Written by Thomas Scott
Each week this football season, BlackBall Sports will share our picks for the top HBCU games across the SWAC, MEAC, CIAA, and SIAC for fans to watch. Week 2 features a lot of intriguing non-conference matchups that will give fans a better idea of where their teams rank before they start conference play.
Fort Valley vs FAMU
Fort Valley travels to Tallahasse looking to build off their impressive 30-0 win over Tuskegee in the inaugural Red Tails Classic. The Wildcats were led by defensive back Tyler Moore and quarterback Tyrell Jackson, who took home the SIAC Offensive & Defensive Player of the Week awards last week. In recent years, the matchup between Fort Valley and FAMU hasn’t been close. In fact, the Wildcats haven’t beat FAMU since 1984. The Wildcats have improved the talent on their roster and even have a NFL prospect at wide receiver, Shemar Bridges.
FAMU looks to bounce back from their 7-6 loss to Jackson State in the Orange Blossom classic. This game will be their first in front of fans at Bragg Memorial Stadium since 2019. The Rattlers have already made a change at quarterback and freshman Junior Muratovic will get his first collegiate start. Fans should expect the Rattler defense to put tons of pressure on Fort Valley offense and hopefully put Junior Muratovic and the FAMU offense in position to succeed.
Jackson State vs Tennessee State | Southern Heritage Classic
This is arguably the most hyped HBCU matchup of the week. NFL legends Deion Sanders and Eddie George are the newest head coaches at Jackson State and Tennessee State and rightfully all eyes will be on them.
Coach Prime and the Jackson State Tigers began the 2021 season with an impressive win over FAMU in the Orange Blossom Classic. The defense lived up to the hype suffocatting the Rattlers and holding them without a touchdown for only the second time in the Coach Willie Simmons era. This week will give fans a better look at the QB Shedeur Sanders and the rest of the Tiger offense.
Coach Eddie George and Tennessee State lost a close game to Grambling State in the Black College Football Hall of Fame Game during Week 1. The defense was impressive even in the loss, holding Grambling to only 16 points.
Penalties killed Tennesse State during Week 1. They committed 18 penalities for 150 yards and must improve in this area to win the Southern Heritage Classic.
Miles vs Southern | Pete Richardson Classic
This game will be the second annual Pete Richardson classic betwen Miles College and Southern University.
Miles nearly pulled off the FCS upset with a 1-point overtime loss to Alabama State in Week 1. They held their own against Alabama State and if they can compete at that same level again, this game will be competitive.
Southern University looks get their first win of the season after a 55-3 blowout loss to Troy University. In the first Pete Richardson Classic, Southern beat Miles 28-21. If the Jaguars are to win this game the will need a great performance from linebacker and reigning SWAC Defensive Player of the Year, Jordan Lewis.
Bowie State vs Saginaw Valley State
Bowie State is the #25 ranked Division II football team in the nation. Last week, they almost pulled off a FCS upset over Delaware State. This will be the first game in Bulldogs Stadium since 2019! A victory over Saginaw Valley will help the Bulldogs ranking and should be a nice test before they start CIAA conference play.