Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Touchdown Saturday: South Carolina State Bulldogs vs. South Carolina Gamecocks

Bulldogs brace for USC test

Winston-Salem State was a trap game. Now S.C. State is readying itself to enter a proverbial "hornet's nest" Saturday at South Carolina. That is how Bulldogs coach Buddy Pough is approaching the second meeting between the schools. While S.C. State (3-0) has the national ranking (No. 14 by the FCS coaches poll) and is seeking its first 4-0 start since 1997, the Gamecocks (3-1) are riding high following their 16-10 win over previously fourth-ranked Mississippi. That goes without mentioning the adjustment the Bulldogs face in playing at raucous Williams-Brice Stadium. "But at the same time, we'd like to try to get in there and try to run it down their throat and control the ball for 40 minutes, said Pough. "

Bulldogs turn attention to game against South Carolina

A weary Malcolm Long would have rather put off a day talking about this Saturday’s nationally-televised game against the University of South Carolina. The Gaffney native and junior quarterback had just posted his best statistical game as a college player, throwing for 274 yards on 22 of 33 passing in a 27-10 victory over Winston-Salem State Saturday. Instead of just celebrating the win as the Palmetto State’s only undefeated team, he took rapid questions from the media about the second game in three years between the two in-state schools.

S.C. State Bulldogs best defense for the Gamecocks may be a punishing running game with RBs Travil Jamison (32) and speedster Will Ford.

South Carolina's best since Holtz

COLUMBIA -- Mississippi might have been the worst No. 4-ranked college football team in poll history, though the Rebels are probably at least the fourth-best team in the state of Mississippi. It was not even close to a sellout, though a hundred thousand more Gamecock fans will swear they were at Williams-Brice Stadium to see South Carolina's first-ever home win over a top 5 opponent. But this is Steve Spurrier's best South Carolina team and the soon-to-be-ranked Gamecocks proved it Thursday night with a 16-10 Southeastern Conference win. "Our fans needed this one," Spurrier said, "as well as all of us." C'mon, now. Admit it.

SC State hopes for glory in nationally-televised USC game

SC State is getting ready to make its second trip ever to Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday to play the Gamecocks. There are going to be plenty of eyeballs on this game since it's nationally-televised. The Bulldogs are excited about the big-time exposure. SC State's visit to Air Force in September 2007 was the program's first taste of division one football. These days, you can call the Bulldogs veterans. Over the past two seasons, they've traveled to UCF, Clemson and South Carolina, but Saturday's game against the Gamecocks has the added bonus of national airtime.

"I think it means a lot," said SC State Coach Buddy Pough. "I think if anytime you've got an opportunity to have that kind of publicity and notoriety around the whole world -- because that's what you deal with when you deal with the ESPN family of channels -- I think it's really, really special."


Game Time: 7 pm ET, Columbia, S.C.
Saturday 10/3/09
TV: ESPN Classic
South Carolina State Bulldogs at South Carolina Gamecocks

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Battle of Bands 9/26/09: Florida A&M vs. Tennessee State

Florida A&M Rattlers 31, Tennessee State Tigers 12

FAMU Marching 100 Baritone Horn section get down in dance routine at Atlanta Football Classic.

FAMU wins again in Atlanta Football Classic

Florida A&M continued its dominance of Tennessee State in the Bank of America Atlanta Football Classic on Saturday, rolling to a 31-12 victory before a crowd of nearly 52,000 at the Georgia Dome. It was the eighth straight win in the series for the Rattlers (4-0), who were led by QB Curtis Pulley’s 315 passing yards and two second-half TD passes. Those passes helped FAMU pull away from the Tigers (1-3), who had a 12-10 halftime lead behind TD runs from Preston Brown and Calvin McNairl.

Florida A&M rolls

Tennessee State already knew Curtis Pulley could win a game with his legs. This time, he proved his arm was just as useful. Pulley, Florida A&M's quarterback, was 24-of-34 for a career-high 315 yards and two touchdowns to earn his second consecutive Bank of America Football Classic Most Valuable Player award and lead his team to a 31-12 victory at the Georgia Dome on Saturday. Most of Pulley's production came when it was most needed, as the Rattlers pulled away in the second half to remain undefeated.

The Tigers looked strong in the first two quarters, keeping Pulley from hurting them too badly and taking a 12-10 lead into the locker room. But 192 of Pulley's passing yards and both touchdowns came in the final 30 minutes, and the reason for A&M's resounding win was evident to Tennessee State coach James Webster Jr. "The difference in the ball game was the quarterback, Pulley," Webster said. "He took it to another level in the second half. Pulley made the plays with his legs and his arm. He found the receivers, and we didn't challenge the receivers like we should have challenged them."

FAMU cruises past Tennessee State, 31-12

ATLANTA — Quarterback Curtis Pulley stood on the small stage, the Atlanta Classic MVP trophy latched in his arms, while cameras snapped away. The eyes of the media might have been on Pulley, but he wouldn't forget the rest of the FAMU players that were spread around the field level. "It's great to have those guys as my teammates," Pulley said after leading the Rattlers to a 31-12 victory over Tennessee State at the Georgia Dome.

Later on, Pulley would thank his receivers who helped him to a career-high 315 passing yards. "It was just great to make plays with our receivers," he said. "We have been kind of balanced in the first couple of games, but we just opened it up. The O-line did a great job of not letting any pressure get back there (to the pocket) and the receivers did a good job of getting open." Pulley never stopped relying on what he could do with his arm, and for the first game this season he didn't outdo himself running the ball. He carried nine times for 23 yards, a career low.

FAMU receiver Elliott has good outing despite drops

ATLANTA — After dropping four passes last week against Howard University, FAMU receiver Kevin Elliott fired off a text to offensive coordinator Lawrence Kershaw. "I apologized and I told him I would never play like that again," Elliott said after finishing the Atlanta Classic on Saturday with six catches for 64 yards. "I'm real hard on myself." Elliott might have to beg Kershaw to give him more time in the passing game because he dropped three in FAMU's 31-12 win over Tennessee State. However, he was the second leading receiver behind Isaac West's 134 yards on a day that quarterback Curtis Pulley threw for a career-best 315 yards.

FAMU WR Javares Knight fights for additonal yardage against TSU Tigers

Preserving Atlanta Classic makes financial sense

ATLANTA — Ken Howard came early before a mid-afternoon downpour disrupted tailgating. He and his buddy Robert Mosby had to make the rounds. Always a lot of folks to meet and greet whenever they come to the Atlanta Football Classic. They don't know everybody who calls out their names in the tailgating crowd, but they respond. Been almost 30 years since they graduated from FAMU, where Howard was batter known as "White Man." They called Mosby "Big Dog," the names they heard a lot this weekend.

Howard is teaching music now and brings the message of what black college football meant to him as a younger man and what it still means. He still comes to these games, the high cost of driving from Fort Lauderdale notwithstanding. Reports of flooding in Atlanta weren't going to deter him, either. "It means a lot to us," he said, explaining why he spent $200 for tickets to share Saturday's experience. "I'm an educator and I tell my kids a lot of those black athletes played at FAMU." He doesn't have many to talk about right now, but maybe one day they'll be talking about the tandem of quarterback Curtis Pulley and receiver Isaac West who both had a career days in beating the Tigers 31-12.

Attendance: 51,950 at the Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA


Battle of Bands 9/26/09: Alcorn State vs. Southern University

Southern Jaguars 48, Alcorn State Braves 42

Jaguars offense heats up

Southern University senior wide receiver Juamorris Stewart might have said it best following the Jaguars 48-42 win over Alcorn State on Saturday night. “Anything can happen in the SWAC,” Stewart said. “We’ve got to come out every week and play our best.” Southern had just built a seemingly comfortable 20-point fourth-quarter lead only to have Alcorn State rally for three late scores. As things turned out, Southern couldn’t breathe easy until Evan Alexander recovered an onside kick with 19 seconds left.

The play put a cap on a wild finish that seemed improbable early on as both the Southern and Alcorn State offenses took their time heating up. “We had to find our rhythm and chemistry on the field,” Southern center Ramon Chinyoung said. “Of course, in the second half we made a lot of adjustments. We knew what we could and couldn’t do, and that’s how we were victorious in the second half.”

Southern University Coach Pete Richardson had to work to the last 10 seconds to pull-out the victory over Alcorn State.

SU wins thriller

So when Byron Williams darted up the right sideline, broke a tackle near midfield and broke loose for a 91-yard kickoff return that gave Southern a 20-point lead over Alcorn State in the fourth quarter Saturday night at A.W. Mumford Stadium, what, exactly, was he thinking? “I was like, ‘Yes, it really hurt ’em.’ But I didn’t really pay attention to the clock,” Williams said. “They had a lot of time to get the ball back and score.” And the Braves scored. A lot. As the final minutes came to a close in this Southwestern Athletic Conference opener, the Jaguars had to hold on for dear life as Alcorn erupted for four touchdowns in a rally that just fell short in a 48-42 thriller.

Alcorn’s Buckley shines in air

Alcorn State senior quarterback Timothy Buckley didn’t want to leave Southern’s campus with a loss. Neither did his offensive mates, or first-year coach Earnest Collins Jr. Don’t get this misunderstood. Though Alcorn was outscored 100-0 in its first two games, its opponents were Football Bowl Subdivision foes. On the road. Against fellow Football Championship Subdivision foe Southern (3-1, 1-0 Southwestern Athletic Conference), Alcorn (0-3, 0-1) put together a performance that would have made former quarterback Steve McNair proud. And if the Braves could have gotten another defensive stop or sustained another offensive drive, his five-touchdown performance may have been enough to win. Instead, his Braves fell 48-42 Saturday at A.W. Mumford Stadium.

How They Scored: Southern-Alcorn State

First quarter
SOUTHERN — Juamorris Stewart 11 pass from Bryant Lee (Josh Duran kick) at :11. DRIVE: 6 plays, 40 yards, 1:55. KEY PLAYS: SU goes for it on fourth-and-6 at the Alcorn 25, converting when Lee hits Stewart on a stop route. One play later, Stewart gets a key block from wideout Corey Cushingberry and hops into the end zone. Southern 7, Alcorn 0.

Chatman returns to field

After missing two games and sitting on the bench for the first half of Southern’s 48-42 victory over Alcorn State, strong safety Gary Chatman finally got back on the field. But he didn’t do it at strong safety. Chatman, a starter at drop linebacker the past two years, returned to his old position during the third quarter of Saturday’s wild game, and he did so out of necessity. SU’s linebacker corps was already thin heading into this game, thanks to a handful of minor injuries and a virus that spread through the unit.

Drop linebacker David Daye didn’t dress out because of flu-like symptoms. Then, during the game, linebackers Marcus Clark missed time because he was getting re-taped, and AndrĂ© Coleman stepped out with an apparent injury to his left arm. In stepped Chatman, who’s still recovering from a sprained ankle, which he suffered in the season opener at Louisiana-Lafayette.

Attendance: 16,940 at Mumford Stadium, Baton Rouge, LA


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Coastal Carolina 28. North Carolina A&T 7

Quarterbacks falter in Aggies' loss to Coastal

CONWAY, S.C. -- The way N.C. A&T's offense failed to move the ball in the first half, a two-touchdown halftime deficit appeared insurmountable. Outside of one second-half series, the Aggies did little but confirm that in the third and fourth quarters. A&T lost 28-7 to Coastal Carolina on the road Saturday night, leaving coach Alonzo Lee's team still searching for answers on offense. "We have to execute better with our quarterbacks," Lee said. "We've been back and forth; we've shown spurts of doing really good things. And then, boom, we fall on our face. &ellipses; We're going to simplify a little bit more. We simplified some this week. We'll simplify a little more next week until we can get the nuts and the bolts."

Even with a scaled-back playbook, A&T (2-2 overall) quarterbacks Carlton Fears and Lewis Kindle struggled, overthrowing and undershooting receivers throughout the night. Fears -- who finished the game 7-of-22 with two interceptions -- didn't help his cause of holding on to the quarterback job. His first pick, a second-quarter job by Coastal Carolina defensive back and North Carolina transfer Tavorris Jolly, looked all too easy for the CCU player, who barely moved to cause the turnover. Kindle was inserted on the Aggies' next possession. But after three running plays, he drilled CCU (2-2) linebacker E.J. Brown in the chest with his first pass attempt. The Chanticleers squeezed a field goal out of that turnover.

Box Score Photo Gallery

Chants pound out win

CONWAY -- Teams typically spend their bye weeks focusing on their weaknesses. Coastal Carolina began working on its ailments a week early. Despite a passing game that may have taken a step back, the Chanticleers established the running game and began to find an offensive rhythm in the second half of a 28-7 win over North Carolina A&T Saturday. The Chants rushed for 304 yards, including a combined 239 yards from tailbacks Eric O'Neal and Tommy Fraser, and their defense was solid for a fourth consecutive week, sending Coastal to its off week at 2-2.

Quarter-by-quarter breakdown

First quarter
Key moment Coastal Carolina was gashing North Carolina A&T's defense for big gains on its second drive. Tailback Eric O'Neal and quarterback Jamie Childers had several long runs, helping the Chanticleers drive to A&T's 23 before Childers' first-down pass was picked off in the end zone by Quay Long. The man A&T punter Alex Grubb had three first-quarter punts and pinned all of them inside Coastal's 20-yard line: one at the 8, one at the 15 and one at the 3.

Attendance: 7, 367 (Sold-Out) at Brooke Stadium, Conway, S.C.


Norfolk State Spartans 40, Bethune Cookman Wildcats 14

5 interceptions drop B-CU to 0-3

NORFOLK, Va. -- A Saturday off last weekend didn't cure what ails the Bethune-Cookman football team. Fumbles, which haunted B-CU in its first two losses, weren't a problem Saturday. The Wildcats held on to the ball after losing seven fumbles in the first two games. But B-CU quarterbacks combined to throw five interceptions, as B-CU fell into a 23-0 hole on its way to a 40-14 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference loss to Norfolk State at William "Dick" Price Stadium.

The loss dropped the Wildcats to 0-3 for the first time since 1993, when they started 0-9 under Sylvester Collins. The 26-point loss, the Spartans' largest margin of victory in the 20-game series, also dropped the 'Cats to 0-2 in the MEAC. Injuries hit B-CU as hard as Norfolk State did, as the 'Cats lost senior running back Phillip Kirkland on their first offensive play (high ankle sprain) and senior defensive back Antonio Cox (dislocated shoulder). The 'Cats' highlight was a rally late in the first half when they scored two touchdowns in the final seven minutes to cut their halftime deficit to 23-14. Sophomore back Jonathan Moment capped scoring drives of 78 and 80 yards with TD runs from the 1.

Spartans QB Dennis Brown had a career-high 270 yards on 16-of-28 passing with one interception against BCU.

NSU cruises to victory

NORFOLK -- DeAngelo Branche rushed for three touchdowns and Dennis Brown threw two scoring passes to Chris Bell as Norfolk State routed Bethune-Cookman 40-14 yesterday. Branche had 106 yards on 20 carries and scored on touchdown runs of 1, 3 and 1 yards for the Spartans (1-1 MEAC 2-2). Brown had a career-high 270 yards on 16-of-28 passing with one interception, while Bell's 213 yards receiving on nine catches was also a career high. The pair connected on touchdown passes of 62 and 26 yards.

The win was Norfolk State's most lopsided in the 20-game series. Johnathan Moment scored on two 1-yard runs for the Wildcats (0-2, 0-3) to cut the Spartans' lead to 23-14 at halftime. Norfolk State scored twice in 27 seconds in the third quarter. After Bell's second touchdown, Terrell Whitehead had a 57-yard interception return to set up Branche's last score.

Attendance: 7,040 at Dick Price Stadium, Norfolk, VA


Oklahoma State Cowboys 52, Grambling State Tigers 6

Cowboys climb two spots in AP poll

Following Saturday's 56-6 win over Grambling State, the Oklahoma State Cowboys improved two spots in this week's Associated Press poll, released Sunday. OSU (3-1) is ranked No. 14 after spending the last two weeks at No. 16. The Cowboys reached a high of No. 5 in the AP after beating Georgia to start the season, but fell to 16th with the loss to Houston. The Cougars, who beat Texas Tech Saturday night, are No. 12 this week. Florida remained No. 1, with Texas second, Alabama third, LSU fourth and Boise State fifth.

Slideshow: Oklahoma State Football vs Grambling

Offensive line gets back to the basics in victory

Oklahoma State running back Keith Toston’s only job is to run through the gaps that his offensive line makes, so he knows those spaces well. Against Grambling State on Saturday, he noticed his job was somewhat easier than usual. “The holes were a little bit bigger than normal,” he said. OSU’s much-needed crushing of Grambling State helped to improve the performance and mood of the Cowboy offensive line, but there’s still a long way to go. OSU racked up 56 points on the Tigers’ defense and totaled 587 yards of total offense. The running game, where offensive lines shine in their blocking ability, was key for OSU’s victory. The Cowboys had 43 carries for 321 yards.

“Of course, those are the type of numbers you like, we prefer not to pass that ball at all,” senior offensive tackle Russell Okung said. “You’re just seeing things all come together and things starting to work. We are still a ways off, but we are seeing improvement each week.” But all of the line’s responsibilities don’t lie within the running game. Quarterback Zac Robinson needs time to make a read and find the right receiver in the passing game. The O-line fended off the GSU defense, allowing Robinson to go 13 of 16 for 189 of OSU’s 266 passing yards.

Rookies play well

If Oklahoma State had any questions about the future of its running attack, they were answered on Saturday night. True freshman Jeremy Smith saw the first action of his collegiate career and set a record for the most rushing yards ever by an Oklahoma State freshman in his first game. The Tulsa Union product carried the ball 15 times for 160 yards and one touchdown, becoming the third Oklahoma State running back to record more than 100 yards in a freshman debut. Smith is at the top of the list.

Terry Miller held the previous record of 128 yards against Wichita State in 1974. Vernand Morency ran for 108 yards against Louisiana Tech in 2002. But Oklahoma State expected this from the running back, whose redshirt was removed Saturday. “I think everybody on the team saw that one coming,” quarterback Zac Robinson said. “He can make you miss and has great speed.”

Oklahoma State rolls past Grambling 56-6

Saturday night went about as expected. Oklahoma State dominated the football game. Grambling State’s marching band dominated halftime. Next up for the 16th-ranked Cowboys after their 56-6 rout over the lower-division Tigers is some much-needed rest. Perhaps never before in the history of OSU football could a bye week have been more well-timed. With all due respect to the visitors from northern Louisiana, getting to play Grambling essentially equates to a bye-and-a-half for the Cowboys as they enter Big 12 play with a 3-1 record. OSU is nicked up, and among the injured are three players who many categorized as preseason All-Americans — wide receiver Dez Bryant (hamstring), cornerback/kick returner Perrish Cox (shoulder) and running back Kendall Hunter (ankle). None of the aforementioned played against the Tigers, nor did starting defensive end Jermiah Price.

OSU notebook: Cowboys defense shines, too

While the OSU offense featured old and new stars in rolling up big yards and points, the Cowboys defense did its job, too. Grambling State managed just 156 total yards, 66 of which came in the fourth quarter against mostly reserves. The Tigers scored with two field goals, one coming after an OSU turnover. "I think anytime you play a game, you’d like to get a shutout,” said Cowboys defensive coordinator Bill Young. "We didn’t get that done. But we hold them to two field goals, and we feel awful good about that. And we were able to play a lot of people.” For what it’s worth, the Tigers entered the game as the second-ranked scoring offense in the SWAC, averaging 32 points a game.

Loud and proud
The Grambling band, considered quite a bonus in the visit by the Louisiana program, did not disappoint, although there was some concern before the game even began. The band actually exited the stadium just before kickoff. While gone, OSU security and police emptied a scattering of fans from the section devoted to the visiting band. Eventually, the Grambling band returned and delivered on its halftime show to a rousing response, playing – and dancing – to Michael Jackson’s "Thriller.”

Just what the doctor ordered

Two of Oklahoma State’s preseason All-Americans attended the game in street clothes. Several other Cowboys also were no-shows Saturday against Grambling State. The highlight for many of the record crowd of 56,901 came when neither team was on the field (Grambling State’s Tiger Band was worth the price of a ticket, by the way). And with all the that the game against the Tigers couldn’t have gone any better if OSU coach Mike Gundy had scripted it. Well, maybe he did. I would imagine in his dreams he envisioned something like a 56-6 win where everybody wearing an OSU uniform got a chance to play and nobody got hurt any more than they already were.

Saturday’s victory over Grambling was the perfect cure to what had been ailing the Cowboys the past two weeks. It was a win that should put a little swagger back in a team that had plenty of it coming off its win against Georgia to open the season.

Pickens Drills Deep Into Pockets for Oklahoma State Victories

Stillwater, OK -- T. Boone Pickens has donated $284 million to Oklahoma State University’s sports program the past six years and the billionaire oilman and hedge-fund manager says he’s confident his investment is about to pay off. His money renovated the stadium that bears his name, beefed up recruiting and now is helping win more football games. The Cowboys, ranked No. 9 by the Associated Press before the season started, opened with a 24-10 victory over No. 13 University of Georgia.

Pickens, a 1951 graduate of the Stillwater, Oklahoma, school, said the money has been spent well. Now the 81-year-old, who Forbes magazine reported in March had a net worth of $2 billion, is looking for the Cowboys to earn a slot in one of the five Bowl Championship Series postseason games. “I expect to get there,” Pickens said in an interview Sept. 4. “We have a good football team this year. If we can stay healthy, we’re going to be tough.”

Oklahoma State’s bid for a trip to this season’s national championship game took a hit in the second game of the season after it blew a fourth-quarter lead and lost to the University of Houston, 45-35. The Cowboys are ranked 16th in the AP poll this week after beating Rice, 41-24, Saturday at Boone Pickens Stadium.

ATTENDANCE: (Stadium Record): 56,901 Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, OK.


Delaware State Hornets 21, Hampton Pirates 6

DSU athletic director Derek A. Carter

DSU fights for first win

HAMPTON, Va. -- There would be no last-second heartbreak for Delaware State this year. A year after a late touchdown gave Hampton a win in Alumni Stadium, Delaware State's Olusegun Ayanbiola snatched an interception and ran it back 13 yards for a touchdown to seal the Hornets' 21-6 win over Hampton at Armstrong Stadium. A glance at the stats would indicate domination by Hampton, which had 390 yards of offense to the Hornets' 277. The Pirates also had more first downs and forced six punts. The Pirates also were flagged 14 times for 141 yards and were picked off three times.

Mistakes, flags doom Pirates

HAMPTON - It's tough to beat a quality team when you give away yards and the ball. That was the theme of the day as Hampton fell to Delaware State 21-6 at Armstrong Stadium. Hampton was flagged 14 times for 141 yards and intercepted off three times. "We kept shooting ourselves in the foot, but my hat goes off to them because they obviously did enough to win," Hampton coach Donovan Rose said. "I thought our offense was doing fine, but every time we got a good drive going, we'd get a big penalty or give the ball away. I know it's disappointing to our guys right now, but it's not the end of the world."

The statistics indicate domination by Hampton, which had 390 yards of offense to the Hornets' 277. The Pirates also had more first downs and forced six punts. Yet every time they seemed poised to break out, something held them back. Hampton threatened in the first quarter after a 31-yard run by LaMarcus Coker gave it the ball on the Hornets' 18. The Pirates lost three yards on the next three plays before Jordan Stovall came up short on a 38-yard field-goal try.

Attendance: 4,632 Armstrong Stadium, Hampton, VA


Morgan State Bears 12. Towson Tigers 9

Morgan State's defense saves the day vs. Towson

Morgan State coach Donald Hill-Eley went conservative in Saturday's game with Towson. The rain started in the first quarter and got harder as time went on, so Hill-Eley decided to play the field-position game - and his plan worked perfectly. Darren McKhan returned a blocked extra point for a two-point conversion and made a crucial fourth-quarter interception, and Morgan's defense came up with several key plays late to help the Bears hang on for a 12-9 victory over Towson at Hughes Stadium. This was the Bears' first victory against the Tigers since 2003. Hill-Eley's plan worked because his defense came up big several times.

Morgan State Bears RB Darren McKhan scores one against Towson.

Towson ran up 344 yards of total offense, but the Bears forced three turnovers, blocked the extra point and limited the Tigers to two of 13 third-down conversions. Punter Nicholas Adams made a number of good kicks to pin Towson deep. "I didn't want to do anything that would give them any energy," Hill-Eley said. "Some coaches don't take it into consideration, but with me, we always take Mother Nature into consideration." The Morgan offense never really got going, finishing with only six first downs and 161 yards but had just one turnover. All three of Towson's turnovers came in the fourth quarter, ending its last three drives and handing the Tigers a 13th straight road loss.

Attendance: 4,307 at Hughes Stadium, Baltimore, MD


Alabama A&M Bulldogs 28, University of Arkansas Pine Bluff 7


HUNTSVILLE, Ala. —Arkansas-Pine Bluff dominated Mississippi Valley State last week in its Southwestern Athletic Conference opener. The Golden Lions were so dominant that coach Monte Coleman said he thought his team was on the verge of turning the corner. After Saturday’s beat down by Alabama A&M, Coleman is probably re-thinking that statement. The Golden Lions, who entered the game leading the league in rushing and total defense, had no answers for the Bulldogs, who gave UAPB a dose of its own medicine Saturday inside Louis Crews Stadium on homecoming.

A&M dominated UAPB, finishing with 448 yards in total offense en route to a workmanlike 28-7 victory before an announced crowd of 4,414. Coleman was at a loss for words. “This was very surprising,” he said. “They manhandled us today. For a team to beat us up the way we were beat up today, that’s very alarming and disappointing.” The loss, which snapped UAPB’s two-game winning streak, dropped the Golden Lions to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in league play. A&M improved to 3-1 and 1-0.


Bulldogs shred SWAC's top-rated defense in homecoming romp ... Arkansas-Pine Bluff came to town with the Southwestern Athletic Conference's top-rated defense. The Golden Lions led the league in rushing and total defense and had dominated Mississippi Valley State a week ago. Those numbers took a beating Saturday. Alabama A&M, looking to send a message to the rest of the league in its conference opener, gave UAPB a dose of its own medicine at Louis Crews Stadium.

The Bulldogs dominated the Golden Lions, finishing with 448 yards in total offense en route to a workmanlike 28-7 homecoming win before an announced crowd of 4,414. "It was pretty easy," said A&M running back Ulysses Banks after rushing for 177 yards on a career-high 34 carries and scoring two touchdowns. "My offensive line blocked for me. They always block for me. I like those guys." The Bulldogs improved to 3-1 overall and 1-0 in league play. The Golden Lions fell to 2-2 and 1-1.

Huge cleats to fill

Junior Afu Okosun eager to step into role as one of great A&M linebackers ...
Afu Okosun heard so much about former Alabama A&M linebacker Jamaal Ware that it almost made him sick. Ware was the first great inside linebacker during the Anthony Jones era at A&M, earning first-team All-Southwestern Athletic Conference honors in 2002. It was like Coach (Jay) Martin had a man crush," Okosun said, laughing.

Okosun was on a visit in 2005 when he got a chance to watch former A&M standout Johnny Baldwin. Okosun was a freshman on the Bulldogs' 2006 SWAC championship team and got a chance to see Baldwin up close and personal on a daily basis. Baldwin, a two-time first-team All-SWAC selection, was drafted in the fifth round by the Detroit Lions in 2007. "Johnny set the standard," Martin said. "Everybody that comes along will be compared to him."

Attendance: 4,414 at Louis Crews Stadium, Huntsville, AL


Texas State Bobcats 52, Texas Southern Tigers 18

Texas Southern Coach Johnnie Cole Tigers get overwhelmed by Southland Conference power Texas State.

George shatters Bobcats' passing mark

SAN MARCOS — Texas Southern's four laterals that resulted in a 90-yard touchdown return off of a blocked field goal might be a candidate for the football highlight of the week. However, the effort ended up playing second fiddle to Texas State quarterback Bradley George's record-breaking performance in the Bobcats' 52-18 victory Saturday at Bobcat Stadium. The senior from New Braunfels Canyon became Texas State's career passing leader by throwing for 325 yards and two touchdowns to increase his total to 7,287 yards and eclipse Barrick Nealy's mark of 7,206 yards set between 2003-05.

George also threw three interceptions for the first time since his freshman year, but he was still sharp enough to keep the Bobcats (2-1) in control. His favorite receiver was Da'Marcus Griggs, who came within one reception of tying the single-game record after finishing with 11 catches for 141 yards and a touchdown. “I think the three picks are what stand out in my mind,” George said. “But we won and that means something. To be mentioned in the same breath as Barrick Nealy is still an honor. But records aren't what you shoot for in sports. I have a couple (Southland Conference) rings, and I would like to get a third.”

Texas State routs Tigers 52-18

SAN MARCOS — Statistics don’t always tell the story, especially on the football field. Texas State’s defense made a huge impact in forcing four fumbles and an interception that led to 28 points in the Bobcats’ 52-18 win Saturday at home over Texas Southern. But Texas State coach Brad Wright points to one play that will stick in his mind — one of the only defensive faux pas all game. “It was one of those games where so much happened, I don’t even know what we did right and what we did wrong,” said coach Brad Wright, “The only play that comes to mind is that blocked field goal right before half time. The guys in the locker room (at half time) looked like they just had a trophy stolen from them.”

The play in question was a bit of razzle dazzle by the Tigers as time expired in the first half.Texas Southern’s John Cole blocked a Justi Garelick field goal attempt with three seconds left on the clock. Tigers’ Harry Brown recovered the ball and four Texas Southern players would touch the ball — on a series of laterals — before DeMa Washington scampered 24 yards for the touchdown and cut the Bobcat lead to 24-12. “I’m sure I’ll catch that play on (ESPN) Sports Center,” Texas State quarterback Bradley George said. “I’d like to see it again though; it looked like he was down to me.”

Complete Game Statistics in PDF Format

Attendance: 12,048 at Bobcat Stadium, San Marcos, TX


Duke Blue Devils 49, NCCU Eagles 14

Devils rule in cross-town romp

DURHAM, N.C. Early last week, Duke coach David Cutcliffe said the Blue Devils were not a "good" football team - a candid remark that represented the team's ineffectiveness and inconsistency in three previous games. On Saturday against N.C. Central, the Devils made strides to change their coaches' perspective, pounding the Eagles to capture a 49-14 victory at Wallace Wade Stadium in the first game between the neighboring schools.

The game, billed as the "Bull City Gridiron Classic," attracted 26,390 fans, many who showed up early to tailgate and enjoy the joint festivities planned by the two schools. A steady downpour did not turn away the faithful, who had talked about this game for weeks. The Eagles, who are in their third year of a transition from NCAA Division II to Division I, pulled the score to within a touchdown in the second quarter, cutting Duke's early lead to 21-14. Thereafter points were harder to acquire, with the Devils standing firm on defense and opening the game with an offensive outburst that continued into the fourth quarter.

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Game summary

Rucker Understands What Tonight's Game Was All About

Kinney Rucker, more than any other Duke player -- with the possible exception of freshman running back Desmond Scott -- understood what the first Bull City Classic was all about. The Blue Devils' senior defensive tackle reveled in the moment as he walked out to the center of the field before the kickoff of Duke's 49-14 victory over North Carolina Central. The Durham native was appointed a co-captain for the first historic meeting between Durham's two universities. "I moved down here in the sixth grade," Rucker said. "I went to Central games. I went to Duke games. For this to happen, is huge. "I went to the pep rally Thursday, just to see the camaraderie. It is amazing how much this community has come together and how much times have changed. Growing up, you never thought you'd see Duke and Central playing on the same field. As they moved up another division, it made it possible."

NCCU Eagles Tim Shankle scores on 1-yard TD run against the Duke Blue Devils.


DURHAM -- The rain fell, but it did not seem to bother Duke and N.C. Central University alumni who gathered late Saturday before the historic first meeting of the Blue Devils and the Eagles football teams at Wallace Wade Stadium. In addition to the rain, beer flowed, and there was plenty of chicken, barbecue and other good picnic food as fans gathered at Blue Devil Alley for the pregame tailgate parties for the historic first meeting of the two schools' teams. Much has been said and written about this game as an event that bridges a historical divide between Duke and historically black NCCU. Members of the Omega Zeta Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity -- the first black fraternity at Duke, established in 1974 -- were on hand celebrating that historic milestone along with the evening's game.

Attendance: 26,390 at Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, N.C.


Howard Bison 14, Georgetown Hoyas 11

Howard Ends Its Skid vs. Hoyas

As the seconds ticked off the clock on Howard's 14-11 victory over Georgetown at Multi-Sport Field on Saturday afternoon, Bison players Keith Pough and Darrin Christy grabbed a cooler of Gatorade, sneaked up behind Coach Carey Bailey and, when the buzzer sounded, doused their coach. A Gatorade shower may seem a bit over the top for winning the D.C. Cup, but not for Howard, which finally won a game, snapping its nine-game losing streak that dated from last season.

"Oh, man, we needed this win," Howard defensive end Will Croner said. "Just for the team morale, we needed it. After last year's loss [to Georgetown], we had a chip on our shoulder." Between Brandon Sherman catching a 35-yard touchdown pass from Floyd Haigler and Kenneth Austin-Bruce scoring on a five-yard run, Howard (1-2) did just enough to win. "Georgetown did a [heck] of a job, but I thought we had opportunities to score at least three more times that we didn't take advantage of," Bailey said.

Howard University Showtime Marching Band

Georgetown Hoyas Football:

Howard 14, Georgetown 11
When the story of the 2009 season is written, a lasting memory will come down Saturday's 14-11 loss to Howard. Not to falling victim to onside kicks, not to three interceptions, and not even to three intentional grounding calls. No, just two yards. Two yards may have separated Georgetown from its first win in 2009, and could be the closest they come to a win for a long time to come.

A restless Homecoming crowd and a steady rain proved to be less than ideal conditions before a full house on the Georgetown side of the spartan Multi-Sport Field and a surprising lack of turnout from the visitors across town. But to its credit, Georgetown started off strong, as freshman QB Isaiah Kempf completed four straight passes in a 12 play, 59 yard drive that ended with a Jose-Pablo Buerba field goal and an 3-0 lead. The weather conditions foretold a close game, but each team had their chances early.

Howard moved into Georgetown territory in its second possession, driving to the GU 27 and missing on a 44 yard field goal. The Hoyas offense reverted to its old habits, gaining five yards in its next two series and setting up the winless Bison at its 44. Aided by 27 yards rushing from Howard RB Charles Brice and 30 yards in Georgetown defensive penalties, the Bison moved 50 yards in five plays for its first touchdown, 7-3. With the Hoyas rattled, Howard picked up an onside kick moments later and drove 60 yards in seven plays, with a 35 yards pass to open the score to 14-3. Whether as a show of dissatisfaction, a retreat to drier climates, or both, a noticeable number of Georgetown students summarily packed up and left the Multi-Sport Field thereafter, leaving a crowd of 800 or so by the second quarter.

One student was asked if he was staying around. "What for?" he responded.


Attendance: 2,630 at Harbin Field-Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

Concordia College Hornets 23, Savannah State Tigers 21

Concordia wins on final play

Harrison Ellison kicked a 35-yard field goal as time expired to give Concordia College, of Selma, Ala., a 23-21 victory over Savannah State University on Saturday night in the Southern Georgia Heritage Classic. As the ball sailed toward the goal post and through the uprights, Ellison was mobbed by his jubilant teammates. Several Savannah State players dropped to their knees or fell flat on their backs and stomachs. Some Tigers shed tears as they watched the Hornets, an NAIA-level team, celebrate in front of a nearly empty David Dupree Field at Lucy C. Laney Memorial Stadium. The official attendance was listed as 1,333.

SSU QB Kurvin Curry avoids Concordia College defense.

Before the final play, Savannah State called a timeout with 4.8 seconds remaining in an attempt to shake Ellison, who missed a 25-yard field goal wide to the left in the third quarter. As Savannah State and Concordia players huddled with their coaches on their respective sidelines, Ellison remained the lone player on the field. He peeked up at the goal post a couple of times as he waited for play to resume.

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Attendance: 1,333 at Lucy C. Laney Memorial Stadium, Augusta, GA


Chicago Football Classic: MVSU Delta Devils 10, Alabama State Hornet 3

Mississippi Valley tips Alabama State 10-3

Chris Mitchell's pass floated through the evening sky toward Robert Childers. There was no time left to play Saturday night, and an announced crowd of 46,000 for the 12th annual Chicago Football Classic at Soldier Field collectively held its breath. Alabama State's Childers leaped high and got his hands on the ball. If he had come down with it, the Hornets could have sent the game to overtime. Instead, as the ball bounded away, Mississippi Valley State was a 10-3 winner in dramatic and improbable fashion.

The Delta Devils (1-2, 1-0 South Western Athletic Conference) had been outscored in their first two games 88-7. No wonder they charged the field and celebrated like they had just won a national title. "I couldn't watch the last drive," said Mississippi Valley quarterback Paul Roberts, who completed 20 of 34 passes for 210 yards and the game's lone touchdown. "One of my teammates standing next to me asked me what I was doing, and I said I didn't want to watch. After I heard my side cheering, that's when I knew it was good news."

Valley gets first win of the year

Paul Roberts threw for 210 yards and the game's only touchdown as Mississippi Valley State defeated Alabama State 10-3 here Saturday in the Chicago Football Classic. Roberts' 44-yard TD pass to Paul Cox with 9:53 remaining in the second quarter broke a 3-3 tie and gave the Delta Devils (1-2, 1-1 Southwestern Athletic) their first win of the season. Rahmod Traylor finished with 91 yards rushing for the Hornets (3-1, 0-1) who lost despite outgaining Mississippi Valley State 363-263 in offensive yards.

After the teams combined to score on three of their first five possessions, the game turned into a defensive struggle. Alabama state put together a solid drive in last two minutes, moving the ball 63 yards on nine plays, but Chris Mitchell's final pass fell incomplete and time ran out with the ball on Mississippi Valley State's 20-yard line.

Attendance: 42,600 @Soldier Field, Lake Forest, IL


South Carolina State Bulldogs 27, Winston Salem State Rams 10

Long Leads #14 SCSU Over WSSU 27-10

ORANGEBURG, SC- Junior Malcolm Long led the air attack connecting 22 for 33 and 274 yards and one touchdown, while senior Oliver Tre' Young led the receiving corps with 148 yards and one touchdown on nine catches to lead SC State to a 27-10 victory over Winston-Salem State at Oliver C. Dawson on Saturday. "I am happy to come away with a win over a tough Winston-Salem State team tonight," stated Pough. "Play on the field is not as good as in practice so we need to work on a few things."

The Bulldogs jumped out to 10-0 lead off a 23-yard field goal by sophomore kicker Blake Erickson for the first score of the game in the first quarter. Long then connected with wide receiver Tre' Young on a 14-yard touchdown score to close out the first-half. SC State would start off the third quarter on 28-yard field goal by Erickson to extend the lead to 13-3 at the 12:06 mark. The Bulldogs took control of the lead on a 3-yard punch by All-MEAC running back Will Ford with 6:58 left in the third to make the score 20-3.

The Rams scored their only touchdown on the night on a 6-yard pass from Brian Wynn to Dustin Jarrett to pull within ten, 20-10 with 8:00 minutes left in the game. Ford sealed the deal with a 30-yard touchdown scamper with 2:58 left and the Bulldogs cruised to a 27-10 non-conference victory. "Penalties really hurt us I think so we need to be smarter about the plays we make," stated Pough. We didn't get as much out our special teams as I would have liked but we got our work cut out for us next week against South Carolina.

South Carolina State racked up 454 total yards on offense and improved to 3-0 overall, 1-0 in the MEAC. Ford finished the day with 104 yards and two touchdowns. Senior linebacker David Erby led the Bulldog defense with nine tackles. SC State returns to action on Saturday as the travel to face intrastate rival University of South Carolina in a 7p.m. showdown. The game will be televised live on ESPN Classic.

Courtesy: SC State

Rams lose again, fall to 0-4

Winston-Salem State was its own worst enemy Saturday night against S.C. State. The Rams had more penalties (13) than first downs (12) in a 27-10 loss to the Bulldogs in front of 15,903 at Dawson Stadium. As Coach Kermit Blount of the Rams walked off the field between two South Carolina state troopers his head was down after watching his team make mistake after mistake on offense. The Rams had six false-start penalties from their young offensive line, and many of those killed the momentum on several drives.

S.C. State Tre Young makes big gain on the Rams.

"I don't know," Blount said about why his team had so many false starts. "I guess playing with a freshman center, but he should have all those kinks worked out by now. But I'm not one to make excuses, we had opportunities all night long and we just didn't capitalize." The Rams fell to 0-4 and have now lost six straight going back to last season. It's the longest losing streak in Blount's 17-year career at WSSU. The Bulldogs (3-0) rolled up 454 yards of offense with quarterback Malcolm Long doing most of the damage. Long was 22 of 33 for 274 yards and a touchdown pass.

Bulldogs defeat Winston-Salem State, 27-10

The numbers both did and didn’t tell the complete story for South Carolina State Saturday night. An estimated 15,903 fans inside Oliver C. Dawson Stadium, the most for a home opener in over a decade, witnessed the 14th-ranked Bulldogs remain undefeated with a 27-10 victory over Winston-Salem State. S.C. State (3-0, 1-0) posted a season-high 454 total yards as quarterback Malcolm Long had a career game against the school he chose the Bulldogs over with 279 yards on 22 of 33 passing and a touchdown. Charleston native Tre Young was the recipient of many of Long’s throws with nine catches for 148 yards.

This was also the first 100-plus yard game for senior tailback Will Ford. The Travelers Rest native had 104 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to move past Hampton’s Montrell Coley into fourth place on the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s career-rushing list. The Bulldog defense once again excelled as it held the winless Rams (0-4) to 10 points for the fourth consecutive game and allowed just 80 passing yards. Yet for all the gaudy numbers, head coach Oliver “Buddy” Pough was less than satisfied with the victory. In fact, he was more than candid about his team’s chance this season if they do not show improvement soon.

One-on-One with Charlene Johnson

Charlene Johnson has been South Carolina State University's athletic director since 2005 and her association with the school spans 25 years. An Allendale County native, Johnson played a key role on S.C. State's 1979 AIAW national championship basketball team. She has been an S.C. State volleyball and tennis head coach, and an assistant basketball coach. Away from work, Johnson enjoys spending time with her husband Virgin and children Taylor and Trey and likes to watch sporting events and HGTV. While fielding ticket requests for S.C. State's game at South Carolina on Saturday night, she spoke with The Post and Courier's Gene Sapakoff.

I'm guessing you didn't go around as a kid saying, "I want to be a college athletic director when I grow up." "The thought never crossed my mind growing up. But after being at South Carolina State and being a Health and Physical Education major, I knew I wanted to coach and I kept thinking that as I matriculated through college."

What is it like being one of the only women serving as an athletic director in college sports? "When I was first named interim athletic director back in 2004, it was like I was kind of thrown into the water, sink or swim. Then being exposed to the folks in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference -- all the coaches, athletic directors and commissioners -- you learn a lot in a hurry. Having coached and being the first female on the (S.C. State) staff at the time, I had a lot of early training. So by the time I advanced to being athletic director, I had already had a baptism by fire. And I really didn't have too much time to think 'Oh, gosh, I'm a female.' I just had to roll up my sleeves and go to work."

SC State wins, but Bulldogs not happy

On paper at least, South Carolina State had a good showing in its home opener on Saturday night before 15,903 fans at Oliver C. Dawson Stadium. The defending MEAC champion Bulldogs improved to 3-0 with a 27-10 victory against winless Winston-Salem State. Quarterback Malcolm Long had a career-high 272 yards passing, receiver Tre' Young had a career night with nine catches for 148 yards and All-America running back Will Ford had his first 100-yard rushing game of the season. The Bulldogs finished with 23 first downs and 454 yards on offense, and the defense limited the Rams to 10 first downs and 202 yards.

S.C. State Coach Oliver "Buddy" Pough was not happy with the Bulldog performance. Up Next: at South Carolina Gamecocks

But the Bulldogs' body language as they trudged off the field to the locker room told a different story. There were few smiles on the faces of the winners and none of the horseplay and interaction with the crowd that is typical after a 17-point win. S.C. State Buddy Pough painted a bleak picture after the game, making it crystal clear that the performance was not merely an isolated case of a team coming out flat against a lackluster opponent. "If we don't start playing better than we are right now, this will be a three-or-four loss team by the end of the season, no doubt about it," was his stark assessment.

Gallery: S.C. State vs. Winston-Salem State

Attendance: 15,903 at Dawson Bulldog Stadium, Orangeburg, SC


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Atlanta Football Classic: Florida A&M Rattlers vs. Tennessee State Tigers

FAMU, Tennessee St. prepare for Dome showdown

It’s that time of year again for the Bank of America Atlanta Football Classic at the Georgia Dome. Florida A&M and Tennessee State square off Saturday at 3 p.m. in a contest which highlights a weekend of parades, step shows, tailgating and good ‘ol reminiscing. The scene at the Dome tomorrow will likely rival that of an Atlanta Falcons home game. So with thousands coming north from Florida and south from Tennessee to the ATL for the game, there’s one burning question that remains – is this the year Tennessee State finally breaks the drought?

TSU hopes quarterback brings points to offense

Maybe having two quarterbacks with starting experience will provide the boost Tennessee State's offense needs. Dominic Grooms, who started the opener, returned to practice this week and will be available along with Calvin McNairl, who replaced him, for today's 2:30 p.m. game against Florida A&M (3-0) in the Atlanta Classic at the Georgia Dome. The Tigers (1-2) are 112th out of 118 Football Championship Subdivision teams in passing (106.7 yards) and 102nd in total offense (239.7).

McNairl, a sophomore who recovered from a preseason knee injury and started the last two games, took most of the snaps with the first team in practice this week and will start today. McNairl is the Tigers' leading rusher with 187 yards on 25 carries and has passed for 129 yards on 13 of 36 completions with three interceptions. The coaching staff also plans to get Grooms, a junior transfer from Missouri, back in the mix, see how his hamstring holds up, and try to get the passing game off the ground again.

Keys to the game: Florida A&M vs. Tennessee State

When FAMU has the ball...Curtis Pulley has been the MEAC's Offensive Player of the Week three times already this season. The senior leads the conference in total yards per game and second in rushing. In the Rattlers' 48-10 victory over Howard last week, there were numerous drops from the wide receivers. Kevin Elliott texted Joe Taylor after that victory and promised such an episode will not happen again.

Tennessee State's defense has kept the Tigers within striking distance in each game this season. Despite allowing 361 yards per game, the Tigers' defense has been able to limit big plays. Defensive ends Kellen Woodard and Rodney Fritz have harassed quarterbacks and each have three sacks on the young season. Overall, opponents have scored only eight times is 14 opportunities, though seven of those scores have been for touchdowns. Of the seven touchdowns allowed, six have been through the air so Elliott, Isaac West, Adrian Smith and others may have a chance to atone for the Howard performance.

Tennessee State won't avoid proficient punt returner

Special attention is being paid to the special teams at Tennessee State this week. That's because the Tigers face Florida A&M's LeRoy Vann, who has captured national attention with four punt returns for touchdowns in the past two games. TSU (1-2) meets Florida A&M (3-0) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in the Atlanta Football Classic at the Georgia Dome. The 5-foot-9 burner had runbacks for 95 and 80 yards for touchdowns in the Rattlers' Sept. 10 win over Winston-Salem State and two more from 40 and 66 yards in a Sept. 17 win against Howard.

Vann's returns were featured each week on ESPN's "Top Plays," he was a topic of discussion on the network's Around The Horn and was interviewed this week by former Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard for Saturday's College GameDay. He also was featured in Sports Illustrated and The New York Times. "Everybody in the country is talking about the guy,'' TSU Coach James Webster said. "He's one of the best, if not the best, punt returners in all of college football."

FAMU's RB Philip Sylvester is the forgotten man with blazing speed and a passion for destroying the TSU defense.

Recession doesn't look to slow FAMU, TSU fans at Atlanta Classic

The longstanding rivalry between Florida A&M and Tennessee State has not only been competitive, it's been quite lucrative. Despite the longest recession in the past 80 years, the Atlanta Football Classic will generate yet another $20 million for the metro Atlanta economy, according to the Atlanta Sports Council. This is quite a jump from the $3 million in economic impact the Tallahassee area sees for the typical FAMU home football game. Hoteliers, restaurants and retailers have not been the only beneficiaries, according to the 100 Black Men of Atlanta Inc. The game has raised $2.1 million for the athletic departments of the competing schools, and another $2.9 million for the organization's Project Share program over the past five years.

Fans need right TV plan to see FSU, FAMU

Local fans can watch the Florida State and Florida A&M football games on television today — if they have the right cable or satellite package. VERSUS, the channel carrying today's game between Tennessee State and FAMU at 3:30 p.m. in Atlanta is part of the digital starter package and is on channel 55 or channel 448 in high definition. Comcast recently added ESPNU, the channel carrying today's game between South Florida and FSU at noon. ESPNU is channel 735 or channel 396 in high definition. The channel is also available on DirecTV and Dish Network.

FAMU's Creary bounces back from injury

When FAMU safety Michael Creary put the stop on Alabama State's receiver Cedric Harris midway through the second quarter of their game last season, Creary had no clue about the consequence of the hit. The pain he felt afterward was enough to get him out of the game. He thought he'd get to continue the great game he was having up to that point with five tackles. But the longer he waited for the pain to subside, the larger the swelling around his left knee got. He wouldn't play another down, as he watched the Rattlers finish 9-3.

Watching the unfolding of the turnaround season for the team was agonizing from the sidelines, he said. As the team won, he watched on crutches following surgery to his damaged ACL. It was agonizing for the redshirt junior, to say the least. "I was happy for my team but I was down about it because I was prepared," Creary said. "I had really prepared for the season and I really wanted to be part of it. It was tough."

TSU (1-2) VS. FLORIDA A&M (3-0)
Where. Georgia Dome, Atlanta.
When. 3:30 p.m. EST. today
TV/radio. Versus/1470-AM
Last meeting. FAMU 28, TSU 21 (2008)

Story lines. Florida A&M has beaten TSU seven consecutive years. After giving up six sacks in the first two games TSU’s offensive line did not allow a sack in last week’s 21-17 loss at Southern. The Rattlers feature the nation’s top Football Championship Series punt returner in LeRoy Vann, who has four for TDs in the last two games.

FAMU's Vann does it again, wins weekly award

Florida A&M returnman Leroy Vann, Liberty quarterback Mike Brown and Richmond defensive tackle Nicholas Battle have been named The Sports Network's FCS national players of the week.

SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK Leroy Vann, Florida A&M, 5-9, 185, Senior, KR/PR-DB, Tampa, FL. Vann led Florida A&M to its second-straight nationally-televised victory with two punt returns as the Rattlers beat Howard 48-10 in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference contest. It is the second week in a row that Vann has been named national special teams player of the week after returning two kicks for touchdowns. Vann tied an NCAA Division I career record with seven punt returns for touchdowns and tied the single-season FAMU mark of four punt returns for TDs, which had previously been established by Howard Huckaby (1985-88). The NCAA mark was originally set by Kenny Shedd of Northern Iowa (1989-92).


FAMU's Shaw making overall impact
Special teams play contributes to FAMU's success
FAMU's defense is playing stingy
Atlanta floods won't affect FAMU football game
Video changing ways for Rattlers to prepare