The college football season is just gearing up, but for two of the four HBCU conferences, almost an entire week’s worth of action will be lost.
Hurricane Florence is expected to pound a major portion of the Southeast, particularly the Carolinas and Virginia. Of course, the bulk of the teams in the CIAA and MEAC are either based in the region or had games scheduled there this weekend, and with the storm expected to be historically bad, many games were cancelled. Some were postponed, meaning they will be played at a later date, but others were called off all together.
So with most HBCUs on the East Coast out of commission, the SIAC and SWAC will take center stage, along with an inter-conference matchup of historic HBCU powers in Tallahassee.
Jackson State will travel to the Sunshine State to take on Florida A&M. Both teams had rough times last week, with FAMU getting murked by Troy while JSU had its matchup against TSU in the Southern Heritage Classic cancelled due to weather conditions. This is the first time the two programs have met since 2014, when JSU won on a hail mary. Both teams would feel a lot better about themselves going into conference play if they come out with a win.
Prairie View A&M running back Dawonya Tucker leads the entire country in rushing.
Most of the SWAC is still playing out of conference outside of Texas Southern and Alcorn State. That includes Prairie View A&M, who nearly beat FCS power Sam Houston State last week. This week the best 1-2 team in the FCS will look to pull a Howard and beat UNLV on the road. Running back Dawonya Tucker has been on fire the last two weeks, rushing for better than 200 yards in back-to-back games. If Jalen Morton and the passing game can keep UNLV honest and the defense can be opportunistic, perhaps the SWAC will get its FBS win this week.
Southern is one of several SWAC schools playing out of conference as it hosts Langston in the first-ever Pete Richardson Classic. Richardson led Southern to five SWAC titles and four HBCU national titles in 17 seasons.
The game should be a respite for Southern after playing FBS schools back-to-back. But Langston is no ordinary NAIA squad as they are coming off an unbeaten regular season in 2017 and appear to be a solid squad once again.