Said Frazier, “They’re much better (than last season, when SU went 5-6, including a 26-23 overtime loss to PV in Houston), a little more physical. Coach Richardson does a great job. I have tremendous respect for him. This year is a new year. I know they’ll be ready.”

The work
SU took Monday off, in what is becoming its first normal work week of the season.

The norm the last few seasons has been a short workout Sunday — “to get the soreness out,” Richardson said — and off Monday because players usually have many class conflicts with a 3:30 p.m. practice.

Last week, SU practiced at 6 p.m. Monday and did not practice Thursday. The previous week, coming off preseason camp, SU did not work Sunday.

Notes
In FCS stats, SU is 11th in total offense (476.0 ypg), 13th in rushing offense (265.5 ypg) and 18th in pass efficiency defense. PV is seventh in scoring defense (10.5), 10th in tackles for loss (10.0 per game) and first in sacks allowed (none). &hellip SU sophomore Tremaine Williams, a reserve defensive back, had an MRI on a right knee injury Monday. Williams suffered the injury on kickoff coverage late in the third quarter Saturday. SU leads the SWAC in third-down conversions (15-for-31, 48.4 percent) and opponents’ third-down conversions (5-for-28, 17.9 percent).

Bears set to host new MEAC member Winston-Salem State

Photo: Senior RB Chad Simpson

MSU Sports Information

Morgan State's #1 ranked MEAC run defense will be tested when the Rams of Winston-Salem State come to Hughes Stadium on Saturday.

WINSTON-SALEM STATE “RAMS” (1-1)
MORGAN STATE “BEARS” (1-1, 0-0 MEAC)
GAME #3
Saturday, September 15, 2007 • 4:00 p.m.
Hughes Stadium (Capacity 10,000) • Baltimore, Md.
RADIO: Morgan State Radio Network WEAA - 88.9 FM:
Rob Long (play-by-play) & Kelvin Bridgers (color).
INTERNET: www.MorganStateBears.com ; http://wssurams.cstv.com/
INTERNET COVERAGE: Live Audio and Live Stats

Setting the Scene
• Morgan State let Towson off the hook last Saturday at Hughes Stadium as the Tigers were able to escape with a 28-21 victory at Hughes Stadium in front of 8,732 fans. The Bears were led by All-MEAC RB Chad Simpson who posted a career-best 195 yards and scored on a 56 yard touchdown dash. MSU’s offensive unit racked up 375 total yards, 245 on the ground. MSU will look to get back in the win column when they host a tough Winston-Salem State team.

• Winston-Salem State is coming off a 28-21 narrow loss against Coastal Carolina. Senior quarterback Monte Purvis led the Rams by rushing for 165 yards and three touchdowns, including TD runs of 65 yards and 80 yards. Jed Bines added 123 yards to a Rams offense that gained 311 total yards against the Chanticleers. Saturday night’s contest will mark the 1st meeting between Morgan State and Winston-Salem State.

• QB Monte Purvis will be one to watch as the Rams prepare for Morgan State this Saturday at Hughes Stadium. Purvis has completed 11-of-25 passes for 107 yards and two touchdowns, but has really been a problem for opposing defense on the ground where he has run for 228 yards and four touchdowns. Purvis rushed fo 165 yards and three touchdowns in a tough 28-21 loss against Coastal Carolina last Saturday.

• The Rams will not be able to compete for a conference title this year but will play a full-slate of MEAC games in 2007.

• SEE CHAD RUN …INTO THE HISTORY BOOKS - Chad Simpson entered the Towson game just needing 63 yards to reach 1,000 yards in his Morgan State career…he ended up rushing for a career-best 195 yards! The All-MEAC running back rushed for 142 yards and three touchdowns in the season-opener vs. Savannah State and has increased his career total to 1,132 yards, 248 yards behind Tony Phillips (1992-93) who ranked #10 in the Bears rushing annals.

Delaware State returns to Top 25 in I-AA poll

Delaware State University, off to a 2-0 start with wins over Coastal Carolina and Florida A&M, is ranked No. 24 in three Division I-AA top 25 football polls.

The Hornets have not been nationally ranked since last November, when they reached the 23rd spot before losing their season finale at Howard.

DSU takes on I-A opponent Kent State in Ohio at 4 p.m. on Saturday. The Golden Flashes are 1-1 after opening the season with a win at Iowa State. Kent lost last Saturday 56-20 at Kentucky.

MEAC power Hampton University is ranked #13 and Norfolk State received 9 votes for their season opening spanking of Division II, Virginia State University.

Sports Network's FCS College Football Poll

Team (First-place votes) Record Points Previous Rank
1. Appalachian State Mountaineers (77) 2-0 1,925 1
2. Montana Grizzlies 2-0 1,849 3
3. Massachusetts Minutemen 2-0 1,726 2
4. Northern Iowa Panthers 2-0 1,630 8
5. North Dakota State Bison 1-0 1,625 4
6. Youngstown State Penguins 1-1 1,411 6
7. Southern Illinois Salukis 2-0 1,386 11
8. McNeese State Cowboys 1-0 1,374 7
9. James Madison Dukes 1-1 1,366 10
10. Delaware Blue Hens 2-0 1,051 13
11. Wofford Terriers 2-0 1,044 14
12. New Hampshire Wildcats 0-1 1,030 5
13. Hampton Pirates 1-0 826 15
14. Eastern Illinois Panthers 1-1 749 12
15. Furman Paladins 1-1 725 9
16. Sam Houston State Bearkats 2-0 709 16
17. Illinois State Redbirds 1-1 556 17
18. Nicholls State Colonels 2-0 475 25
19. Hofstra Pride 1-0 394 NR
20. Montana State Bobcats 0-1 356 21
21. Yale Bulldogs 0-0 280 23
22. Western Illinois Leathernecks 1-1 273 24
23. Towson Tigers 2-0 260 NR
24. Delaware State Hornets 2-0 214 NR
25. Lafayette Leopards 2-0 134 NR

Others receiving votes: Cal Poly 131, Northwestern State 96, Princeton 82, Richmond 81, Texas State 74, Alabama A&M 70, Drake 69, The Citadel 65, Missouri State 65, Tennessee-Martin 60, Portland State 58, Georgia Southern 50, South Carolina State 46, Eastern Washington 35, Eastern Kentucky 34, Southern 34, Northern Arizona 31, South Dakota State 29, Villanova 24, Alabama State 23, Liberty 23, San Diego 20, Austin Peay 14, Holy Corss 12, Maine 12, Stony Brook 10, Norfolk State 9, Grambling 7, Central Arkansas 6, Harvard 6, Colgate 4, Prairie View 4, Rhode Island 2, Tennessee State 2.

As of September 10, 2007, at 07:03 PM ET

Alabama A&M notebook


Huntsville Times

Luke gets SWAC'sweekly offensive honor

Alabama A&M quarterback Kelcy Luke was named the Southwestern Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week, league officials announced Monday.

Luke, a 6-foot, 205-pound senior from Phenix City, completed 21-of-32 passes for 301 yards and four touchdowns to lead Alabama A&M to a 41-10 shellacking of Clark Atlanta.Through two games, Luke is 38-of-61 for 562 yards and seven touchdowns with just one interception.

A&M's honors: Luke, tailback Ulysses Banks, inside linebacker Quinton Holmes and punter Rashan Cylar were honored by the A&M coaching staff for their play Saturday.

Luke and Banks were named team co-offensive players of the week. Banks rushed for a school-record 211 yards on just 19 carries and scored two touchdowns. A&M finished the game with 608 yards in total offense.

Holmes was named the week's best defensive player after coming up with five tackles, including one tackle for loss and a sack, as the Bulldogs limited the Panthers to 198 yards in total offense.

Cylar was earned the A&M special teams honor. He averaged 34.8 yards on four kicks, including a long of 44 yards.

Bulldogs weren't perfect: Although coach Anthony Jones was pleased with A&M's effort in Saturday's win, the Bulldogs didn't play a perfect game.

A&M gave up a long kickoff return for the second week in a row that helped set up a Clark Atlanta field goal. The Bulldogs were penalized 10 times for 80 yards, gave up three sacks and missed numerous tackles.

"We blew a couple of protections that gave up some sacks," Jones said. "We had some missed assignments. If we clean up our details, we would have scored at least three more touchdowns."

Jones said his team must make corrections in those areas to beat Mississippi Valley State in its SWAC opener Saturday night. Kickoff is at 6:30 at Louis Crews Stadium.

"We've got to get ourselves ready," he said. "We've got to clean up the mistakes we made and try to come up with a good game plan."

Furthermore: With Saturday's victory, Jones tied former A&M coach George Hobson for third place on the school's wins list. Jones is 43-18 in his sixth season with the Bulldogs and needs 11 wins to pass Ray Greene, who was 53-27-5 in eight seasons. Hobson was 43-83-10 in 16 seasons. ... Luke's 301 passing yards left him one yard short of the school's Division I-AA record for a passing yards in a game. Chris Gunn had 302 yards passing against Southern on Oct. 7, 2000.

Reggie Benson

Jones says A&M can't be satisfied

Photo: AAMU quarterback Kelcy Luke, who set a personal best with 301 yards passing on 21 of 32 attempts, has been named Southwestern Athletic Conference offensive player of the week. The senior led the Bulldogs to a 41-10 victory over Clark-Atlanta.
By REGGIE BENSON, Huntsville Times

The preseason is over for Alabama A&M and fun was had by all.

The Bulldogs' offense put together back-to-back dominating efforts against Tennessee State and Clark Atlanta and Brawnski Towns' defense wasn't too shabby either.

Still, those games won't matter if A&M doesn't take care of business Saturday night when it opens Southwestern Athletic Conference play against Mississippi Valley State. Kickoff will be at 6:30 at Louis Crews Stadium.

A&M is 2-0. MVSU is 1-1 overall and in the league.

"We're not going to try to make our season against Tennessee State and Clark Atlanta," A&M coach Anthony Jones said. "We can't be satisfied being 2-0.

"I don't want our guys to think we're great because we're not. We've played two good football games and now we're ready to get into conference play. We have to continue to get better. If we don't, everything we've done will be for naught."

While the Bulldogs made it look easy against the Tigers and the Panthers - averaging 45 points and 529 yards in total offense - conference play, Jones says, will be vastly different.

"Everybody turns up the volume," he said. "There's a lot of parity in this league."

The Bulldogs had several newcomers on offense, and they have played major roles.

Tailbacks Ulysses Banks and Anthony Green have combined for 340 yards and four touchdowns. Wide receiver Rashad Johnson is averaging a league-high 21.6 yards per catch and has two touchdowns. Three new starters along the offensive line - center Xavier Manuel and guards Charles Meade and Russell Jackson - have been solid in A&M's running game and in pass protection.

"We're not where we can be," Jones said. "We still have a lot of room for improvement."

UAB Blazers Excited for Home Opener Versus Alcorn State

Press Conference

Blazers Excited for Home Opener Versus Alcorn State In Monday's Media Luncheon.
UAB goes for fourth consecutive home-opening victory on Saturday.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The UAB football team is gearing up for its 2007 home opener against the Alcorn State Braves on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. at Legion Field. The Blazers spent Monday's weekly Media Luncheon discussing the upcoming contest with the Braves, along with this past week's close call at Florida State, where the Blazers fell to the Seminoles 34-24.

"Even though we were very disappointed in the outcome, I do think we made a lot of progress, particularly on the defensive side of the ball," said UAB head coach Neil Callaway. "We want to get better every week and as long as we are getting better, we think we are making progress and we are going to be fine. So that was encouraging to see."

The Blazers gave Florida State all they could handle last weekend, and are looking to do the same this week at home versus Alcorn State.

"Looking at them on film, they have multiple offensive and defensive schemes," said Callaway of the outlook for this week's game against the Braves. "They have a very experienced football team coming back with eight starters on both sides of the ball. Even though they haven't won a ballgame, I have been very impressed with the way they play on both sides of the ball and how well they are coached."

Saturday will mark the first home contest of the '07 campaign for UAB. Callaway and company are excited to make their debut at Legion Field and emphasize the importance of protecting their home field.

"It's our first home ballgame," said Callaway. "We talk about it all the time. When we play in our house, we want to come out ready to play. We are looking forward to our game against Alcorn State and hopefully we will be productive.

"I really would hope the fans would come out to see us. I think the fact that our guys are playing hard and want to compete and do what's right, I hope that would be appealing to the people of Birmingham. Hopefully people will want to come out and support us and watch us play."

Developing story from MyFox Birmingham...

UAB Must 'Pay to Play' at Legion Field

The Birmingham Park and Recreation Board voted not to give UAB any more free rent to play football on Monday. The average fee UAB will be charged to play football at Legion Field is $10,000 per game.

On Tuesday, the Birmingham City Council will vote on UAB's request for the city to continue to purchase $225,000 in Blazer football tickets over the next three years. UAB has contracted to continue playing at Legion Field.
---------------

Yep, you read it correctly! UAB will go from FREE to $10,000 per game, but City must buy $675,000 in football tickets over the next three years in TAX PAYERS MONEY. Just one question--did MEAC/SWAC Challenge get the same rump shaking deal? (beepbeep).

B-CU looks to get it done


By KEN WILLIS, Sports Columnist

DAYTONA BEACH -- One final question was posed to South Carolina State coach Buddy Pough, who was ready to pack his things for the bus ride back to Orangeburg, S.C.

Considering how disjointed Bethune-Cookman's offense looked in a 24-13 loss to Pough's Bulldogs, does it look like Alvin Wyatt and the Wildcats are in for another year of struggles?

Maybe he just didn't want to throw salt in the wounds, but most likely, Pough has seen B-CU do so much with so little for so long, he simply found the question a little silly.

"They'll be OK," Pough said. "You know, Wyatt has always found a way to get it done."

One way would be to shore up gaping holes in the special-teams play. S.C. State averaged 43 yards on four kickoff returns Saturday. B-CU kicker Lucas Esquivel, a first-year starter, hit two field goals but also saw two sail wide right. The worst special-teams episode came early in the fourth quarter when the B-CU return team watched a Bulldog kick land softly and flop around, near the Wildcat 30, where it was eventually recovered by S.C. State.

"Special teams . . . we really have to work on that," Wyatt said. "We were in situations where they could've scored 50 points on us."

On the upside, the 'Cats cleanly blocked two field goals and deflected a third. And Corey Council, a junior return specialist, provided the day's biggest highlight with a 98-yard touchdown return in the third quarter.

"It feels good to break a run," Council said of his first collegiate touchdown.

Council also gained 19 yards on a second-quarter toss-sweep, and appeared to be just one block away from breaking a couple of other runs during the game, which makes you wonder if they should make a conscious effort to put the ball in his hands more.

"No," Wyatt said, "the defense dictates who gets the ball in our offense. If they make a mistake, it could be the B-back or the quarterback or the A-back. It all depends on what the defense is giving."

B-CU goes on the road to Savannah State this week, and should find an opposing defense that's in a more giving mood. After that, though, it's back to league play with three straight games within the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. None of the preseason MEAC polls tabbed B-CU as a favorite, and as of now, those polls look to be correct.

But the Wildcats consider two games into a season far too early to be writing off any goals or expectations. Especially when the Game 2 measuring stick was an S.C. State team considered one of the preseason MEAC favorites.

"They're a good football team, we're a good football team," Wyatt said. "We just couldn't answer the things they were putting out there on us. But we'll get better as we go along.

"I'm optimistic about our team, you know. We need to iron some things out offensively as well as on special teams. We may have our difficulties, but I think we can get it together and it'll be a great year for us."

Asked to define "great," Wyatt ignored numbers and focused on effort.

"As long as they compete," he said, "then I'm satisfied."

Delayed flight caps bad trip for NCA&T

By Rob Daniels, Greensboro News-Record

HAMPTON AT N.C. A&T
When: 6 p.m. Saturday
Where: Aggie Stadium, Greensboro
Records: Hampton 1-0 overall, 1-0 MEAC; N.C. A&T 0-2, 0-1
Tickets: $20. Call 334-7749 or go to http://www.ncataggies.com.
TV: ESPNU (taped telecast at 10 p.m.)
INSIDE: Aggies QB likely done for season.

First, N.C. A&T's football team loses to Prairie View. Then it gets stranded for an extra day in L.A.

GREENSBORO -- The event was called the Angel City Classic, but for N.C. A&T's football team and band, the trip back from Los Angeles resembled the Biblical afterlife destination devoid of angels and ethereal joy.

"It is a horror. No doubt," coach Lee Fobbs said shortly after getting off a chartered flight at 1:35 p.m. Monday -- nearly 24 hours later than originally scheduled.

The flight itself was smooth and without incident. It just took awhile to get started, having been compromised by mechanical problems and FAA regulations.

The Aggies' losing streak grew to 18 games when they fell to Prairie View A&M 22-7 on Saturday afternoon, and they were scheduled to leave Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday morning, according to an itinerary handled by the game's Texas-based promoter, John Fleming III.





















Fleming's company, Black Educational Events, had contracted with Premier Charter Network of Castle Rock, Colo., to provide two DC-10s owned and operated by American Trans Air. One aircraft would take the Prairie View traveling party to Houston; the other would transport the Aggies.

"The plane that was supposed to take Prairie View to Texas had a mechanical problem that couldn't be rectified until (Monday)," said Wheeler Brown, A&T's associate athletics director. "So what they wanted to do was use our plane to take Prairie View home (Sunday) and then come back and pick us up."

So the Panthers got out of town first. Pilots and flight attendants made the trip from Los Angeles to Houston and back, but under FAA safety policy they were required to rest before getting back in the air. When officially cleared to resume work, they were stuck with an itinerary that would put them in Greensboro after midnight -- at which time there would be no baggage handlers at Piedmont Triad International Airport.

Taking care of the luggage of 100 football players and coaches and 200 members of the university's band isn't exactly a do-it-yourself deal. The Aggies were stuck.

"It's just the nature of aviation," said Kim Butorac, president and chief executive officer of the charter service. "ATA did this event last year and the thing went flawlessly. The promoter has done a great job and the event was fine. It was just one of those things that can happen when you're trying to move people with machines."

Attempts to reach Fleming for comment were unsuccessful.

For the Aggies, the timing was unfortunate on a few levels. The players and band members missed a third day of classes for the trip. A&T's coaches found themselves a day behind in preparations for 2006 MEAC champion Hampton, which visits Aggie Stadium at 6 p.m. Saturday.

"We're going right now to the office and get to work," Fobbs said while walking through the PTI terminal.

Rutgers taking Norfolk State very seriously

Photo: NSU celebrating win over VSU.

Scarlet Knights remember loss to I-AA New Hampshire

By KEITH SARGEANT, Courier News

PISCATAWAY -- If Greg Schiano is looking to warn his players not to letdown against Norfolk State this week, he won't use Appalachian State as proof that teams from the former Division I-AA ranks can upset major-league competition.

There's no need. The Rutgers University football coach has his own experience to draw back on, and it's right there in the memory banks of his veteran players as well.

"What was New Hampshire, three years ago?'' defensive tackle Eric Foster asked, not knowing exactly when the 35-24 setback to New Hampshire happened but remembering the details nonetheless.

"It's happened here before,'' the fifth-year senior added. "I was here for that. It was a tough loss. It didn't feel good at all, so I can imagine how those guys at Michigan feel.''

It's a feeling that Foster certainly doesn't want to experience again. That's why Rutgers' captain isn't shying away from reminding teammates of the New Hampshire defeat, even though it happened in the days when Rutgers wasn't far from Division I-AA caliber.

It's different now, of course, and Mike Teel believes one reason why is because the team's mind-set has changed.

"The biggest thing that's changed in this program is how we're competing against ourselves,'' Rutgers' quarterback said. "It doesn't matter if it's Norfolk State, if it's Louisville or if it's Maryland. We're playing our football team and we're trying to be the best that we can be.''

In Foster's mind, the Scarlet Knights are facing a Top 25 opponent this Saturday, one that hasn't lived up to its No.‚13 ranking despite decisively winning the past two weeks.

"It's Rutgers vs. Rutgers,'' he said. "We didn't play Buffalo, we didn't play Navy. We competed against ourselves. The ball is in our hands. We control our own fate. And we're not going to let overconfidence get in the way of Norfolk State because they're a I-AA team. We're competing against ourselves and we evaluate ourselves based on how we compete.''

Mistakes were evident in the form of a Big East-high 20 penalties through two games, several missed defensive assignments and a couple dropped passes for touchdowns, Schiano said.

"We haven't played to the level that we expect of ourselves,'' he offered. "So that's the challenge, but I don't think it's because we're playing a Division I-AA opponent. I think if we play our best, we can have the chance to beat any team in the country.

"The problem,'' he added, "is we haven't played our best, yet. Our task at hand is to play the best that we can be and see where that puts us.''

While he acknowleged a game plan exists for Norfolk State, one that includes tendencies of what the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference foe does well and what Rutgers will try to exploit, linebacker Brandon Renkart said it's how the Scarlet Knights compete that will determine their Homecoming success.

"It really doesn't matter what league a team is from because any team on any given day can win,'' Renkart said. "I mean, on paper everyone says, 'Yeah, they should blow them out,' but if you have an off day, anything can happen. We're really in competition with ourselves.''

Bethune's Carolina ties

Photo: Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial in Washington, D.C.
By T&D Staff

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- On the gridiron, South Carolina State and Bethune-Cookman have forged a strong football rivalry.

Yet the Daytona Beach college owes its existence to an extraordinary Palmetto State export determined to provide an education for African-Americans.

Her name was Mary McLeod Bethune.

Born to former slaves on July 10, 1875 near Maysville, S.C., Bethune was the 15th of 17 children, most of whom were born into slavery. Toward the end of Reconstruction, her parents acquired 5 acres of land and built a family home known as the "Homestead."

While Bethune spent much of her youth working in her father’s cotton fields, she also had a burning desire to read and write. Attending a one-room schoolhouse in Maysville, Bethune showed enough promise to be recommended for a scholarship to attend Scotia Seminary near Concord, N.C. After graduating in 1894, Bethune was awarded a scholarship to Dwight Moody’s Institute for Home and Foreign Missions in Chicago.

After being told there were "no openings for Negro Missionaries in Africa," Bethune returned to Maysville after one year to serve as an assistant at the Presbyterian Mission School. From there, Bethune requested and received an appointment at the Haines Normal and Industrial Institute in Augusta, Ga. where she gained experience in a predominately female setting with primary, grammar, elementary normal and industrial courses.

Sometime between 1897 and 1898, Bethune was transferred by the Presbyterian Board to Kendell Institute at Sumter. There she continued to teach and render social services. But most importantly, she met Albertus Bethune, a former schoolteacher turned haberdasher. They were married in early May 1898; on February 3, 1899, she gave birth to Albertus McLeod Bethune Jr., in Savannah, Ga.

While living in Savannah, Mrs. Bethune met the Rev. C.J. Uggans, a Presbyterian pastor from Palatka, Fla. He offered her the opportunity to start a school in that city. At Palatka, she started a community school and worked in the jails two and three times a week, and in the sawmills and among the young people in clubs. Bethune stayed in Palatka five years, until she was encouraged to go to Daytona by Reverend S.P. Pratt who informed her that the area was fertile ground for her missionary spirit.

Having received an education at Maysville Presbyterian Mission School, Scotia Institute, and Moody’s Bible Institute, having gained teaching experience at her primary school with her mentor Emma Wilson, and having arrived in Daytona Beach in 1904 and established the Daytona Literary and Industrial School for Training Negro Girls, Bethune labored the next 20 years, dividing her time and energy between making the school a success and building for herself a national reputation.

Mary McLeod Bethune became a public leader in the second decade of the 20th century. She led a drive to register black voters in Daytona Beach, which earned her a visit from the local Ku Klux Klan. Moreover during this period, Bethune was elected president of the State Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs. During four years in office, she organized scattered clubs of black women throughout the Southeast to combat school segregation and the lack of health facilities among black children. In 1924, Bethune became the eighth president of the prestigious National Association of Colored Women’s clubs (NACW). Among her accomplishments, during her first four years as president, was the acquisition of a national headquarters in the nation’s capital.

In 1923, the Daytona Literary and Industrial School for Training Negro Girls became a co-ed high school as a result of a merger with Cookman Institute of Jacksonville, Fla. A year later, the school became affiliated with the United Methodist Church, evolved into a junior college by 1931 and became known as Bethune-Cookman University.

In 1941, the Florida State Department of Education approved a 4-year baccalaureate program offering liberal arts and teacher education. Mrs. Bethune retired in 1942 at which time James A. Colston became president until 1946 when Mrs. Bethune resumed the presidency for a year.

Today, Bethune’s legacy lives on as more than 3,000 students attend Bethune-Cookman College and it is the 6th largest of the 39-member UNCF colleges. A sculpture was erected in Bethune’s honor in Lincoln Park, Washington, D.C. and her portrait proudly hangs inside the S.C. General Assembly.

Photo: Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial, Washington, DC (rear view)

100-years in the making: SCSU getting ready for USC


By THOMAS GRANT, T&D Senior Sports Writer

To South Carolina State supporters, Saturday’s game at 17th-ranked University of South Carolina is a matchup 100 years in the making.

Yet for all of the growing hullabaloo surrounding the historic in-state clash, one of the head coaches in the center of the action is trying to maintain perspective on what is essentially another non-conference game.

"I could, but I won’t," said SCSU head football coach Oliver "Buddy" Pough at Monday’s press conference when asked about discussing the significance of the first-ever meeting between the Bulldogs and Gamecocks. "We’re going to play a football game. The one thing that I can tell you is that I’m not going to make it like it’s World War III. It’s just like we’re going to play (North Carolina) A&T except we’re going to Columbia. We’re excited about going to play. But more than anything else, we want to go out and we want to show up well."

Although the Bulldogs should have sizable fan support at Williams-Brice Stadium, having sold its allotment of 4,300 tickets, Pough knows it will be a more hostile environment compared to what he experienced during his five seasons as Gamecocks’ running backs coach and SCSU’s three previous appearances in the Palmetto Capital City Classic.

"When we played Benedict, I thought we were the fan favorite," he said. "It was more for us than it was for them. Well, I think that’s turned now. I think the very best thing to happen to us is that it gets real loud in there and the only reason that would happen would be because the game is somewhat competitive."

Of more importance for Pough is instilling in his players a belief in victory against a Gamecocks’ squad brimming with confidence following the 16-12 victory over previously 11th-ranked Georgia.

"I’m going to try to convince my guys that we can compete," he said. "That’s what our main objective is in these kind of settings. You want to go out and actually compete favorably and hang in there. If that were to happen, then you go about the task of saying ‘Maybe we might be able to win’. I don’t think you can fool your players on the disparity of all the things that you think about when talking about whether you can lose or not.

"You’re talking about a Top 20 national power here and one of the best college football coaches (USC head coach Steve Spurrier) I’ve known in my lifetime. You’ve got a lot of things there that would make you think that this would be a huge mismatch. The trick for us is to get in there and find some things that we can do to them to stretch them out a little bit and give us a chance to hang in there. If we can do that, it would be a success for us."

Pough said the "ripple effect" from defending Football Championship Subdivision champion Appalachian State’s win over Michigan will have USC even more prepared for Saturday’s game. At the same time, Pough said it will be a challenge for SCSU matching up with USC, particularly against a Gamecocks’ defense which presents even more challenges than season-opening FCS opponent Air Force Academy.

"They’ve got a couple of guys on their defense especially that I don’t know if we can block," Pough said. "That’s the one factor that we didn’t necessarily have in the Air Force situation. I didn’t think there was much of a talent mismatch with us and Air Force. But now they are a couple of guys at South Carolina that we don’t match up with."

Defensive tackle Marque Hall and the Brinkley twins at linebacker, Casper and Jasper, especially stood out on tape to Pough as "special players" and he believes this is the best USC defensive team he’s seen in years. Offensively, quarterback Blake Mitchell could present problems to an SCSU secondary which had its difficulties against option teams like Air Force and Bethune-Cookman and will be without defensive leader BANDIT Marshall McFadden. The Lamar native is expected to miss 2-3 weeks with a hyperextended elbow ligament on his right arm suffered in the first half of Saturday’s 24-13 win over Bethune-Cookman.

Even without McFadden, the Bulldogs managed to hold the Wildcats without an offensive touchdown and are currently ahead of the offense in terms of team progress after two games.

"I think we’re coming along defensively," he said. "I was really proud of our defense and how they played Saturday. We’re still struggling to find ourselves offensively. We’ve got to play a little bit better at quarterback. We’ve got to play a little bit better upfront."

Quarterback Cleveland McCoy may have to carry much of the burden on offense should Pough opt to rest injured running back Will Ford and Jonathan Woods to insure they are healthy for the resumption of MEAC play in October. Backup Malcolm Long is also expected to see action at the place where he led Gaffney to back-to-back Class 4-A Division I finals.

Pough expects the Gamecocks to assert themselves quickly with the goal of resting its starters for the Sept. 22 showdown at second-ranked LSU.

"Putting the game away and getting their first-line people out of there," said Pough about USC’s approach this Saturday. "That’s generally what they try to do - hurry up and get them put away. And then at that point, we go ahead and play the back-ups and the guys who don’t get to play as much."

SCSU will hold team practices in Orangeburg today and Wednesday starting at 2:50 p.m. and will have a walk through in Columbia on Friday.

Photo: (L to R) Buddy Pough, Cleve McCoy, Will Ford and Willie Jeffries.

NOT JUST A PAYDAY

"We are about the task of getting to be like the Furmans and Appalachians of this world who can go out and compete favorably with those guys week in and week out. Now, they can’t, believe it or not, actually week in and week out do that, but they can occasionally once or twice a year. If we would get to the point where we improve because of that, it would have a big effect on our overall situation where we would become a lot better Football Championship Subdivision team."

CENTRAL FLORIDA NEXT?

SCSU hopes to schedule an FBS team for 2009, thus assuring the school will have such an opponent on the schedule every year through 2011. The Bulldogs are set to play Georgia Tech in 2010 and have a rematch with USC in 2011.

"We think that’s the best case scenario for us," Pough said. "Once upon a time, HBCUs played in the Classics and they made fairly decent money during the Classics. But, this is the method that we like to use for bringing a little extra income into the program. And for us, we get an added advantage in the fact that we get a competition factor that gives us a chance to really see how we match up with these styles of teams. Eventually, we want to get to the point where we can compete favorably with them because if we do, that means we will be much, much better in our division."

For the first time, Pough acknowledged the Bulldogs will most likely open next season against another Football Bowl Subdivision opponent in Central Florida. This is the first of two meetings over the next four years between the Bulldogs and Gamecocks. The Bulldogs will earn $230,000 this Saturday and $250,000 in 2011, although Pough insists the guaranteed money is not the only reason why these type of games are beneficial for SCSU.

"The one thing that I think that we get out of the games of this sort ... people think we’re going to get a guarantee," Pough said. "People think it’s more about money for us. But it’s not about money for us. It’s more about the preparation and the actual competition with people who are bigger than us and what we hope will happen is that we emulate them in a way where we become better ourselves.

JSU Comegy: Show me the money


The JSU Game
What: Jackson State vs. Texas Southern
When: Thursday, 6:30 p.m.
TV: ESPNU

When making future football schedules, Jackson State coach Rick Comegy has made one thing crystal clear: Money matters.

Comegy said on Monday that he hopes to schedule a game against a Division I-A opponent as soon as possible to help bring in some extra cash. Often times, I-AA schools can earn several hundred thousand dollars for traveling to play a major conference school.

Last winter, the Tigers briefly talked with Southern Miss about setting up a season opener, but instead decided to host Delta State. USM hosted Tennessee-Martin in its opener.

"We've got our coaches looking every day to try to set up something (with a Division I-A team)," Comegy said. "... It takes money to build a football program."

Several Southwestern Athletic Conference schools are venturing to Division I-A schools this season. Grambling lost to Pittsburgh 31-10 last weekend while Alcorn State will travel to UAB on Saturday.

LOVING IMPROVEMENT

When cornerback Keith Camp came to Jackson State more than a year ago, he didn't envision that it would take nearly 13 full games before he got his first interception.

But on Saturday night, Camp finally broke through when he picked off a pass in the end zone during Jackson State's 16-13 loss to Tennessee State.

And now that he's finally broken through, Camp said he expects a bevy of interceptions to follow.

"The first one is always the most difficult," he said. "Now they should start coming my way."

INJURY REPORT

JSU offensive tackle Wilson Manigat (knee) could return earlier than expected after being injured in the season opener against Delta State. The 6-foot-4, 300-pound senior could play against Texas Southern even though he was originally thought to be out until late September... Marcel Frost's (leg) is questionable for Thursday's game.

- David Brandt

JSU Football: What's wrong with the Tigers' offense?

Photo: After missing JSU's first game, Erik Haw rushed for 82 yards in Saturday's loss to Tennessee State.

By David Brandt, Clarion Ledger

It's high noon for Jackson State coach Rick Comegy, and the sharks are circling in the main dining room at Schimmel's - a downtown restaurant in Jackson.

The Monday afternoon ritual during football season consists of about 75 Jackson State fans. They buy an $11 ticket, eat some pasta covered in andouille sausage and shoot the breeze with friends.

But most importantly, they get the chance to step up to the microphone and ask Comegy a few questions about their beloved Tigers.

The lunch crowd is always a raucous, honest bunch, even when JSU has won a big game the previous weekend. So imagine their mood after a 16-13 loss to Tennessee State left the Tigers with an 0-2 record this season.

Nothing like an angry mob to go with your pasta.

"It's usually loud," said JSU fan Derrick Cannon said with a grin. "But I don't think it's ever been this crazy."

One by one, they step to the microphone. Some want to know why Tray Rutland - and not Jimmy Oliver - started at quarterback. Others wonder what offensive coordinator James Woody was thinking when he called a pass on 3rd-and-goal at the 5-yard line. Then there's the group that thinks running back Lavarius Giles isn't being used enough.

But when it comes down to it, all are asking a variation of the same two questions.

What in the world is wrong with this team?

And.....

What are you going to do to fix it ?

The first question is pretty easy to answer: the offense. More specifically, the passing game.

Jackson State is averaging just 14 points per game in its two losses and has scored only two offensive touchdowns this season.

Of utmost concern are the quarterbacks. Tray Rutland and Jimmy Oliver have combined to complete just 19 of 58 passes (32.7 percent) for 299 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions.

Neither has established himself as the starting quarterback and the competition continues for its third straight regular-season week.

Comegy says it will be the last.

"What I do know is we need to get this thing settled," Comegy said. "We want one guy who's the starter and then somebody that can back him up if something happens."

At Monday's luncheon, Comegy admitted that Oliver's tendency to miss film sessions was hurting his chance to start, despite the fact that he threw for 1,906 yards last season and was first in the SWAC in total offense.

As for Rutland, his inconsistent play has done little to inspire confidence. But the sophomore has the studious demeanor Comegy craves.

"It's my decision who the quarterback will be," Comegy said. "Then we'll stick to that decision."

While the quarterbacks have been shaky, the receivers haven't been a whole lot better.

Rodney Gray, one of the Tigers' premier transfers from Southern Miss, dropped three passes against Tennessee State. And JSU offensive coordinator James Woody said Gray is far from the only culprit.

"It's surprising because we thought the quarterbacks and receivers were going to be the deepest, most experienced part of this team," Woody said. "I don't know if complacency set in or what. But it won't happen again."

Then there's the second question: What can Jackson State do to fix this before the season gets our of hand?

Senior receiver Chris Johnson says there's no miracle cure, only better execution and concentration.

"I think we've all figured out that great talent and experience doesn't mean anything if you can't execute," Johnson said. "We're just trying to narrow our focus. We know we're better than this."

Comegy said the biggest focus of this week's practice would be red zone work. The Tigers were just 1-for-3 in scoring opportunities once they got inside Tennessee State's 20-yard line.

Last season, Jackson State was one of the SWAC's best in the red zone, scoring on 30 out of 38 opportunities (78.9 percent).

"Every play, we see ourselves getting better," Rutland said. "Now we've got to make the big play when we're down by the end zone. We're building more and more confidence and those big plays will come."

Cornerback Keith Camp doesn't have first-hand knowledge of the offensive woes. But the senior says a return to winning ways might just be a matter of attitude.

"At this point, we need to start treating every player on every opposing team like they're an All-American," Camp said. "We're 0-2 right now, so I'm not sure why we'd take anything for granted."

By the time the 45-minute question and answer session is over at Schimmel's, the JSU crowd has calmed down - at least a little.

A weary Comegy has answered all the questions, though the exchange was testy at times.

It's obvious the program needs a win in a hurry. The Tigers have lost six of seven games dating back to last season.

And thanks to a short week, the next chance is just two days away. JSU hosts Texas Southern at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday in a game nationally televised on ESPNU.

Before he leaves Schimmel's to resume work on his game plan, Comegy takes a long look at the crowd and then offers this:

"For the first time on Saturday, I saw these guys really fight for Jackson State and a cause bigger than themselves," Comegy said. "We're at the crucial point of gelling. Don't give up on these kids right now."

SU line, backs getting job done early this season
























Photo: Darren Coates - 25 carries, 199 yards, 2 TDs rushing

By JOSEPH SCHIEFELBEIN, Advocate sportswriter

PVAMU at Southern
When: 6 p.m. Saturday
Where: A.W. Mumford Stadium
TV: tape-delay (4 p.m. Sun., CST)
RADIO: KQXL-FM, 106.5

The biggest decisions impacting the Southern running game this season were made in the offseason.

Tops of those was a decision to go to a zone-blocking scheme. The simplicity of that has risen in importance as the offensive line lost five, and perhaps, six members to grades, since the spring.

The other two biggies were adding two first-year coaches in offensive line coach Damon Nivens and running backs coach Elvis Joseph, two former Jaguars who had played professionally. The two have brought a jolt of enthusiasm and professionalism that has been crucial to the two youngest offensive units.

The results have come together impressively so far for Southern (2-0, 1-0 Southwestern Athletic Conference), which hosts Prairie View (2-0, 1-0) in a Western Division showdown at 6 p.m. Saturday in A.W. Mumford Stadium.

A year ago, through two games, SU ran for 58 yards. To date, the Jaguars have 531.

A year ago, Darren Coates and Brian Threat combined for 188 yards and one touchdown all season and Kendrick Smith, sitting out as a transfer, wasn’t even on the team. To date, the trio has put up 380 yards and three TDs on the ground, with Smith catching two passes for TDs as well.

“I know we’re on the right track,” SU offensive coordinator Mark Orlando said. “I think the kids have bought into it, and they’re having fun with it.”

Such a strong running game seemed perhaps out of reach after an offseason of attrition. SU lost its most veteran running back, Larry Nichols, to academics as well as the offensive linemen.

“It’s really surprised me we’d be this far along at this time,” Southern head coach Pete Richardson said.

But before the attrition ever happened, SU made decisions that are starting to pay off.

“Coming out of last year, we knew we had to run,” Orlando said. “No. 1, we made a decision to run. No. 2, we made a decision to keep our blocking scheme as simple as we possibly could.”

That simplicity — “If you come in an area, I block you. That’s it,” Orlando said — is key.

Though Southern is playing with a tight end at left tackle, a left tackle at left guard, a right guard at center and a tackle at right guard, the scheme works.

























Photo: Kendrick Smith - 9 carries, 61 yards, 2 TDs receiving

“We made it simple where they can play faster,” Orlando said. “They understand their assignments and they can come off the ball more aggressively.”

Richardson said the offensive line, which road-graded Mississippi Valley State for 293 yards, was the MVP of a 23-6 win Saturday in Chicago. The week before, Valley had corralled the SWAC’s two marquee rushers, Martell Mallett and Mickey Dean of Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

That was SU’s best one-game total since 345 rushing yards on Prairie View on Sept. 6, 2003.

“The players are starting to believe in it,” Richardson said. “It’s not to blow anybody out; it’s to get out and keep contact and let the back do the work.”

Taking advantage is an upgrade in talent at running back to go along with the threat of a veteran receiving group.

“The skill we have is as good, if not better, as any skill we’ve had since I’ve been at Southern,” Orlando said. “And the kids up front have done a very good job.”

And Joseph has brought out the best in Coates, Threat and Smith.

“Coates runs hard. He can run inside or outside,” Richardson said. “Threat is a big, powerful type guy. He can run in between the numbers. Then you change the speed of the game when you put Kendrick in there.”

Coates broke a 90-yard TD run on the offense’s first play this season. Threat snapped off a 62-yarder Saturday. Smith is home-run hitter waiting.

“We have the ability to keep fresh legs in the game,” Richardson said. “We’ve got three running backs we feel comfortable with. The fourth option is the quarterback.”

Photo: Brian Threat - 15 carries, 128 yards, 1 TD rushing

Sophomore quarterback Bryant Lee, the top returning rusher with 302 yards and five TDs last season, has run for 88 yards and one TD this season.

“The quarterback has to make yards with his legs in the run game,” Orlando said. “When you see us with two backs and a quarterback, that’s a three running back set.

“When your quarterback has to run the ball, the defense has an extra guy they have to account for. A lot of times, we get an extra blocker at the point of attack.”

The fifth option is the end around or the reverse, and cat-quick junior Del Roberts (four carries for 37 yards) also keeps defenses honest.

Meanwhile, Nivens and Joseph, along with assistant Mark Frederick, have added a right touch of oomph and knowledge to invigorate their units.

“The kids really relate to them because they played here and they bring that enthusiasm out there,” Orlando said. “They’ve done a super job.”



Monday, September 10, 2007

2007 Southern Heritage Classic-- JSU vs. TSU photo show



Jackson State University Sonic Boom of the South Marching Band
Tennessee State University Aristocrat of Marching Bands

AAMU surging early on offense

Photo: AAMU vs TSU

By REGGIE BENSON, Huntsville Times

Alabama A&M has never had an overpowering offense during Anthony Jones' previous five seasons.

The Bulldogs' highest scoring average under Jones came in 2003 when they averaged 33.2 points per game, fourth-best in the SWAC. Their highest total offense average came in 2005 when they averaged 385 yards, fourth-best in the SWAC.

But A&M is plenty busy after two games this season. In posting blowout wins over Tennessee State and Clark Atlanta, the Bulldogs have been an offensive juggernaut, averaging 45 points and 529 yards per game. A&M is averaging 302 yards through the air and 227 yards on the ground.

"Right now, people are looking at us and saying they have to stop our running game and our passing game," Jones said. "That's a good position to be in."

Jones thought A&M would have a good offense this year, but he had no idea it would be this good this fast.

The Bulldogs had to replace three fifth-year seniors along the offensive line. They lost their top two tailbacks, their top two fullbacks and three of their top four receivers. Throw in the fact that three new assistant coaches were added to the offensive staff less than a month before preseason practice started and Jones anticipated early problems.

"I've been the kind of coach that has taken advantage of the talent that we have," Jones said. "This is a year where we're gifted with a lot of speed. I believe we've had more 20-yard plays in the first two games than we had almost all of last season."

Four of A&M's seven touchdowns against Tennessee State covered 25 yards or more. The Bulldogs had seven plays 22 yards or longer. Three of A&M's six touchdowns against Clark Atlanta covered 20 yards or more. The Bulldogs had eight plays 20 yards or longer.

"It's not surprising," quarterback Kelcy Luke said. "We knew what we were capable of the first couple of weeks of camp. Coach Jones is taking advantage of it."

Against Clark Atlanta, Luke completed 21-of-32 passes for 301 yards and four touchdowns. Nine different players caught passes. Three different players caught touchdown passes. Tailback Ulysses Banks rushed for 211 yards on 19 carries and scored two touchdowns.

Banks and Anthony Green have gotten the bulk of the carries at tailback. Thomas Harris, the top returning receiver, has been joined by newcomers Rashad Johnson and Nate Baxter. Veteran tight ends Charles Moody and John Smith, along with offensive tackles James Sanders and Darius Turner, have been leaders along with Luke, A&M's starting quarterback the last four years.

"The young guys are centered around an old veteran in Kelcy and then you have some feisty veterans in key positions," said Jones, referring to Moody, Smith, Sanders and Turner. "They've done a great job in helping us rebuild our offense."



Who's hot: Running back Ulysses Banks, in only his second career start, rushed for a school- record 211 yards on just 19 carries and scored two touchdowns in Alabama A&M's 41-10 drubbing of Clark Atlanta.

Who's not: Defensive back Stephan Tucker allowed a 61-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter. It is the second week in a row Tucker has given up a pass catch of 60 yards or more.

Who's hurt: The Bulldogs sustained no significant injuries.

Who's next: Alabama A&M hosts Mississippi Valley State in its conference opener Saturday night at Louis Crews Stadium. Kickoff is 6:30.

Florida A&M University vs. Delaware State University game photo show



Grambling laments missed opportunities

Photo: GSU RB #23 Frank Warren missed pass vs. Pitt.

The Times - Shreveport

PITTSBURGH — Grambling State left Heinz Field with more than a 34-10 defeat at the hands of the University of Pittsburgh on Saturday.
They left knowing they had squandered some opportunities as well.

The Tigers (1-1) had a punt blocked and a pass intercepted to lead to two Pitt touchdowns and eventually a 21-0 lead with 11 minutes gone.

The Tigers also hurt themselves with 108 yards of penalties. They also failed to score three times after moving the ball inside the Pitt 10 during the second half.

"They (Pitt) played an excellent game and I take nothing away from it, but we helped them a great deal," GSU coach Rod Broadway said. "When you have three passes intercepted, a punt blocked and get the ball inside the 20-yard line four times without scoring, then you've got a problem.

"Pitt's a very talented team but I thought we missed an opportunity to close the gap a little bit. We need to do a better job of coaching."

Photo: GSU Tiger Band performs before 30,852 at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA .

Despite giving up 34 points, Grambling's defense allowed 321 yards offense to Pitt. The Panthers had 202 yards passing and 119 rushing.

"I thought our defense actually played pretty well," Broadway said. "We gave up 34 points and 280 yards (actually 321), but most of that came in the first half when Pitt had the ball on our side of the 50 a lot."

Offensively, though, the Tigers struggled against Pitt.

Grambling quarterback Brandon Landers was 19-of-40 passing for 155 yards. He threw one touchdown, but he was intercepted three times.

"We have to get better at converting in the red zone," Landers said. "That's one thing that coach really stressed to us after the game, and we know it's true.

"You have to convert those kinds of chances if you're going to be successful against a team like Pitt. We'll keep working on it. We have two more weeks before our next game to get it right."

SU Jaguars can’t overlook Prairie View this time


By JOSEPH SCHIEFELBEIN, Advocate sportswriter

What Southern has to do this week, the Jaguars should already know.

Southern is 2-0, just like last year. Southern is facing Prairie View on Saturday, just like the Jaguars did at this point last year.

For them, what happened last year has to be remembered — and what happened last year can’t be allowed to happen again.

A year ago, their season dissolved in an amazing fourth-quarter collapse on a cauldron of a field in Houston. The result of blowing a two-touchdown lead late in the fourth quarter: PV won its first game against Southern since 1971 with a 26-23 overtime decision.

That loss began a stretch, for Southern, of five losses in six games.

What Southern (2-0, 1-0 Southwestern Athletic Conference) will face in a 6 p.m. season opener Saturday in A.W. Mumford Stadium is a Prairie View team (2-0, 1-0) that is better than last season’s edition and one which has the confidence, unlike previous Panthers teams, that Southern is no longer invincible.



This looms as a big early season Western Division showdown.

Southern beat Mississippi Valley State 23-6 Saturday in Chicago, while PV, with Val Ford returning two blocked punts for first-half touchdowns, beat Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference member North Carolina A&T 22-7 in Los Angeles.

Southern, after two straight losing seasons, is trying to live up to the program’s good name under Pete Richardson and A.W. Mumford. A win Saturday would continue the momentum and help erase memories of last season, with Prairie View players taunting Southern players relentlessly at game’s end.

Prairie View is still trying to scratch out respect as a conference contender, something the program, so down in the 1990s, hasn’t had for decades. A win Saturday would give them consecutive victories over Southern, something which last happened when the Panthers won three straight from 1962 through ’64. That would be a powerful statement.

There should be a tremendous sense of clarity and will from both sides.

This is going to be quite the home opener.

Make sure you’ve got tickets.

Photo: SU QB Bryant Lee vs. MVSU, runs for first down.

Do more of this

Southern has a nice trio at running back, with Darren Coates (25 carries, 197 yards, two touchdowns), Brian Threat (15 carries, 117 yards, one TD) and Kendrick Smith (nine carries, 61 yards — plus two receiving TDs Saturday). Coates, in the season opener, and Threat, Saturday, have already posted their first career 100-yard games.

Make that a four-man threat, with quarterback Bryant Lee (30 carries, 88 yards, one TD) included.

The Jaguars already have 531 rushing yards so far. At this point last season, they had 58. More, the 531 is almost half of what SU totaled in 11 games last season: 1,233.

Work more on this

Southern has to avoid the slow starts on offense. Granted, the first offensive play of the season was a 90-yard touchdown run. The point here, though, is getting into a rhythm as a unit. Once SU gets going, the Jaguars have been dynamite.

“We made a few adjustments. &hellip We have to figure out what defenses are doing,” said Richardson, who also mentioned the exuberance of youth as a possible factor in keeping SU from settling in.

Quick hits

Saturday’s reported attendance of 49,872, though the entire upper deck on the West side was empty and the stadium seats 61,500, was better than any total, even the Bayou Classic (47,136), that saw the Jaguars last season. The total was certainly better than the last time SU played Valley in Chicago, with 9,069 coming to see the Jaguars win 51-30 in the 1997 season opener. The public address announcers were often way out of line, talking about betting on the game while in progress and drinking Courvoisier after the game. Then, there were lines like, “He jumped on that boy like he caught him stealing out of his momma’s purse.”

Up next

Southern hosts Prairie View at 6 p.m. Saturday in A.W. Mumford Stadium. The home opener begins a stretch where SU plays five of its next six games at home. SU is at home for three games in October and will take that final Saturday off.

Little time to lick wounds for Jackson State Tigers

Photo: Daniel Brooks, 6-4/235 Sr. DE

By David Brandt, Clarion Ledger

The JSU Game
Who: Texas Southern (0-2, 0-2 SWAC) at Jackson State (0-2, 0-0)
When: Thursday, 6:30 p.m.
TV: ESPNU
Radio: JSU Network (WOAD-1300 AM and 105.9 FM, Jackson)

Listed at 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds, Jackson State defensive end Daniel Brooks can be funny and gregarious - almost a larger than life comic influence on the Tigers' locker room.

But in the rare moments when he's angry - when his eyes cloud over and his expression turns grim, he can also be downright intimidating.

And the half hour following JSU's 16-13 loss to Tennessee State on Saturday would certainly qualify as one of those extended moments.

But after a little time to cool down, Brooks' face softens and the senior sighs for a second before scratching his head, trying to find a bit of good news despite the Tigers' 0-2 start to the season.

He finally has to settle for this:

"What doesn't kill us will make us stronger," Brooks said. "You've got to go through rough times to enjoy the success. This is our rough time. But it won't last forever."

And Jackson State would probably prefer that the troubles end immediately, especially considering the Tigers have just three days to prepare for a Thursday night game at 6:30 p.m. against Texas Southern.

It is JSU's first Southwestern Athletic Conference game of the season and is also nationally televised on ESPNU.

Comegy's mantra during the preseason has been winning a SWAC championship. And if that's the case, the only thing lost so far is a little shine off the second-year coaching staff who could seemingly do no wrong in last season's 6-5 rejuvenation.

And even though it's undeniable that JSU has struggled through the first two games, there were a few more positives against Tennessee State than in the season-opening debacle against Delta State. Among them:

Kicker Eric Perri's school-record 50-yard field goal and earlier 44-yard field goal.

Running back Erik Haw, who returned from injury to rush for 82 yards on 17 carries. It was the junior's best game since midway through last season.

A defense that has consistently been stingy, allowing Tennessee State only 16 points on Saturday.

"I think we're playing good enough defense to win ballgames," Comegy said. "I'm just concerned with our offense. We need to be moving the ball better and generating a little more offense."

Texas Southern (0-2 overall, 0-2 SWAC) has also lost twice to open the season. The Maroon Tigers were blown out by Prairie View A&M 34-14 in their opener before falling 21-10 to Alabama State on Saturday.

Haw said the shorter week to prepare for Texas Southern could be a positive, forcing JSU to immediately focus on the upcoming game instead of dwelling on the Tennessee State loss.

"It's the ups and downs of football and you've got to deal with adversity," Haw said. "There's no time to sit and feel sorry for ourselves. We've got to get back to work."

Jackson State University Sonic Boom of the South Marching Band

Tennessee State coach says some fans gave up on Tigers

Photo: TSU Athletic Director Teresa Phillips

By MIKE ORGAN, The Tennessean

James Webster is most proud of his Tennessee State players for not giving up on themselves and hanging on to win Saturday's game against Jackson State.

The Tigers coach is perplexed, however, by those who did give up on his team before the game ever started.

Webster said he heard from fans that threw in the towel on the Tigers after their season-opening, 49-23 loss to Alabama A&M. It was the first thing he brought up after Saturday's 16-13 win at the Memphis Liberty Bowl.

"I think there were some people who gave up on us for the season after we lost by whatever we did to Alabama A&M,'' Webster said. "That is something I don't understand."

One person who didn't give up was TSU athletics director Teresa L. Phillips, one of the first to greet the Tigers Saturday night as they came out of the locker room after rallying to win.

"Our president (Melvin Johnson) didn't give up on us and our AD didn't give up on us,'' Webster said. "And that's all I worry about because they're my boss and they're leaders. They were very supportive of us and encouraged us, and that's what matters to me."

Mentally tough

Webster said his players proved their tenacity Saturday, not becoming frustrated despite scoring only two touchdowns, and hanging tough until the final play. That's when Eric Benson kicked a 35-yard field goal in the rain for TSU's only lead.

"There was no question about it, mental toughness was the main thing we improved on from the first game to the second,'' Webster said.

"If we would have had the same mental toughness in the Alabama A&M game that we had in this game, I think we would have won the Alabama A&M game. We showed it when we were behind the entire game (against JSU) but continued to play hard."

It won't get easier for TSU this week when the Tigers travel to Austin Peay, even though the Governors were picked to finish last in the OVC in their first year back in the league. They beat Indiana State Saturday 32-17 and are off to a 2-0 start for the first time since 2002.

Hall's status: Starting cornerback Marquez Hall, a transfer from Vanderbilt, suffered a high ankle sprain in the fourth quarter against JSU. He is day-to-day.

SCSU Pough ready to talk about USC


By THOMAS GRANT JR., T&D Senior Sports Writer

COLUMBIA — Let the talk begin.

For weeks, South Carolina State head football coach Oliver "Buddy" Pough deliberately avoided talking about the first-ever game against the University of South Carolina. The reason was simple as the Bulldogs had a very important ‘prior engagement’ a week earlier with Bethune-Cookman which demanded their full attention.

A loss to the Wildcats now only would have put SCSU behind the ‘eight ball’ for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference regular-season title, but created the nightmarish prospect of having to defeat a Football Bowl Subdivision team to avoid an 0-3 start.

With the 24-13 win over the Wildcats, the Bulldogs can head to Columbia this Saturday relaxed knowing their standing in the conference will remain unchanged regardless of the outcome with the Gamecocks.

The lifted burden was especially evident in a relieved Pough’s post-game comments when asked about returning to the university he spent five years as a running backs’ coach under Lou Holtz. While excited about coaching at Williams-Brice Stadium again, Pough’s much happier about going there off a conference win.

"This makes me feel 100 times better going in there not 0-2," he said.

Quarterback Cleveland McCoy, who was a freshman when the Bulldogs faced Benedict in the 2004 Palmetto Capital City Classic at Williams-Brice Stadium, also believes his team will play more loose because of Saturday’s win.

"If we lost this game, it would been...because Bethune-Cookman is a MEAC team," McCoy said. "That counts and going into Carolina with your head down, that’s not a good thing. They’re coming in there to embarrass us, so that’s the great thing we wanted to do (Saturday)."

McCoy also believes the experience with Air Force, plus taking inspiration from what fellow Football Championship Subdivision team Appalachian State did to Football Bowl Subdivision team Michigan, will aid the Bulldogs against USC.

"We want to go in there and win and by any means necessary," McCoy said. "We don’t want to say ‘Well, we’re going up there to lose because that defeats the purpose of playing football. We want to have a shot at winning. Appalachian State won, so there’s no telling what we can do."

The one Bulldog whose arguably most looking forward to facing USC is former Clemson defensive lineman Xavier Littleberry. As the only SCSU player who have played against the Gamecocks during his one season with the Tigers, he still carries a ‘grudge’ against his former school’s biggest rival.

"I just feel like once they’re my rival, they’re always my rival and that’s going to be a real big game for me," he said.

Kickoff for Saturday’s first-ever contest between USC and SCSU is 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the SCSU Ticket Office by calling (803) 536-8579 and Time Warner Cable will air the game on a pay-per-view basis.

Bulldog notes

The Bulldogs’ 279 rushing yards were 32 more than the combined total yards of Bethune-Cookman. Travil Jamison came off the bench to lead SCSU with 70 yards...With the win, SCSU improved to 37-5 under head coach Oliver "Buddy" Pough when leading or tied at halftime. Last year’s 10-9 loss to Delaware State was the only time that has taken place in conference play...Pough evened his record to 3-3 against Bethune-Cookman, leaving Hampton as the only MEAC team he does not own a winning record against...Corey Council’s 98-yard kickoff touchdown return was just the latest by a Wildcat player against SCSU. In fact, four of the five longest kickoff returns in Bethune-Cookman history have come at the Bulldogs’ expense, including current head coach Alvin Wyatt, who had a 102-yard return against SCSU in 1972. Wyatt’s return is tied for second in school history with John Osbourne, who also had a 102-yard return in 1972 against SCSU and four shy of the school mark set by Vincent Nobles in 1966 against the Bulldogs...A week after averaging 40.9 yards a punt in the high altitude at Air Force, punter Aaron Haire of Orangeburg-Wilkinson did even better with five punts averaging 48 yards, including a 61-yarder...Saturday’s game lasted three hours and seven minutes...Pough will hold his weekly press conference at 9 a.m. today in the athletics building.

FAMU narrows search for men's basketball coach to final five


By Heath A. Smith, Tallahassee Democrat

The search for Florida A&M's next men's basketball coach has been narrowed to a list of five finalists.

University of Michigan assistant coach Jerry Dunn, Mississippi State assistant coach Robert Kirby, Georgia State assistant coach Eugene Harris, Chipola Junior College coach Greg Heiar and former Colorado assistant men's basketball coach Paul Graham are expected to be interviewed for the position in person or by phone this week, according to FAMU Athletic Director Nelson Townsend.

"No one has been contacted yet," Townsend said. "We have some very good candidates."

Townsend said he expects to meet the self-imposed Sept. 15 deadline to name a new coach. FAMU fired Mike Gillespie Sr., the university's coach for the past six years, last month.

"I feel confident that we'll be on time," Townsend said. "We have not set an interview schedule yet."

The seven-member search committee met for three hours Saturday after going through the resumes of more than 50 applicants last week, according to state Sen. Al Lawson, who is on the committee.

Lawson said each committee member chose a list of 10 applicants to be voted on by the committee Saturday.

Each applicant from that pool who received two votes from the committee moved on to the next round of votes until the list was paired down to five finalists.

Lawson said that in addition to picking the five finalists, the committee made a motion that he be a part of the interviewing process along with Townsend and FAMU President James Ammons.


Sunday, September 9, 2007

MEAC/SWAC Scoreboard - Week 3 (Sept 13th-15th)


MEAC Scoreboard - Week 3, Sept. 13-15, 2007

Norfolk State (1-0)
@Rutgers (2-0) #15 AP Poll
3:30 PM ET
Rutgers Stadium, Piscataway, NJ
Internet & TV: ESPN 360, GamePlan Pay-Per-View
Radio: WOR, WCTC, WENJ, WRSU
TV: MSG in the New York/New Jersey; Cox Cable in New Orleans; Charter Cable in St. Louis and Time Warner-Wisconsin.
Radio: WNSB Hot 91.1 FM in the Hampton Roads area. WNSB’s audio stream is also available on the web by logging onto www.nsu.edu/athletics and following the ‘Listen Live’ link.

Delaware State (2-0)
@Kent State (1-1)
4:00 PM ET
Dix Stadium, Kent, OH
Internet Audio & Video: http://www.kentstatesports.com/liveEvents/liveEvents.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=11400&KEY=
http://www.dsuhornets.com/

Bethune Cookman (1-1)
@Savannah State (1-1)
4:00 PM ET
Ted Wright Stadium, Savannah, GA

Winston Salem (1-1)
@ Morgan State (1-1)
4:00 PM ET
Hughes Stadium, Baltimore, MD
RADIO: Morgan State Radio Network WEAA - 88.9 FM:
Rob Long (play-by-play) & Kelvin Bridgers (color).
INTERNET: http://www.morganstatebears.com/
http://wssurams.cstv.com/
INTERNET COVERAGE: Live Audio and Live Stats

Hampton (1-0)
@North Carolina A&T (0-2)
6:00 PM ET
Aggie Stadium, Greensboro, NC
TV: Tape Delay ESPNU (10 PM)

Howard U.(0-1)
@ Florida A&M (0-2)
6:00 PM ET
Bragg Memorial Stadium, Tallahassee, FL
Howard Internet Live TV: http://www.broadcasturban.net/player/hubison/player.htm
FAMU Internet Live TV: http://www.BlackCollegeSportsNetwork.net/FAMU/Men.html

South Carolina State (1-1)
@ South Carolina (2-0)
7:00 PM ET
Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, SC
Internet & TV: ESPN 360 & ESPN GamePlan

SWAC Scoreboard - Week 3

Thursday, Sept 13th
Texas Southern (0-3) 7
@Jackson State (1-2) 28 Final
7:30 PM ET
Veterans Memorial Stadium, Jackson, MS
TV: ESPNU live

Saturday, Sept 15th

Alcorn State (0-2)
@UAB (0-2)
7:00 PM ET
Legion Field, Birmingham, AL
Internet Audio & TV: Gameday Central: http://all-access.cstv.com/cstv/player/player.html?code=albr&sport=m-footbl&category=live&media=43266

Alabama State (2-0)
@Arkansas Pine Bluff (1-1)
7:00 PM ET
Pumphery Stadium, Pine Bluff, AR

Prairie View A&M (2-0)
@Southern University (2-0)
7:00 PM ET
Mumford Stadium, Baton Rouge, LA
TV: Cox Sports TV
Radio: SU Sports Network

Mississippi Valley State (1-1)
@Alabama A&M (2-0)
7:30 PM ET
Milton Frank Stadium, Normal, AL

Grambling State-Idle

Division I Independent - Scoreboard Week 2

Elizabeth City State
@North Carolina Central (2-1)
2:00 PM ET
Giants Stadium – The Meadowlands – East Rutherford, N.J. (80,242 capacity)
The New York Urban League's 37th Annual Whitney Young Football Classic
Audio: http://web.nccu.edu/campus/athletics/audio.html

Bethune Cookman (1-1)
@Savannah State (1-1)
4:00 PM ET
Ted Wright Stadium, Savannah, GA

Guest Band: Mississippi Valley State University "Valley Band"