Sunday, November 30, 2008

Gay, Spain lead SDSU Aztecs in rout of Hampton Pirates in Great Alaska Shootout championship

Guard Vinny Simpson scores 15 points to lead Hampton University to a second place finish in the Great Alaska Shootout Tournament.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Setting a Great Alaska Shootout championship record for margin of victory, San Diego State pummeled Hampton 76-47 last night to win the title. D.J. Gay led San Diego State with 20 points, and tournament MVP Kyle Spain added 17. Ryan Amoroso, who joined Gay and Spain on the all-tournament team, joined Spain as high rebounder with eight. Hampton's Vincent Simpson scored 15.

Hampton coach Kevin Nickleberry said in Friday's news conference that he begged to get his team into the Shootout this year. With eight minutes left in the game, after Spain's three-pointer out the Aztecs ahead 62-32, Nickleberry was reminded of the adage that says be careful what you wish for. Aztecs coach Steve Fisher achieved a milestone that may be recited in a future hall of fame ceremony: 10th coach ever to win the Great Alaska Shootout and a national championship.


Recap: Hampton vs. San Diego St
'Ugly' looks real good to Hampton in OT win
Tolson leads Hampton to OT win
Hampton downs Portland State 77-71 in overtime
Aztecs take out Redhawks at Great Alaska Shootout
Aztecs hold off scrappy Western Carolina
Hampton (2-2) vs. Portland State (4-0)

Lone Star Classic: UAPB uses Mallett to batter opponent TSU

IRVING, Texas — Senior running back Martell Mallett ran for 141 yards and two touchdowns, powering Arkansas-Pine Bluff to a 28-7 victory over Texas Southern on Saturday at Texas Stadium. Mallett led a running attack that ran up 204 yards, giving the Golden Lions 319 yards of total offense. The victory ends the season for UAPB (3-9, 2-5 Southwestern Athletic Conference), which won two of its last three games.

Mallett’s 2-yard touchdown run capped a first-quarter drive that took 6: 08 off the clock. The Golden Lions scored two touchdowns in the second quarter, the first coming when senior quarterback Jonathan Moore scrambled for a 13-yard score. Moore connected with De’Vonte Whitmore on a 32-yard touchdown pass with 57 seconds left in the half, giving the Golden Lions just their fourth passing touchdown of the season.
Mallett scored from 4 yards out near the start of the fourth quarter, putting UAPB up 28-7. The Golden Lions entered Saturday with the top-ranked pass defense in the SWAC, and they built on those numbers against the Tigers (4-8, 1-6 ).


Attendance: 14,522 at Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas

Arkansas-Pine Bluff wins Dallas Lonestar Classic at Cotton Bowl
TSU finishes 4-8 with loss to Pine Bluff

Appalachian knocks SC State out of FCS playoffs, 37-21

BOONE, N.C. -- All week long, South Carolina State head football coach Oliver “Buddy” Pough had his mind on stopping Appalachian State quarterback Armanti Edwards. Throughout the offseason, Pough will probably not stop thinking about the spectacular third-and-12 scramble Edwards turned into a first-down conversion which helped seal the Bulldogs’ fate Saturday at Kidd Brewer Stadium. Appalachian State held a tenuous 24-21 lead with less than nine minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and faced the prospect of punting the football back to a motivated S.C. State offense. Taking the snap from his own 23, Edwards was chased out the pocket and heavily pursued by three Bulldog players.

After scrambling backwards to avoid the tackle, Edwards lofted a pass in the direction of T.J. Courman. The senior broke his return to come back to catch the football at around the 30-yard line, then managed to fight off a couple of tacklers to pick up 13 yards and the first down. With the drive continuing, Edwards eventually found Ridge View graduate Brian Quick for the first of two fourth-quarter touchdowns which helped the defending three-time FCS champion Mountaineers put away the Bulldogs 37-21.

ASU QB Armanti Edwards was a one man wrecking crew in the demise of the SCSU Bulldogs.


Attendance: 13,712 (47.7%) at Kidd Brewer Stadium, Boone, N.C. (Capacity: 28,727).

Appalachian State survives scare
Edwards has record day in 37-21 win over Bulldogs
Clutch play saves the day for Mountaineers
Edwards dooms SC State
Apps Defeat Bulldogs 37-21, Advance to NCAA Quarterfinals
Appalachian downs South Carolina State, 37-21
Edwards' Record Day Propels Appalachian Into NCAA Quarterfinals
ASU's Edwards is the difference
Solid aerial attack propels ASU
App State tops SC State, hosts Richmond next
S.C. State - Appalachian State Observations
Photo Gallery:

Turkey Day Classic Battle of the Bands: Tuskegee vs. Alabama State

Alabama State University Marching Hornets Band

Tuskegee University Marching Crimson Piper Band - "Bust the Windows Out Your Car"

TU Marching Crimson Piper Band - "Lift Every Voice and Sing/America the Beautiful

TU Marching Crimson Piper Band - "Razzamatazz"

TU Marching Crimson Piper Band - "Magic"

ASU Marching Hornet Band

Turkey Day Classic: ASU ends Tuskegee's 26-game win streak

Photo Galleries
T-Day Parade
85th Annual Turkey Day Classic

Another Turkey Day, another Classic shocker. Alabama State came into Thursday's 85th Turkey Day Classic with a season's worth of disappointment and bad breaks on its back. Tuskegee entered riding an era of good fortune. As the fourth quarter wound down and the Golden Tigers marched down the field toward a potential game-winning touchdown, another Hornet heartbreak seemed almost written in stone. But this time, there was no ASU implosion. There was no cruel twist of fate. For once, ASU (3-8) got the breaks. And the Golden Tigers got the heartbreak.

Three Tuskegee passes into the end zone in the final seconds all fell incomplete. Then the fourth was intercepted, and the Hornets had shocked Tuskegee 17-13, winning their first Classic in four years and snapping the Golden Tigers' 26-game win streak. "This means everything -- it was just so important for these kids and these coaches," said ASU head coach Reggie Barlow. "Our guys fought so hard in this game, and they never gave up. That says something about them. It's hard to even put this into words." The Tuskegee (10-1) players and coaches were equally speechless, but for very different reasons.


Attendance: 20,567 at Cramton Bowl, Montgomery, Alabama

ASU ends Tuskegee streak
Golden Tigers suffer rare offensive woes
Hornets 'D' unsung heroes at TDC
TURKEY DAY CLASSIC NOTEBOOK: Hornets have confidence in QB Dowdell

BAYOU CLASSIC: Grambling defense in championship form

Photo Galleries
Grambling 29, Southern 14
Bayou Classic 2008 you cam I
Bayou Classic 2008 Halftime Show
Bayou Classic 2008 you cam II
Bayou Classic 2008 II
Bayou Classic 2008 I

NEW ORLEANS, LA – Southern staggered Grambling State’s feared defense with two touchdowns in the first quarter of Saturday’s Bayou Classic. But that early flurry was all Southern could muster. Grambling produced four takeaways, three scoreless quarters and knocked Southern quarterback Bryant Lee out of the contest in a 29-14 win at the Superdome. "Sometimes games start off like that," linebacker Keefe Hall said. "But that’s why we play four quarters."

The victory was the first in a Bayou Classic for second-year coach Rod Broadway and propels the Tigers into the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship game in Birmingham against Jackson State on Dec. 13. "It meant more than just bragging rights this time," said Carroll product Desmond Lenard, who had a fumble recovery and an interception in the win. "It meant that if we win, we go to the SWAC championship. It feels real good to win this game." Grambling won its ninth game in a row with an MVP-performance from sophomore quarterback Greg Dillon, who rushed for 136 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries and completed 9-of-13 passes for 151 yards and another score.


Attendance: 59,874 at New Orleans Superdome

Rain doesn't deter huge Bayou Classic crowds
Grambling tops Southern to reach SWAC title game
Grambling wins Bayou Classic, 29-14
Dillon finishing what he started makes difference
GSU marches to win
SU doesn’t have answer for injury bug
How They Scored: Grambling-Southern
Grambling eliminates flip
Southern Jaguars look toothless after Bryant Lee pulls out
Grambling State sputters at start, then roars past Southern in ...
Grambling Wins 35th Annual Bayou Classic
Battle of the Bands rocks the Superdome
Photo Gallery: Grambling 29, Southern 14
Schiefelbein: QB represents Bogalusa
Grambling eliminates flip
Game Statistics: Grambling-Southern
How They Scored: Grambling-Southern

Saturday, November 29, 2008

2008 Bayou Classic Battle of the Bands - Grambling vs. Southern

Grambling State University Marching Tigers Band

Southern University Human Jukebox Marching Band

Thousands pour into New Orleans for Bayou Classic

Tens of thousands of people are pouring into New Orleans, and by the end of the weekend, they will have pumped millions of dollars into the New Orleans economy. The Bayou Classic is no ordinary game, and no ordinary event for New Orleans. A classic football rivalry between Grambling State and Southern University means one massive party in the city.

"GSU will win tomorrow. What's the score? It will be 30-12. Grambling State University, of course," said Rickey Burton. He and his wife Phyllis have been attending the rivalry game every year since he graduated from college in 1974. The festivities center around events at the Superdome. Friday night, the annual Battle of the Bands and Greek step show was the big draw, and adding a hint of New Orleans flavor was the Mardi Gras Indians as the event opener. The events draw thousands of fans.


Plenty at stake in SWAC during Bayou Classic
Southern-Grambling Matchups

Bland scores 25 to lead A&T over Buffalo

Ta'Wanna Cook scored 21 points, seven assists and four steals in the Lady Aggies victory over Buffalo.

GREENVILLE, N.C. -- Amber Bland led a quartet of double-figure scorers for N.C. A&T on Friday night as the Aggies defeated Buffalo in the second contest of the Lady Pirate Invitational inside Minges Coliseum. A&T improved to 2-2 on the season while the Bulls fell to 3-3. Bland, the MEAC preseason player of the year, paced the Aggies with 25 points while Ta'Wanna Cook added 21 points, seven assists and four steals to lead the Aggies to an 85-76 win.

The Aggies play East Carolina Saturday night at 7 for the championship.

"After seeing this team on film all week, we felt like we matched up well with them,'' said A&T coach Patricia Cage-Bibbs. "We knew they had several shooters on their team and that they passed the ball really well, but we knew if we played good defense, we could disrupt what they like to do on offense. Our young ladies came through tonight and I'm proud of the way they got after them on defense. If you let a team like that run their offense with out badgering them, they will pick you a part."


Cal Men Handily Beat North Carolina A&T, 82-47

Voice of experience says S.C. State Bulldogs can win it

There's two and a half decades between the last one and this one. There were close chances in some years. Others weren't so close. Today, the South Carolina State University Bulldogs will take their place among the nation's elite in the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) playoffs. It's been 26 years since the Bulldogs were last in postseason play. It was 1982. Ronald Reagan was president. Michael Jackson's "Thriller" album had just hit the store's shelves and a postage stamp was only 20 cents. It was also the senior year for Orangeburg businessman Sidney Fulton, the owner of Popeye's restaurant on Chestnut Street.

In 1982, Fulton was coming off his own championship season. While he was at State, Fulton and his teammates captured three MEAC football titles. Fulton himself was voted All-Conference three times and All-American once. He is in the SCSU Hall of Fame. Fulton knows what the Bulldogs face in three-time defending national champion Appalachian State. "They wouldn't be App State and they wouldn't have a talented team if they weren't excellent," Fulton said.

South Carolina State Bulldogs Coach Oliver "Buddy" Pough is a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award.


Playoff euphoria among students at S.C. State
Adams says Bulldogs defense ready for App. State
Jamison a game-time decision for SCSU
SCSU’s Pough a finalist for Eddie Robinson Award
Moore says Mountaineers not overconfident
Dogs cut to the chase in opener
Champs App State facing foe on winning streak
Mountaineers begin 4-peat quest
Lloyd, SC State ready to tackle App. State
NCAA playoff system fundamentally unfair
South Carolina State's Bulldogs have bite
SC State seeks to snap skid vs. ASU

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Bayou Classic, always important, has rarely meant more to Grambling

GRAMBLING, LA —- For all the talk this year about tiebreakers and coin flips, Grambling’s goals are actually quite simple: Win and you’re in. A victory in the Bayou Classic ensures GSU’s berth in the Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship Game for the sixth time in 10 editions. If only it were that simple.

“People around here,” second-year coach Rod Broadway was saying this week, “live and die with this game.” On two memorable occasions since the establishment of the SWAC title match, it was the latter. Grambling entered this emotional season-ending rivalry game against Southern in 1999 and again in 2003 needing a win to advance to Birmingham. Both times, GSU lost.


Photo Galleries : Grambling preps for 2008 Classic
A wiser Broadway preps for second trip to New Orleans
BAYOU CLASSIC: Prairie View loss changed everything for Southern, SWAC
Grambling's defense once again the spark for SWAC title try
Which jersey will Southern turn to?
Without power rankings, SWAC settles for coins
Richardson hopes good luck continues
Cador says expect more early signees
Talladega's night -- first-year NAIA program beats SU
Baylor rolls past Southern, 85-43

Lonestar Classic @ Cotton Bowl features TSU vs. Arkansas - Pine Bluff

Texas Southern and Arkansas-Pine Bluff square off in the inaugural Dallas Lonestar Classic 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Cotton Bowl.

The Tigers (4-7) are climbing back to respectability following a winless campaign in 2007. Tigers quarterback Bobby Reid, formerly of Oklahoma State, had season-ending knee surgery this month. His replacement, Cornelius Harmon, has thrown for 809 yards and six touchdowns in the last four games. Wide receiver William Osbourne is one of the SWAC's most electrifying playmakers with 75 catches for 1,008 yards and eight touchdowns.

The Golden Lions (2-9) have won two of their last four games, including a 34-0 drilling of Mississippi Valley State on Nov. 15. Running back Martell Mallett had 24 carries for 160 yards and two touchdowns in the victory and has 128 carries for 778 yards and seven touchdowns this season.

And this black college football showdown wouldn't be complete without the battle of the bands. At halftime, Texas Southern's Ocean of Soul and Pine Bluff's Marching Musical Machine of the Mid-South take center stage.

From the bottom to the top, here's how the SWAC stacks up this year

Last year around this time, I tried out the first SWAC-themed First and 10. It quickly became the hit of the holidays. In its wake, coaches were fired, coaches were hired, egos were bruised and we all laugh­ed a lot. Let's do it again. Away we go, worst teams first.

No. 10, Alabama State: Picking the worst SWAC team this year is like trying to pick the person responsible for screwing up the McCain cam­paign. There are just so many options. Unfortunately for ASU, I went to the scoreboard. The Hornets have scored just 137 sad little points through 10 games -- an average of 13.7 points per game. If you're an offensive coach and you can't average two touchdowns per game in the SWAC, I think it's time to step back and take a hard look at your career choice. mean, the conference isn't exactly known for its great defensive minds. Of course, it hasn't helped ASU that head coach Reggie Barlow believes he's a judge on some new reality series where he can vote off an offensive coor­dinator every week.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bulldogs’ Pough enjoying dream job

Buddy Pough is living his dream. Growing up in Orangeburg, all Pough wanted to do was be part of his hometown team at South Carolina State. And for the majority of his life, he has done just that whether it has been as a fan, player or a coach. N-3n his seventh season as head coach, Pough gets to lead the Bulldogs into their first playoff game in 26 years when S.C. State faces three-time defending FCS champion Appalachian State on Saturday.

“It’s been an interesting journey,” Pough said. “To get the program back on our feet when other state universities are having problems has been a positive note.” From his coaching style his emotional pregame speeches, Pough’s passion and love for his university are evident. “He lives and breathes S.C. State football,” said Bulldogs receiver Phillip Morris, a Timmonsville native. “He is a great guy all around and great for the university.”


ASU can’t forget
SCSU’s Pough a finalist for Eddie Robinson Award
SCSU’s hands will be full with App. State QB Edwards
ASU a first-round favorite
SC State aims to take it from the top
No. 2 Seed ASU to Host SC State in First Round of NCAA Championship
Robinson Award candidates announced
ppalachian State will spend the playoffs where they have done ...

Hampton coach says changes are coming after 6-5 season

Jerry Holmes eyes changes, possibly in the assistant ranks, after his first season at the helm.

Jerry Holmes isn't satisfied. Not with Hampton's 6-5 record in his first season as head coach. Not with a team that was 5-1 before losing four straight games and its focus. And not with some of his assistant coaches, many of them holdovers from former Pirates coach Joe Taylor's staff. "If I had to do it again, I still would give those guys an opportunity to try to prove themselves, but now, Year 2 is gonna be what I want," Holmes said. "I'm not a 6-5 kind of guy."

Holmes wouldn't specify any planned coaching changes, but clearly was unhappy with the Pirates' offensive imbalance. Hampton averaged 247 passing yards per game but just 106 on the ground. That changed in Saturday's season finale, when the Pirates snapped a four-game losing streak with a 17-13 win at Morgan State. The Pirates attempted just seven passes but ran for 124 yards against a defense that had been giving up only 92 per game.


Florida Classic 2008 - FAMU Marching 100

FAMU Marching 100 Pre-game Show

Monday, November 24, 2008

Appalachian State set to open FCS playoffs against South Carolina State

INDIANAPOLIS - Three-time defending national champion Appalachian State will open the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs Saturday at home against South Carolina State, while top-seeded James Madison will face Wofford.

Second-seeded Appalachian State (10-2) earned the Southern Conference's automatic berth for its 16th playoff appearance. James Madison (10-1), the Colonial Athletic Association champion, won the 2004 national title.

South Carolina State and Wofford are both 9-2.

Also Saturday, third-seeded Northern Iowa will play Maine (8-4), and fourth-seeded Montana (11-1) will open against Texas State (8-4). Montana, the 1995 and 2001 national champions, is making its 16th straight appearance and 19th overall.

In the other pairings announced Sunday, it will be: Colgate (9-2) at Villanova (9-2); Weber State (9-3) at Cal Poly (8-2); Eastern Kentucky (8-3) at Richmond (9-3); and New Hampshire (9-2) at Southern Illinois (9-2).


Wofford (9-2) at No. 1 James Madison (10-1)

South Carolina State (10-2) at No. 2 Appalachian State (10-2)

Maine (8-4) at No. 3 Northern Iowa (10-2)

Texas State (8-4) at No. 4 Montana (11-1)

Eastern Kentucky (8-3) at Richmond (9-3)

Colgate (9-2) at Villanova (9-2)

Weber State (9-3) at Cal Poly (8-2)

New Hampshire (9-2) at Southern Illinois (9-2)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Souverain exits B-CU as MVP

ORLANDO -- McKinson Souverain was named Bethune-Cookman's Most Valuable Player of the Florida Classic after Saturday's 58-35 loss to rival Florida A&M. But the award did little to soothe Souverain, who was hurting from the physical pain inflicted by a hard-hitting Rattler defense and the emotional agony that came along with a lopsided season-ending loss to FAMU.

"I'd trade that (award) for a victory," Souverain said softly as the Florida A&M band played loudly in celebration at the Florida Citrus Bowl. "I'd trade that for a playoff shot." Souverain, a senior, was hoping to go out with a bang -- a win over arch-rival FAMU that might have catapulted the Wildcats into a Top 25 ranking and an at-large berth in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.

"Our part was just to win," Souverain said. "Everything else, whatever happens after that happens." B-CU won't have to worry about watching tonight's announcement concerning the FCS playoffs. FAMU (9-3, 5-3 MEAC) has a chance of getting an at-large bid, but B-CU (8-3, 5-3) can start planning for next season.


Pulley, FAMU crush Bethune-Cookman in Florida Classic
Giveaway Day
Classic Rattlers
Votes are in: Still a Classic
FAMU tops Bethune, hopes for playoff berth
Record Season For Vann
FAMU Continues Dominance In Florida Classic
Florida Classic: Rapid fire scoring as Bethune gets on board ...
Game has grown into big event
Classic Rivals Clash
Florida A&M's Joe Taylor finally gets to coach in the Florida Classic
FAMU's Pulley taking advantage of second chance
FAMU hunts for playoff spot
Which will give way?
FAMU Rattles 'Cats
FAMU Rattlers eye playoffs after easy win over Bethune-Cookman ...
FAMU defeats B-CU, looks ahead to future
FAMU offensive line doesn't mind QB scrambles
Vann makes his mark in the finale
Murraine column: Pulley savors his MVP honor
Florida Classic Game Blog - FAMU vs. Bethune-Cookman: FAMU takes away a win from Orlando
Photo Gallaries: Florida Classic: First-half photos FAMU Pregame Florida Classic Coaches Luncheon

Florida A&M tops Morehead State 79-74

Eagle Men Lose to FAMU Despite Monster Game From Faried

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Sophomore center Kenneth Faried had career high totals of 27 points and 24 rebounds, but it wasn't enough, as the Morehead State Eagles lost 79-74 to Florida A&M in the consolation game of the Billy Minardi Classic at Freedom Hall on Sunday (Nov. 23) afternoon. Faried earned all-tournament honors. "We're very disappointed with our loss today," said MSU Coach Donnie Tyndall. "We're still making way to many turnovers, and our assist-to-turnover ratio is not good. And, we've got to do a better job guarding the basketball.

"Kenneth (Faried) was outstanding. He played with great energy. There were some positive aspects that we can take from the game and build upon." MSU fell to 0-5 on the season, with four road losses and Sunday's neutral site loss. FAMU won its first game in five decisions. Faried hit nine-of-11 from the field, but only nine-of-18 from the free throw line. He also blocked two shots. As a team, the Eagles hit only 59.6 percent (28-of-47) from the charity stripe. In addition to Faried, MSU got 15 points from Leon Buchanan and 10 points in a reserve role from Terrance Hill.

The Rattlers were led by Lamar Twitty who scored 18 points. Dale Hughes had 12 points, Joe Ballard 11 points and David Buchanon 10 points. MSU out-rebound FAMU 42-to-35, but had 18 turnovers to only 11 for the Rattlers. Next up for the Eagles is a trip to Mexico for two more games in the Cancun Challenge. MSU will play Grambling at 3 p.m. EST on Nov. 29 and Central Florida at 6 p.m. on Nov. 30.

Click here to listen to the archived broadcast.

Box Score

FAMU - BCU Bands battle in show like no other

ORLANDO, FL -- Legend says the ancient Scots marched into battle to the sound of Highland bagpipes within their ranks. The eerie, menacing sound of the pipes would pummel the enemy from as much as 10 miles away, instilling dread in foes long before the first clash of swords. But those Scotsmen might be quaking in their boots and kilts if they were here Saturday afternoon on the turf of the Citrus Bowl. It's halftime at the annual Florida Classic football game, and the Bethune-Cookman University Marching Wildcats are taking the field.

Sure, the Marching Wildcats will play a hip-hop hit -- Plies' "Who Hotter Than Me." But the song by the Tampa rapper boasts a defiant, martial beat, propelled by the brontosaurus stomp of the 'Cats tuba section and the Roman centurion blasts of the trumpets in the 275-member band. Forget the Scots. This is battle music that Orcs -- those monster dudes in "Lord of the Rings" -- would love.

Indeed, the Wildcat band is marching into battle. The foe: the Florida A&M University Marching 100. At the Florida Classic, the competition isn't just between the football teams of Bethune-Cookman and FAMU. "Come halftime, it's on," Marching Wildcat trumpeter Fletcher Harley said in rehearsals days earlier, a slight grin creeping into his game face. "You either put out or get put off the field."


FAMU Marching 100 - BOTB, Florida Classic 2008

Please Dont Stop the Music

If I Ever Fall in Love Again

FAMU Dance Routine

Mrs. Officer

Who Can I Run To

FAMU Percussion feature TUVOK

Florida Classic 2008 5th Quater

Bethune Cookman University Marching Wildcats - I love the Lord

Bethune Cookman Sudden Impact Percussion Feature

Bethune Cookman - Show Me What Ya Got

Vann does it all for FAMU

Rattlers junior LeRoy Vann runs another kickoff back for 84 yard TD against B-CU in the 29th Florida Classic.

ORLANDO, FL -- Fortunately for Florida A&M, LeRoy Vann isn't as erratic at the Dow Jones Industrial Average -- at least he wasn't Saturday in the Florida Classic. There were few lows and a lot of highs out of the Tampa junior, who was instrumental in the Rattlers' 58-35 victory over B-CU. Vann intercepted a pass, returned a kickoff for a touchdown, forced two fumbles, covered an onside kick and even had an 11-yard carry on offense on fourth-and-1.

"He's a real talent and a real competitor," FAMU coach Joe Taylor said. "Special teams, he does a great job there. He's an outstanding young man." The junior is known mostly for his returns on special teams, but he was so active Saturday one might have thought he never came off the field. "I like big plays. I'm a big-play special teams player. That's just in me," said Vann.

After a quiet first quarter, Vann got active on the sixth play of the second quarter when he intercepted a Matthew Johnson pass and returned it 16 yards to the B-CU 27.
Six plays later, Phillip Sylvester ran in a 7-yard score, staking the Rattlers to a 24-0 cushion.


Attendance: 60,712 at Florida Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida

FAMU wins 29th Florida Classic 58-35 over Bethune-Cookman

Florida A&M capped a resurgent 2008 season in style, throttling rival Bethune-Cookman 58-35 to win its third Florida Classic in four years. Just a year removed from a disastrous 3-8 finish and lopsided 34-7 loss in the 2007 Classic, the Rattlers punctuated new coach Joe Taylor first season with a quick striking offensive attack and stifling defense that took advantage of six Wildcats' turnovers Saturday.

FAMU got its biggest boost junior quarterback and University of Kentucky transfer Curtis Pulley, who accounted the four touchdowns (two rushing, two passing) as the Rattlers skated out to an early 31-0 lead and never really looked back. The Rattlers led 38-21 lead at the half, surviving what wound up being a very sloppy half of football as both teams combined for seven turnovers. But there were also plenty of early fireworks.

Pulley had both of his rushing scores in the opening 30 minutes, including a 51-yard scamper on his way to 153 yards in the half on just 10 carries. Running back Phillip Sylvester also added a pair of short touchdown runs and teammate Leroy Vahn also ignited the crowd with an 83-yard kickoff return for a score.


JSU gets scare, but holds off feisty Alcorn

Ernest Jones, the first-year Alcorn coach, promised a program-defining victory over Jackson State. He missed on the noun, but he just might have been correct on the adjective. Alcorn didn't get the victory, but the Braves might have defined their program before an announced crowd of 33,005 on an absolutely pristine day for football at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium. Trailing 26-0 with five minutes to go in the third quarter, Alcorn scared the stripes off the JSU Tigers, losing 26-21 and throwing into the end zone for the potential winning score in the last minute.

"Thank God," JSU coach Rick Comegy said with a heavy sigh afterward. "That was way too close at the end." Give Alcorn credit. The Braves came into the game at 2-9 and having lost four straight. JSU came in, as SWAC East champions, having won five straight and headed to play an undetermined opponent for the league championship in three weeks.


Attendance: 33,005 - Capital City Classic @ Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium, Jackson, MS


Alcorn State's season defined by close games
Steady Rutland gets offense going early
Tigers' kicking game needs work before trip to Birmingham
Rich nabs 2 picks to spark JSU's D
Braves make noise while Tigers chill
Braves attempt at last-minute comeback fails for 26-21 loss to Tigers
Alcorn looks to relocate 2010 Classic
Capital City Classic To Bring $6M To Jackson
Classic finish
Braves make noise while Tigers chill
Underdog Alcorn ready for archrival Jackson State
Capital City Classic Pep Rally

Wasted chances costly for Morgan Bears

Morgan State leading rusher Devan James

Morgan State's dream of capturing a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship ended with last week's loss to South Carolina State, but the Bears still had much at stake in yesterday's season finale against visiting Hampton. The Bears, nonetheless, squandered another huge defensive effort and fell to Hampton, 17-13, despite giving up only 167 total yards. Morgan State blew opportunities to finish with a winning conference record for the first time since 2003 and to have its third winning season in almost 30 years.

"We contribute to our losses. We contribute to our demise," Morgan State coach Donald Hill-Eley said. "Everything they got, we gave them. We have got to get to the point where players make plays. As a team, after you work all week, you have to look out for each other." Bears running back Devan James, who leads the MEAC with 111.4 rushing yards per game, finished with 112 on 25 carries. Morgan State (6-6, 4-4 MEAC) had 279 total yards and led the time of possession 35:11 to 24:29.


Attendance: 2,145 at Hughes Stadium, Baltimore, MD

HU 17, Morgan State 13 Season
Towson rolls past Hampton men
‘Tiny’ has big role in Morgan State’s best start in 25 years
Morgan State 72, Marshall 67
Morgan State beats UMBC 67-60

Backup QB helps Hornets win finale

DSU Hornets ends disappointing season as Coach Al Lavan look towards next year.

Glaud rallies DSU in second half

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- If it's November and you play on a losing football team, many players want to see their team's season come to a merciful end. Do not, however, count Anthony Glaud among them. Delaware State's sophomore backup quarterback wanted to prove Saturday that he represents the Hornets' future. A Bowling Green transfer who played behind four-year starter Vashon Winton all year, Glaud was DSU's offensive catalyst in a 10-6 victory over Howard before 2,161 fans on a bitterly cold afternoon at Greene Stadium.

"This wasn't the last game for me," Glaud said.

With Winton, who was starting his final game, the Hornets had just 69 yards of total offense. Glaud came in and completed 9 of 18 passes for 86 yards and DSU's only touchdown, a 15-yard pass to Erick Jones in the third quarter. Winton, who last week directed the Hornets to a come-from-behind win over Norfolk State, completed 7 of 12 passes for 49 yards. But with Winton not himself in his 44th career start, DSU coach Al Lavan made a change.


Attendance: 2,161 at Greene Stadium, Washington, D.C.

Win-starved Wildcats feast on sloppy Hornets
Hornets game notes
Hornets hope to build off comeback
Delaware State no match for Ohio State in Buckeyes' opener
Dayton men pull away from DSU
No upset this time for DSU women
Turnovers, Second Chance Opportunities the Difference in Howard Loss

Branche's late score rallies Spartans in season finale

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - It's basketball season, and Norfolk State football won Saturday thanks to an assist from DeAngelo Branche. The running back out of Maury High School rumbled his way to a career-high 181 yards, lifting the Spartans to a 17-14 victory over Winston-Salem State at Bowman-Gray Stadium in the season finale for both teams. Branche, who eclipsed his previous career-high by one yard, finished the season with 1,055 yards and 10 touchdowns. The 5-foot-11, 200-pound back barreled for 154 of those in a second half that saw NSU rally twice to get past a team that beat Hampton and Delaware State in the last three weeks.

"My offensive line gave me the blocks I needed," Branche said. "We're going into the offseason with a win. That's better than a loss." The Spartans (5-7) ended the season by winning three of their final four. Saturday's nonconference match-up with the Rams (3-8) wasn't without some anxious moments for NSU, particularly when a turnover on their fifth play from scrimmage resulted in a Winston-Salem touchdown.

Nigel McGowen's 10-yard catch was good for an NSU first down, but the sophomore fumbled after a blistering hit by Alton Keaton. Alex Chandler scooped up the loose ball for a 52-yard return to the end zone. The Spartans, 1 of 6 on third-down conversions in the first half, got their lone points of the period from Justin Castellat's 36-yard field goal.


Attendance: 1,428 at Bowman Gray Stadium, Winston-Salem, N.C.


Norfolk State gets an 'E' for effort, eventually
William & Mary defeats Norfolk State 74-58
Ram fan ready to binge on crow and humble pie
WSSU loses on Senior Day

Valley ends miserable season with another lopsided loss

Should this be it for Totten?

A season filled with lopsided losses for Mississippi Valley State ended with one of its worst thrashings of the year. Valley's disappointing season ended with a a miserable 58-23 loss to Alabama A&M Saturday at Rice-Totten Stadium in Itta Bena. Bulldog quarterback Kevin Atkins had a career outing as he carved up the Delta Devil defense for 357 yards and five touchdowns on 24-of-35 passing.

Valley ends the season at 3-8 overall and 1-6 in the Eastern Division of the Southwestern Athletic Conference - leaving the Delta Devils in last place in the division for the second straight year. If this was it for beleaguered MVSU head coach Willie Totten, it's not the way he would've hoped to go out as the Delta Devils allowed the most points to a SWAC team in Totten's seven-year tenure.

Totten, who is 28-44 at the helm of his alma mater, has one year left on his contract that pays him $92,928 a year. But there has been wide speculation that he will be fired after his fifth losing season in seven years. After Saturday's game, a frustrated Totten refused to discuss whether this was his last game at Valley."We've just got to put this behind us and go out and recruit some better players," he said.

With an announced crowd of just 789 - which looked much slimmer than that - not many Delta Devil fans showed up. The ones who did saw a familiar sight: a pitiful showing by the defense. It was the fifth loss of the season by 34 or more points. This marked the third straight game missed by second-year defensive coordinator Dennis Winston. Totten refused to comment on Winston's status.


Attendance: 789 at Rice -Totten Stadium, Itta Bena, MS (Capacity: 10,000).

Could this be it for Totten?
Bulldogs end tough season on high note
Jones second on Bulldogs' win list
A&M's Hilton eager to hit court

TSU's playoff hopes dashed with road loss

Heffner's heroic effort not enough at Murray State

MURRAY, Ky. — Antonio Heffner came to Murray State on Saturday with no intention of playing. By the fourth quarter, Heffner was on the field with no intention of letting Tennessee State lose. After playing sparingly in the first half, the senior quarterback, who was nursing a shoulder and foot injury, volunteered to go back into into the game for starter Dominic Grooms, who broke the thumb on his throwing hand.

Three times in the fourth quarter, Heffner, who threw a touchdown in the second quarter, got TSU in scoring range with a chance to either tie the score or send it to overtime. But, unlike so many times before, he was unable to get the Tigers into the end zone and Murray State held on for a 24-17 victory.

"I didn't think there was any way, coming into the game, that I could play. But basically, when they needed me, I had to try to go in and do my best,'' Heffner said. "After I went in, every time I threw, my shoulder hurt and my foot gave me problems too." The loss took No. 25-ranked TSU (8-4, 5-3 Ohio Valley Conference) from being a long shot for the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs to having no shot at all. The Tigers, who spent most of the season in first place in the OVC, wound up in fourth.


Attendance: 2,292 at Stewart Stadium, Murray, KY

Tigers' pass defense doesn't perform well
TSU must win to get in playoffs
Playoffs look pretty grim for 8-3 TSU
Herd Women Lose to Tennessee State

NCCU Beats Savannah State On Senior Day

DURHAM, N. C. - North Carolina Central University scored 10 first half points and the Eagles' defense held Savannah State University to just 122 total yards as NCCU defeated the visiting Tigers 10-7 on Senior Day at O'Kelly-Riddick Stadium in Durham, N.C. on Saturday. Nine NCCU seniors closed out their college careers in style, winning three of their last four games to finish the school's second Division I (FCS) season with a 4-7 record.

NCCU amassed 330 yards of total offense, including a career-high 216 passing yards by red-shirt freshman quarterback Keon Williams, who completed 15-of-20 attempts through the air. Sophomore running backs Tim Shankle and Tony McCord combined for 155 rushing yards, with Shankle recording a team-best 88 ground yards, including a 5-yard touchdown run at the beginning of the second quarter which proved to be the game-winner.

Junior Will Scott topped the Eagles receiving corps with five catches for 83 yards, while senior Wayne Blackwell collected four receptions for 49 yards in his final college game. Blackwell finishes his career as the eighth leading receiver in NCCU history with 117 catches for 1,462 yards.

A stifling NCCU defense held Savannah State to only 23 yards rushing on the afternoon, including negative-4 yards on the ground in the first half. The Eagles recorded six tackles behind the line of scrimmage, including four sacks, while forcing two turnovers. In the critical fourth quarter, the NCCU defense held the Tigers to just one first down, 33 yards passing and zero yards rushing. NCCU sophomore lineman Teryl White had a fumble recovery to go along with six tackles, including a sack. Red-shirt freshman David Ingram collected his team-best fourth interception of the season.

Among the school's all-time career leaders, senior quarterback Stadford Brown (#2) ranks third in pass completions (399), third in passing touchdowns (46), fourth in passing yards (5,202) and fourth in total offense (5,207). Brown's college career was cut short when his collarbone was broken during the second quarter of the Eagles' win over rival North Carolina A&T on Oct. 4, 2008.

NCCU senior linebacker Troy McConico amassed a team-high 10 tackles, including a sack and two forced fumbles, while senior lineman Eric Smalls accounted for six tackles, including 2.5 hits for a loss with a sack. Senior defensive back Derek Harvey finished his Eagle tenure with a career-high six tackles.

NCCU senior kicker Brandon Gilbert hit a 42-yard field goal to give the Eagles a 3-0 lead at 3:44 of the first quarter, then made his 104th consecutive extra-point kick at 13:42 of the second quarter. Gilbert ends his college career as the school's all-time leading scorer with 279 points, and also tops the Eagles career lists for field goals (44) and extra-point kicks (147).

Savannah State (5-7) was topped by senior defensive back Javorris Jackson with 16 tackles, while senior linebacker Calvin Leonard added 11 stops, including two hits for a loss. The Tigers were led offensively by freshman quarterback Kurvin Curry, who completed 8-of-18 passes for 99 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown to Isaiah Osborne with 3:49 left in the third quarter.

The other NCCU seniors that ended their careers Saturday were offensive lineman Jovan Olafioye, offensive lineman Greg Greene, quarterback Stadford Brown and running back Jeff Toliver.

Attendance: 4,027 at O'Kelly-Riddick Stadium, Durham, N.C.