Showdown time in SWAC, MEAC


Jackson State head coach Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders’

Last week’s showdowns were in the CIAA and SIAC.

In those contests, undefeateds Virginia Union in the CIAA and Benedict in the SIAC came away with narrow victories over defending champions Bowie State (CIAA) and Albany State (SIAC) (see SCORES).

This week, showdowns in the MEAC and SWAC take on another flavor.

In the MEAC, defending champion South Carolina State hosts N. C. Central in a battle that could determine the favorite for conference supremacy as the league moves into the meat of its schedule.

The SWAC showdown has undefeated and nationally-ranked defending champion Jackson State facing its toughest challenge yet from Big South member Campbell at the Tigers’ homecoming.


Jackson State (6-0, 4-0 SWAC E), up to sixth in the AFCA FCS poll and ninth in the STATS Perform FCS Top 25, expects a big crowd to see head coach Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders’ squad in this showdown vs. Campbell (4-2, 2-0 Big South). Last year’s JSU homecoming drew 53,578 to Jackson’s Veteran Memorial Stadium to see JSU handle Alabama State 28-7.

Campbell, like JSU, is coached by former NFL veteran Mike Minter who played ten years in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers. Minter has coached at Campbell since 2013 after a standout career at Nebraska. He was drafted by Carolina in the second round of the 1997 draft (56th overall).

Minter’s troops put a 48-18 whipping on then undefeated MEAC member North Carolina Central on Oct. 1. That big win started the buzz towards the meeting with JSU this Saturday (2 p.m. on ESPN+). The Camels have now won three straight after dropping two contests early in the season to William & Mary (37-21 on Sept. 10) and East Carolina (49-10 on Sept. 17).

A huge offensive line paved the way for the Camels to rush for 315 yards and score five rushing touchdowns vs. NCCU. The Campbell defense gave up 294 passing yards to NCCU QB Davius Richard but picked him off twice. They did limit NCCU to less than 100 rushing yards.

JSU is fourth in the FCS in scoring at 44.0 points per game. Campbell is averaging 30.5 ppg. JSU is tops in the FCS in scoring defense surrendering just 9.5 points per game and is fourth in rushing defense giving up just 66.8 ypg. Campbell averages 130 rushing yards per game. All eyes will be on this one.

Like JSU, Prairie View A&M (@ Lamar, 4 p.m.) and Southern (homecoming vs. Va.- Lynchburg, 4 p.m.) have out-of-conference games. Alcorn State has a W. Div. home game vs. Texas Southern (2 p.m., ESPN+) and Miss. Valley State has a E. Div. date vs. Bethune- Cookman (3 p.m., HBCUGO).


It’s early in the six-team MEAC race but Saturday’s NCCU date at SC State (1:30 p.m., ESPN+) is critical as veteran head coach Oliver “Buddy” Pough sends his Bulldogs to battle against Trei Oliver’s Eagles.

The Eagles (5-1, 1-0) finished behind the Bulldogs is last year’s MEAC race with a 4-1 record. SC State (2-4) escaped with a 27-24 win in Durham last season, one of several close wins in a 5-0 MEAC season for the Bulldogs. It was NCCU’s only MEAC loss though they also had several close victories.

Not to be ignored are Rod Milstead’s

Hornets of Delaware State (4-2, 1-0) who now are tied with NCCU at the top of the MEAC race. They play at Howard’s homecomingSaturday (1 p.m.). It is the Bison’s (2-5) first MEAC game. CIAA and SIAC

Virginia Union (7-0, 5-0 CIAA) took a big step towards dethroning three-time N. Div. and CIAA champion Bowie State with its 27- 24 overtime victory on the road Saturday. The Panthers are at Lincoln (Pa.) (2-4, 1-3 N) this week (12 noon). Benedict (7-0, 5-0) put itself in the SIAC E. Div. driver’s seat with its win over Albany State and is at homecoming (2 p.m.) at winless Morehouse (0-7, 0-4 E).