Friday, October 31, 2008

Savannah State athletics on the rise

It's homecoming week at Savannah State. For years... The athletic programs have floundered in mediocrity. But with new leadership from President Dr. Earl Yarbrough and athletic director Bart Bellairs... There is hope for the future. "There have been some amazing things happen," said Bellairs. "The transformation of this campus is just beautiful."

The Savannah State athletic department is trying to pull itself out of the hole that was created by years of neglect. If nothing else, Bellairs can feel the excitement of growth. "Our football staff works tremendously hard at getting good. The players are feeling it, the campus is feeling it."

Basketball is just around the corner and Coach Horace Broadnax had helped the team gain respectability. "We're very excited. We just signed a deal with Georgetown that we'll go to Georgetown in men's basketball and they will come back in here the following year," said Bellairs. "Our women's team is already playing a huge schedule, they've got Georgia Tech coming in. We're hoping that everyone will get behind Savannah State athletics as we try to improve our competition and we have our quest to win championships."

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Monday, October 27, 2008

'Cats take over WSSU homecoming

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- It took a little more than nine minutes for Bethune-Cookman to turn a tightly contested Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game against Winston-Salem State into a blowout. B-CU delivered the knock-out punch in the fourth quarter, and the result was a 27-6 victory at Bowman-Gray Stadium on Saturday. The Wildcats left town with the added satisfaction of knowing they put a serious damper on WSSU's homecoming celebration.

"We really wanted to flip the script, and that's just what we did," B-CU coach Alvin Wyatt said. "Last year, we were 2-4 and we lost to them and fell to 2-5. This year, we come in and beat them, and now we're 5-2 for the first time in three years. "We made some adjustments with our blocking schemes, and that helped open things up when we ran the option (in the second half)."

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http://extras.journalnow.com/photogallery/2008/wssu_homecoming_102608/slideshow.html

Coach Rags starts N.C. A&T four-game season with a bang

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- George Ragsdale walked onto the field early Saturday wearing a floppy rain hat and a rumpled look. He looked like he'd been doing it all his life, and he had in a sense. Ragsdale looked like he was part of the furniture at Aggie Stadium. The soft rain shrouded the field like gauze, making for a gloomy ambience for the first game of the rest of the season for N.C. A&T. Ragsdale was smiling.

A&T held off Howard 21-20 Saturday afternoon to win its first conference game in three years and set off a wild celebration among players and fans and one happy interim coach. "Coach Rags didn't play a down," he said. "Not one down did coach Ragsdale play. What I did was try to motivate and encourage them to play every down."

He meant the players and the fans and the alumni and everyone else who walked into the stadium unsure of what was about to happen. As it turned out, they needed everybody and every down to win the kind of game A&T has been losing for the past three seasons. The game came at the end of a long week for the Aggies and at the beginning of what Ragsdale and the athletics community here declared the beginning of a brand-new, four-game season. Lee Fobbs, the third-year head coach at A&T, was fired Monday morning after the worst era in school history. He was fired after six straight losses, a losing streak that gave him a three-year record of 2-28 that demoralized the team and its fans.

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TSU can't pull out another close one

Tigers fall in OT at SE Missouri

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. — Tennessee State's penchant for living dangerously proved costly Saturday afternoon. The Tigers were knocked from their status as the last team in the Ohio Valley Conference without a league loss Saturday, falling 27-20 to Southeast Missouri State in overtime. The Redhawks rallied from a 14-point deficit, answered TSU's go-ahead field goal with 29 seconds to play, then scored on the first series in overtime.

"We just had too many missed opportunities today," TSU Coach James Webster said. "We should have been able to put them away. "Interceptions hurt us. They really did. We would be moving the ball and have an interception." Senior Antonio Heffner, the OVC's leading passer, threw three interceptions while completing 14 of 22 passes for 233 yards for the Tigers, who came into the game ranked No. 19 in three different Football Championship Series polls.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Record crowd 69,113 watches win, AAMU 17, ASU 16

Photo Gallery:
ASU loses the Magic City Classic

AAMU Bulldogs' Jones savors 4th-straight Magic City Classic triumph

BIRMINGHAM, AL - Even Alabama A&M coach Anthony Jones was impressed with the crowd at Saturday's 67th annual Magic City Classic. An announced crowd of 69,113 piled into Legion Field to watch A&M outlast Alabama State 17-16. When I heard the crowd of 69,000 and some change, it blew me away," Jones said. "Both teams are in down years (but) the people in Birmingham know, the people at Alabama State know (and) the people at Alabama A&M know. They know when you line up at the Magic City Classic something magical is going to happen.

"And, if you miss it ... somebody is going to do something they haven't done all year long and for someone to have to tell you about it isn't the same. You can't beat this. It's great to be a part of this. Next year, you're going to have people scaling the wall in Spider-Man suits on trying to get in." Jones became the first Alabama A&M coach since the legendary Louis Crews to win four straight Magic City Classics. Crews' Bulldogs won four straight from 1972-75. "I had no idea," Jones said. "Any time your name can be mentioned with Louis Crews, it's humbling. It's just another example of how blessed I am.

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Prairie View erases deficit, beats Southern 24-23

Photo Gallery: PVAMU 24, SU 23

After watching his offense scuffle in the first half against Southern, Prairie View A&M coach Henry Frazier III told running back Donald Babers that it was up to him to carry the load in the second half. Babers rushed for 102 of his game-high 116 yards in the second half, quarterback Mark Spivey threw for a touchdown and ran for another and linebacker Zach East returned an interception for a score to help the Panthers turn a 14-point deficit into a 24-23 victory in front of a crowd of 19,514 at Reliant Stadium.

With Babers as the primary catalyst, Prairie View outscored Southern 21-6 in the second half. “Coach told me that he was going to put the team on my back, and I was up for the challenge,” Babers said. The Panthers improved to 7-1, their best start since 1964. More importantly, they improved to 4-1 in Southwestern Athletic Conference play, keeping alive their hopes of winning the West Division title and advancing on to the SWAC championship game.

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UAPB Coleman finally gets to celebrate

PINE BLUFF, AR — Arkansas-Pine Bluff Coach Monte Coleman is an emotional guy, and he had trouble holding it in Saturday. Coleman earned his first victory as a head coach as UAPB beat Lincoln University of Missouri 42-0 before a homecoming crowd of 14,852 at Golden Lion Stadium in Pine Bluff. UAPB (1-7) had 394 yards of total offense and held Lincoln (2-6 ), an NCAA Division II school from Jefferson City, Mo., to seven first downs and 181 yards of offense.

“I’m not looking at their record or what division they’re in. We got beat early on by some Division II schools. It’s all relative,” Coleman said. “We needed a victory, and we came out and got us a victory.” Martell Mallett had 146 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns on 15 carries to lead UAPB. Mickey Dean, Jeremy Morrow and Kenneth Esaw also had rushing touchdowns. The sixth touchdown of the day, doubling UAPB’s total from the entire season, came on a 91-yard interception return by James Harrell with 59 seconds left.

UAPB M4 - "Grateful" 10/24/2008 BOTB


UAPB M4 - "A Heart Is A House For Love" 10/24/2008 BOTB



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Southern University Human Jukebox Half-Time Show vs. PVAMU Marching Storm 10/25/08







Missed chances, turnovers prove costly in NSU Spartans’ loss

Photo Galleries:
FAMU defeats Norfolk State
FAMU Pregame

NORFOLK, VA - Norfolk State found another way to lose Saturday when a field goal in the final four seconds cost the Spartans moments after they thrilled the homecoming crowd at Price Stadium by rallying for a tie. The 31-28 Florida A&M win sent the Spartans to their fifth consecutive loss. "For a while we were clicking," said NSU receiver Dario Walker, a line repeated by just about every Spartan. "But we just keep coming up short every week. "

Just when NSU looked finished, Dennis Brown overcame a 4th-and-7 by completing his longest pass of the day from 37 yards out to Walker, who made a diving catch in the left corner of the end zone with 35 seconds left. After the extra point the game was tied at 28. Florida A&M had all its timeouts and Curtis Pulley, the transfer quarterback from Kentucky, whose ability to escape the blitz had stymied NSU much of the afternoon.

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Get ready Rattler fans: It's homecoming week at FAMU

TAKING CONTROL: Bulldogs take over first place in the MEAC

Travil Jamison was in his own world in the South Carolina State locker room during halftime of Saturday’s Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference showdown with Hampton. Held to zero yards in a scoreless first half, Jamison kept to himself as he gathered his thoughts in hopes of putting together a more productive second half.

When Jamison returned to the Oliver C. Dawson Stadium field, he entered a “zone” which propelled him to the best game of his college career and the Bulldogs into the driver’s seat of the MEAC title race. His career-best four touchdowns and 151 rushing yards – all in the second half – helped turn a scoreless game at halftime into a decisive 35-13 victory over the Pirates.

“Obviously, he had a really good game,” said an ecstatic S.C. State head football coach Oliver “Buddy” Pough. “This guy has always been right on the edge of being a real good guy for us.”
























Travil Jamison runs ball again Benedict College earlier in season.

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Week Nine: MEAC/SWAC Football Results

Florida A&M Rattlers 31, Norfolk State Spartans 28

The Joe Taylor two-headed Rattler experiment is over at the expense of the Norfolk State Spartans. Starter Eddie Battle gave the Spartans homecoming crowd hope, with two interceptions thrown and a fumble in completing 3 of 7 passes for 10 yards in the first quarter action. With the Spartans leading 14-0, in steps QB Curtis Pulley to get the Rattlers focused with his running and passing. Pulley completed 13 of 27 passes for 252 yards and 3 touchdowns, and ran for another 101 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries.

RB Philip Sylvester had 16 carries for 105 yards, with a 44 yard touchdown run in the third quarter that gave FAMU a 21-14 lead. Rattler receiver Kevin Elliott had seven catches for 111 yards and two touchdowns (16 and 25 yards). Isaac West hauled in a fourth quarter bomb of 60 yards from Pulley to give the Rattlers a 28-21 lead that the Spartans would match with a Dennis Brown 37 yard pass completion to Dario Walker for a touchdown to tie the game again, with .35 seconds remaining.

FAMU's Pulley then drove the Rattlers 67 yards in 5 plays (.31 seconds) to set up Rattlers kicker Trevor Scott for the game winner from the 26 yard line.

Spartans 1-A transfer QB Dennis Brown ( UConn.) and Miami (FL) Booker T. Washington H.S., had a magnificent game completing 22/37 for 192 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Brown lead the NSU rushing attack with 131 yards on 16 carries for one touchdown.

The FAMU defense has shown little improvement--allowing Norfolk State to score with 35 seconds remaining in the game with a blown coverage on a 37 yard touchdown pass and allowing the Spartans to be successful on 3 of 4 fourth down plays. The inspired 2-6 Spartans were able to gain 371 yards and control the clock for 29 minutes against the Rattlers.

The Rattlers FAMCAST system failed again! As advertised, the game was not broadcasted at the appointed 1:00 p.m. and video was not received until the second half. Audio was picked up with about three minutes remaining in the 1st quarter. For a first class university, this streaming video/audio system sucks and is not representative of the fine work that this university can produce. No excuses--this needs to be fixed as this signal is being sent globally and fans expect to be able to tune in.

Charge a fee if you must--but develop a first class, reliable and dependable FAMCAST system that fans can enjoy watching--all of the Rattlers sports and other events.

Final Observations....The Rattlers need to stop playing to the level of their competition in the MEAC or they may be sitting at home with a 10-2 record come time for the 2008 FCS (1-AA) playoffs. Eddie Battle should remain on the bench as Curtis Pulley is the superior QB and is getting the job done. Battle is a good kid, but he does not have the running talents of Pulley, who is to valuable for FAMU's success to be platooned. Overall, the FAMU defense sucks and needs a complete makeover.

Attendance: 13,889 (46%) at Dick Price Stadium, Norfolk, VA (Capacity: 30,000).

Morgan State Bears 20, Delaware State Hornets 3

The Bears did the entire MEAC a favor by blasting the Hornets at Hughes Stadium before 6,312 Bear fans to drop DSU out of the MEAC race with a 3-4, 3-2 record. The Hornets self-destructed with 31 yards passing, 87 yards rushing, and four turnovers for the entire game. What happen to all those celebrated Division I transfers that were going to make the Delaware State Hornets Kings of the MEAC?

We will find out how good the Bears really are next week as they are scheduled as the homecoming opponent for the fast charging FAMU Rattlers. The Bears are returning to glory with a 5-3, 3-1 MEAC record.

Attendance: 6312 (63%) at Hughes Stadium, Baltimore, MD (Capacity: 10,000).

South Carolina State University 35, Hampton University 13

S.C. State's Buddy Pough now has a clear path to the MEAC championship and FCS Playoffs. Hampton got hammered by the Bulldogs power running game on Saturday afternoon. No need to over analyze the why's and how's, as 316 yards on the ground speaks volumes about the prowess of the Bulldogs running game.

Will Ford did his thing, gaining 182 yards on 25 carries for one touchdown. But, the surprise of the day was Travil Jamison who exploded for four touchdowns on 10 carries, for 152 yards. We had rain, but SCSU brought thunder and lightning to the Pirates.

The Pirates didn't give themselves a chance getting whistled for 13 penalties for 154 yards. RB LaMarcus Coker was held scoreless on 22 rushes for 109 yards, but caught a 10 yard pass for touchdown from QB Herbert Bynes. Bynes also hit Damon McDaniel on a beautiful 43-yard touchdown pass and completed 27/40 for 272 yards for two touchdowns.

The Pirates season and playoff dreams may be over if Coach Holmes cannot motivate his defense to stop the run.

Attendance: 17,159 (78%) at Oliver C. Dawson Stadium, Orangeburg, S.C. (Capacity: 22,000).

North Carolina A&T Aggies 21, Howard University Bison 20

North Carolina A&T (3-6, 1-4) drop kicked head coach Lee Fobbs, Jr. on Monday. And with his assistant coach George Ragsdale in the driver seat, the Aggies kicked the Howard Bison (1-6, 0-4) under the bus to end a six game losing streak. With the Aggies headed in a new direction, one has to ask the question--what direction is Howard headed with only one win this season against the Savannah State Tigers? What has Coach Carey Bailey done for the Bison lately, as he was 4-7 in his first season with the Bison and currently 1-6, 0-4 MEAC?

This victory is the first conference win for the Aggies since October 2005. Michael Ferguson scored two touchdowns to lead the Aggies offense and North Carolina A&T defense recovered a Bison fumble in the last minute to preserve the win. This is the second week that the Bison offense has self-destructed in the final minutes of a game they could have won.

Bethune Cookman Wildcats 27, Winston Salem State Rams 6

The Wildcats are 5-2, 3-2 MEAC and can end the season with 7-8 wins. Winston Salem (1-6, 1-4) is reason #1 the MEAC should move to a seven game North/South divisional format.

Attendance: 12,121 ( 67%) at Bowman Gray Stadium, Winston Salem, N.C. (Capacity: 18,000).

Alabama A&M Bulldogs 17, Alabama State Hornets 16

The Bulldogs move to 4-5, 3-1 SWAC and ASU falls to 1-6, 1-3 SWAC in the annual Magic City Classic affair. It really didn't matter what the records were for this Alabama rivarly, as 69, 113 attended this game, making the Magic City Classic the #1 ranked HBCU/FCS/Division I-AA game in attendance.

Attendance: 69,113 (86%) at Legion Field, Birmingham, AL (Capacity: 80,391).

Texas Southern 30, Alcorn State University 29

University of Arkansas Pine Bluff 42, Lincoln (Mo) 0

Southeast Missouri State Redhawks 27, Tennessee State Tigers 20 (OT)

Jackson State 29, Mississippi Valley State 27

Prairie View A&M 24, Southern 23

Idle: Grambling, Savannah State (I-AA Indep.) and N.C. Central (I-AA Indep.).

Norfolk State handling difficult season, hope to turn around with FAMU

Florida A&M at Norfolk State, 1 p.m.
Online: Complete coverage on http://www.rattlernews.com/
Radio: 96.1 FM.
GAME LIVE AUDIO/VIDEO: http://www.famu.edu/famcast/famusports/
NSU: Click here for the audio stream.

Anyone who wants to know what is causing the downward spiral for Norfolk State football team, which came within a touchdown of winning the MEAC last year, only has to look at Florida A&M's 2007 results. Interceptions, missed field goals and injuries are all taking a toll on the Spartans. They desperately need a turnaround and they're hoping it begins when FAMU goes to Price Stadium for Norfolk State's homecoming today.

This time last season, Norfolk State was 6-1 and holding first place in the league. Now it has just two wins with five losses. "It's frustration more than anything," said coach Pete Adrian. "It's frustrating for our kids because they're not playing that bad." Last season when Norfolk State compiled an 8-3 record, it won the close games and ended the season with its best season since it moved to Division I-AA 11 years ago. The close ones have been escaping Norfolk State this time, though.

NSU RB DeAngelo Branche #3 get tackled by Kentucky Wildcat.

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Foes chase improved Tennessee State Tigers

Ranking gives Tigers' opponents some motivation

TSU (6-1, 3-0 OVC ) at SE Missouri (2-5, 0-3)
Where: Houck Stadium, Cape Girardeau, Mo.
Time: 1 p.m. today
TV/Radio: None locally/1470-AM
Last meeting: TSU 31, SEMO 0 (2006)
Key matchup: TSU QB Antonio Heffner vs. SEMO LB Nick Stauffer and DB Eddie Calvin. The coaching staff revealed last week that Heffner has been hampered by a sore shoulder all season, yet he leads the OVC in passing yards per game (223.1) and total offensive yards (271.0). Stauffer has 76 tackles, including two sacks, and Calvin has four interceptions.


There's not enough room on Tennessee State's uniforms for a number and a bull's-eye, but that hasn't kept the Tigers from feeling like they're the target of every team they play. Since moving into first place in the Ohio Valley Conference and climbing into the Football Championship Series rankings, Coach James Webster said the No. 19 Tigers have gotten their opponents' best shots. He expects nothing less from Southeast Missouri (2-5, 0-3 OVC) when the Tigers (6-1, 3-0) visit Cape Girardeau, Mo., today for a 1 p.m. kickoff.
























TSU only loss has come at the hands of the hot Florida A&M Rattlers in the Atlanta Football Classic.

"This football team has earned the right to be where they are because we work them so hard and they have really had to battle to be where they are,'' Webster said. "(We) now have to work even harder to stay there because we have a bull's-eye on our chest and people are going to come at us a little harder." Webster is confident his team's past two opponents played their best games motivated by the opportunity to knock the Tigers out of the conference's catbird seat.

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Does Grambling have the path of least resistance to SWAC title match?

Grambling State, taking a break this week after playing the first eight weeks of the season without a bye, arguably, has the path of least resistance to winning the SWAC's West Division. Grambling's next three games include Mississippi Valley State (2-4), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (0-7) and Texas Southern (3-5) -- all Southwestern Athletic Conference games.

If Prairie View A&M beats Southern on Saturday, a Tiger win in the Bayou Classic should lock in a second straight appearance in the SWAC Championship game - the third in four years and fifth since 2000. "We just need to get away from it for a couple days," said Grambling coach Rod Broadway, whose team is off this weekend. "We're going to give the kids a couple days off. We need to unwind a little bit, relax. It's been a hard stretch for us."

Click here to play video

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

S.C. State showdown with Hampton arrives

Bulldogs, Pirates square off to see who will remain perfect in MEAC

At the start of the season, South Carolina State football coach Buddy Pough knew there would be a moment when his team would find out if it had the ability to win its first outright Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title in 14 years. This is it.
The Bulldogs (5-2 overall, 3-0 MEAC) play host Saturday to Hampton (5-1, 4-0) in a game that will go a long way in determining which of the two remaining conference unbeaten will wear the crown at season’s end and earn a berth in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.

Hampton's Jeremy Gilchrist has been unstoppable and looks to shred the Bulldogs defense.

“It’s a do-or-die situation. If we win, we’ve got a chance to continue. If we lose, we’re done. I think Hampton will win out,” said Pough, whose team was the preseason pick to win the league. He believes his team is ready for the challenge after surviving games against a pair of Football Bowl Subdivision teams, Central Florida and Clemson — the team’s only two losses — as well as a stretch of four consecutive weeks, from mid-September to early October, away from Oliver C. Dawson Stadium.

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Southern Jags Return to SWAC Play vs. Prairie View A&M Panthers

Coach Pete Richardson and Southern University face a defensively strong Prairie View A&M team in the "Battle of the Cats" at Houston's Reliant Stadium this Saturday.

Watch SU Jaguars video

By: SU Sports Information Dept.

The "Big Cat" Showdown reaches into the state of Texas this weekend, as Southern takes on Prairie View A&M in Houston in a Western Division showdown.

While the Jaguars come in at 4-3 overall, they are 3-0 in conference play, with wins over Alcorn State, Jackson State, and Texas Southern. Southern has one of the most explosive offenses in the nation, scoring at least 32 points in five of seven games this season, including outputs of 35, 45, and 49 points this month alone.

QB Bryant Lee, the SWAC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, has combined for 13 touchdowns in October (7 passing, 6 rushing). The Jaguars are ninth in the nation in total offense (442.1 yards per game), 10th in passing offense (283.7 ypg), and 15th in passing efficiency (149.4 rating). Southern has thrown 16 touchdown passes to just four interceptions.

Prairie View A&M comes in to Saturday's tilt with a 6-1 record, 2-1 in SWAC play. Defense is the bread and butter of the Panthers, who have posted two shutouts this season, including a 15-0 road win last week at the Univ. Arkansas-Pine Bluff. In addition, the Panthers have allowed more than 17 points just once this season. LB Zach East, the reigning SWAC Defensive Player of the Year and 2008 winner of the Preseason Award, anchors the unit that leads the nation in scoring defense (13.1 points per game), total defense (192.1 yards per game), and is fourth in both passing defense (137.1 ypg), and pass efficiency defense (95.42 rating). The Panthers have allowed just six touchdown passes this season while picking off 11 passes.

Southern is looking to keep pace with Grambling State in the West race. The Tigers gave the Panthers' their lone loss this season and need a win to stay in the hunt. Last season, Southern's defense proved to be the difference in a 12-2 win. In the last meeting in Houston in 2006, however, Prairie View earned its first win over Southern since 1971. Reliant Stadium will be the site for this Wild West matchup.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Must Win: Pough says if Bulldogs are to capture MEAC they must beat Hampton Saturday

There was no attempt Monday by South Carolina State head football coach Oliver “Buddy” Pough to play down Saturday’s home showdown with Hampton. During Pough’s weekly press conference, he did not mince words about the game’s importance to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference standings. He even alluded to last year’s rallying cry of “win or stay home” in describing the ramifications of this year’s outcome against the Pirates.

“We’re the last two teams without a loss in the league and that makes it imperative that we win,” he said. “In their particular case, if they should win, then I think it’s pretty much over. Even if they lose a game from this point on, I don’t see anybody that can beat them. “The team that loses will be at the mercy of the other team from that point on because of the fact that the team that wins will not have a loss and will possibly go through the league with an unscathed record.”

QB Malcolm Long and the SCSU Bulldogs have a mountain to climb in defeating the talent laden Hampton Pirates this Saturday.

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Ax falls on another Aggie coach

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- In the end, it was about confidence. No matter how hard N.C. A&T coach Lee Fobbs tried to restore the confidence of those around him -- his football players, his assistant coaches, the athletics department and fans -- the damage done by under performing players and all those losses was simply too much to repair.

















Finally, N.C. A&T athletic director Wheeler Brown makes the right decision to send Lee Fobbs packing with his 2-28 career record and with $200,000 remaining on his contract to be paid.

That, more than anything else, was the reason A&T athletics director Wheeler Brown offered for firing Fobbs on Monday after just 21/2 seasons as the Aggies' head coach. Fobbs' dismissal took effect immediately. Minutes after informing Fobbs he was being let go, Brown met with assistant coach George Ragsdale and named the former Aggies running back interim head coach for the remaining four games.

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Fobbs out, Ragsdale in at A&T

Lee Fobbs is out as N.C. A&T’s football coach.

A&T Athletics Director Wheeler Brown made the announcement today, bringing to an end Fobbs’ run with the Aggies after a 2-28 stint. Brown named George Ragsdale interim coach for the remainder of the season. "We feel like this is the best decision for the program at this time,'' Brown said Brown. "I certainly want to thank Lee for all his efforts over the last 2 1/2 years, and I want to wish him well in all his future endeavors. The program just needs a new direction."

The Aggies, who had lost five straight games when Fobbs took over in 2006, lost another 22 before ending the skid Aug. 30 against Johnson C. Smith. A&T beat rival Winston-Salem State the next week, then lost the next six. Fobbs, who took over the Aggies program, was previously running backs coach at Texas A&M. He played collegiately at Grambling State under legendary coach Eddie Robinson.

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Howard Hands Morgan State A Close Victory

Howard University "Showtime" Marching Band

As usually happens in games between Howard and Morgan State, the outcome came down to the final play. Howard punter Patrick Wolff, filling in for injured place kicker John Mendoza, missed the extra point kick in the second overtime and the Bison lost, 31-30, before a stunned, sellout homecoming crowd at Greene Stadium yesterday. Wolff, who kicked a 21-yard field goal -- the first field goal of his career -- to send the game into overtime, was consoled by several teammates after his extra-point attempt hit the right upright and bounced away.

"Everybody was telling him to shake it off," defensive tackle James Carter said. "You know it wasn't his fault. The game wasn't decided on the one kick." Though Wolff's miss ended the game, the final score was more a product of Morgan State capitalizing on Howard's miscues, missed opportunities and misfortune. The result was strangely reminiscent of the homecoming game two years ago when Morgan State returned a fumble for a touchdown in the second overtime to win, 18-12.

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Attendance: 6853 (68.5%) at Wm. H. Greene Stadium, Washington, D.C. (Capacity: 10,000).
Season Record: Howard Bison, 1-5, 0-3 MEAC; Morgan State, 4-3, 1-1 MEAC.

Rattlers win shootout: Florida A&M 52, Southern 49

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FAMU 52, Southern 49
FAMU vs. Southern first half photos
FAMU Pregame

Vann's late return helps FAMU to win over Southern

BATON ROUGE, La. — This time there was no late field goal — just trickery and LeRoy Vann's magic. Vann retuned a punt 60 yards for a touchdown to ignite two quick strikes by FAMU in the fourth quarter and the Rattlers held off every comeback by Southern for a 52-49 victory Saturday night. FAMU dodged the biggest bullet after the Jaguars marched 30 yards to FAMU's 1 following an interception of quarterback Curtis Pulley's pass that was intended for Philip Sylvester. But on his way to the end zone, Southern receiver (and former Godby High standout) Del Roberts lost the ball after a hit by FAMU's Fabian Wilson.

Wilson recovered the ball and the Rattlers ran out the clock — thanks in large part to a fourth-and-1 conversion from their own 11-yard line with 1:54 remaining. FAMU's victory at Mumford Stadium was the third consecutive for the Rattlers on Southern's home field. The previous two were decided on field goals in the closing minutes.

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Southern Jaguars: A matter of inches

Photo Gallery: FAMU 52, SU 49

Rattlers win another wild one over Jaguars

A game in which the two teams combined for 995 yards of offense came down to a matter of inches in the final four minutes. First, Southern University receiver Del Roberts was denied a touchdown on a pass play that would have given the Jaguars the lead. Then, Florida A&M quarterback Curtis Pulley plowed forward and fourth-and-1, clinching a wild 52-49 victory over Southern on Saturday night at A.W. Mumford Stadium. It was the third straight time FAMU (5-2) has scored 50 or more points in a win over the Jaguars (4-3) in Baton Rouge. The other wins came in 2000 and 1998.

Roberts, a Tallahassee native, caught a pass from Bryant Lee and appeared to cross the goal line before fumbling the ball. Fabian Wilson recovered the ball at the FAMU 3 with 3:28 remaining, setting the stage for Pulley to perform one last dramatic act. “I didn’t come in here looking for a shootout, but we got one,” FAMU coach Joe Taylor said. “We made a lot of mistakes tonight, but this is a quality win and we’ll take it.”

Jaguars QB Bryant Lee torched the Rattlers defense for 64 yards rushing - 3 TDs, 407 yards passing and 3 TDs, completing 25-42 with one INT.

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Attendance: 15,107 (53%) at Ace W. Mumford Stadium, Baton Rouge, LA (Capacity: 28,400).

Season Record: Florida A&M Rattlers, 5-2, 1-2 MEAC; Southern Jaguars 4-3, 3-0 SWAC.

Gen. Colin Powell Endorses Sen. Barack Obama for President

Washington, D.C. - Former Secretary of State Colin Powell crossed party lines this morning to endorse Sen. Barack Obama for president, the most prominent GOP defection yet of the 2008 campaign. Obama has courted Republicans all along, but in Powell he gets party crossover plus military credibility. Powell is a retired U.S. Army general and served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under the first President Bush.

As Secretary of State under the current President Bush, Powell helped to build the case for the Iraq war, a role that hurt him with many Democrats and moderates, who had viewed him as somewhat apolitical. Powell made his endorsement today on the NBC program "Meet the Press." Powell said he had watched both Obama and Sen. John McCain in the last "six or seven weeks," since the national political conventions, and paid special attention to how they reacted to the nation's worsening economic situation.



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TSU survives scare with late field goal Tigers eke out win over Govs

Nashville, TN -- It wouldn't be easy for Tennessee State's Eric Benson to top his heroics from last year's game against Austin Peay. But the Tigers' placekicker did just that Saturday night in a rematch at LP Field. On Saturday night, he kicked a 29-yarder with just two seconds left to give TSU a 37-34 win. Last year, he booted a 43-yard field goal with nine seconds left to send the game into overtime. TSU won on a blocked extra-point attempt.

"I thought about last year's game when I stepped out there for that last kick,'' Benson said. "I knew I'd done it before and I could do it again. I just had to concentrate." Benson's kick helped TSU (6-1, 3-0 Ohio Valley Conference) avoid disaster before a crowd of 9,358. TSU came into the game in first place in the conference and Austin Peay (0-7, 0-4) was in last. Benson kicked two other field goals. His second, a 31-yarder on the final play of the first half, gave TSU a 27-12 cushion. It appeared the Tigers would coast through the second half.

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Attendance: 9,358 (13.6%) at LP Field, Nashville, TN (Capacity: 68.800).
Season Record: Tennessee State Tigers 6-1, 3-0 OVC.

A transfer of power: HU speeds past NSU

HAMPTON, VA - It was just one of three big scoring plays Hampton University used to defeat Norfolk State 35-17 on Saturday, but for Damon McDaniel, it was the sweetest. Early in the second quarter, with the Pirates up just 7-0 and facing third-and-27 from their 30-yard line, HU quarterback Herb Bynes launched a deep ball in McDaniel's direction. Norfolk State defensive back Don Carey was in front of McDaniel and in prime position to knock the ball down, but instead he went for the interception.

But a gust of wind blew the ball through Carey's hands and into the waiting arms of McDaniel, who turned to see a completely clear path to the end zone and a two-touchdown lead that gave the Pirates the momentum for good. The TD also provided some redemption for McDaniel, who transferred to Hampton from Florida State but had to sit out the Pirates' first four games because of NCAA penalties related to last year's academic scandal at FSU.

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Attendance: 12,034 (70.8%) at Armstrong Stadium, Hampton, VA (Capacity: 17,000).
Season Record: Hampton Pirates, 5-1, 4-0 MEAC); Norfolk State Spartans, 2-5, 1-3.

UAPB Lions gain 88 yards in loss to PVAMU Panthers

Pine Bluff, AR -- Entering the season, UAPB coach Monte Coleman expected his offense to be led by a powerful rushing attack. With veterans Martell Mallett and Mickey Dean returning to the Golden Lions’ offensive backfield, Coleman had visions of his team gaining victories by grinding the football on the ground. But, through seven games this season, these expectations have gone largely unfulfilled. Behind a young and suspect offensive line, UAPB’s offense ranks last in the Southwestern Athletic Conference in three of several offensive categories.

These offensive woes only got worse Saturday, as the Golden Lions (0-7, 0-3 SWAC) gained only 88 yards of total offense in a 15-0 loss to Prairie View A&M (6-1, 3-1). In the loss, UAPB allowed six sacks and have now allowed 30 sacks in seven games this season. “Unfortunately, our line is young,” Coleman said. “We want to take the ball out of any quarterbacks hands and give it to those two guys (Mallett and Dean), unfortunately we haven’t been able to do that all year.

“When we lose, we lose as a team,” Coleman continued. “I’m not going to blame it on the line. Do we have some shortcomings on the line? Absolutely. Do we have shortcomings at linebacker? Absolutely. We have some break downs as a team. One week it’s this one. One week it’s that one, and that’s the reason we’re 0-7 right now.”

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Attendance: 5892 (36.8%) at Golden Lion Stadium, Pine Bluff, AR (Capacity: 16,000).
Season Record: UAPB Golden Lions, 0-7, 0-3 SWAC; PVAMU Panthers 6-1, 3-1 SWAC.

DSU's defense makes it look easy over NCAT

Photo Gallery: DSU 42, NCA&T 7

DOVER, DE -- None of them are easy. According to Delaware State linebacker Josh Pope, they just look easy. He was talking about turnovers, but he could have been talking about Delaware State's victory on Saturday, too. Pope contributed in forcing four turnovers to give the Hornets a 42-7 homecoming victory over North Carolina A&T before 6,089 bundled-up spectators on a chilly afternoon at Alumni Stadium.

Delaware State's defense generated one fumble and three interceptions. Pope's second-quarter forced fumble set up a touchdown as Delaware State earned its most lopsided victory of the season and second straight win in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
"I don't think I'd say they were easy," Pope said. "These turnovers came on pure discipline. It was about being where you're supposed to be. There was so much energy over the game. It's about looking at reads and assignments. I think that's only gotten better for us."

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Attendance: 6,089 (89%) at Alumni Stadium, Dover, DE (Capacity: 6828).
Season Record: DSU Hornets 3-3, 3-1 MEAC; NCAT Aggies 2-6, 0-4 MEAC.

Substance trumps style in Grambling's victory

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GRAMBLING, LA — For pure entertainment and instant gratification at a Grambling State football game this season, the halftime show is still your best bet. Watching the football team perform requires more patience for a Grambling fan. Stick around for the end result though and you're bound to go home satisfied with the final result. "A win is a win," Grambling's Jeffrey Jack said. "As long as we keep winning and have a chance at a championship — I'm happy."

Grambling won its fifth game in a row Saturday afternoon, beating Alabama State 27-7 at sun-splashed Robinson Stadium. The large, bustling homecoming crowd might be hard pressed to recall many signature moments in the contest, but they left knowing their team knocked off yet another Southwestern Athletic Conference foe. "That's a good win," Grambling coach Rod Broadway said. "I'll say it once and I'll say it again — all wins are good wins and I'll take it." Broadway isn't concerned with style points right now. If this team were tailgating fare, it would be red beans and rice — hearty and filling.

GSU head football coach Rod Broadway

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Attendance: 16,974 (86.6%) at Robinson Stadium, Grambling, LA (Capacity: 19,600).

Season Record: GSU 6-2, 3-0 SWAC; ASU 1-5, 0-3 SWAC.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Southern-Florida A&M Matchups

PLAYERS TO WATCH
Southern WR Del Roberts
26 catches, 222 yards, 2 TDs

Roberts has always been an “X” factor receiver. If the Jaguars can get him in space, he can create plays with his nimbleness. With the success of Juamorris Stewart, look for room for other receivers, and Roberts is dangerous with room. He’s also the team’s lead return man and is always a threat to go the distance. From Tallahassee, Fla., this is a pride game for Roberts. “It’s a definitely intense rivalry,” Roberts said. “FAMU is a high-quality team, high class. It’s going to be a good game. … It’s just about getting into a comfort zone, finding your place on the team. Guys are making plays, myself included.”

Florida A&M RB Phillip Sylvester
87 carries, 382 yards, 3 TDs

Sylvester, a sophomore, was the MEAC’s Rookie of the Year last season and has been compared to FAMU greats like Bob Hayes and Willie Galimore. A former Class 2A 100-meters runner-up at the state meet, Sylvester had 101 yards and two TDs on 14 carries against Southern in his first collegiate game last season. While plenty of focus is on FAMU’s two-quarterback shuffle, Sylvester keeps the defenses honest with his home-run capability (he had an 82-yarder earlier this season). He also can catch the ball out of the backfield (11 catches for 86 yards).

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