LUT WILLIAMS BCSP Editor
Two traditional bitter rivalry games top the list of another list of 36 games in week two of the 2023 black college football season this week.
North Carolina A&T hosts North Carolina Central Saturday (7 p.m. on FloFootball) in the 101st renewal of their fierce Interstate-40, former CIAA and MEAC rivalry while Southern hosts Jackson State in Baton Rouge (6 p.m. on ESPN+) in the 68th meeting between SWAC rivals. The JSU/SU game is dubbed the Pete Richardson Classic after the former Southern coach who compiled a 169-76- 1 record and led the Jaguars to five SWAC and black college national championships from 1993 to 2009.
The Aggie/Eagle rivalry
After four straight losses in their series, Trei Oliver’s Eagles of NC Central knocked off A&T 28-13 last season in Charlotte en route to its MEAC and Celebration Bowl championships. The latter win gave the Eagles the 2022 HBCU national championship.
NC A&T is 14-9 vs. NCCU since 1998.
NCCU (1-0) comes in after a 47-21 whipping of former CIAA rival Winston-Salem State last week to open the season. A&T fell on the road to UAB, 35-6 Thursday in its opener under new head coach Vincent Brown.
“Everyone has spoken about this game since I got here, the importance of it,” Brown said Monday at A&T’s press conference. “I understand, it’s a very, very important game for the Aggie faithful. We will be ready. We will do everything in our power to make sure the kids are prepared for this game with the mindset of going out and beating last year’s HBCU national champs, North Carolina Central.
“They have talented players. They probably
have one of the best quarterbacks at the FCS level in Davius Richard. The running back, (Latrell) Collier, is a punishing downhill runner that breaks lots of tackles. The offensive line has size. The defense runs to the ball. But as we said last week, this is about us, not them. We’re going to make sure our kids are ready.”
Jaguars vs. Tigers in Baton Rouge
Southern leads the series with Jackson State that dates back to 1929, 35-32. JSU posted two wins over Southern in 2022. The Tigers pitched a 35-0 shutout vs. the Jags on Oct. 29 and then defeated them 43-24 in the SWAC Championship Game on Dec. 3.
Both Southern and Jackson State are coming off losses. Southern (0-1) was downed by Alabama State 14-10 Saturday in its opener. After opening with a 37-7 rout of South Carolina State in new head coach T. C. Taylor’s debut to open the season, JSU (1- 1, 0-1 SWAC E) fell to Florida A&M in a key SWAC E. Division matchup Sunday, 28-10.
In other games to watch, Hampton (1-0) hosts Norfolk State (0-1) in the Battle of the Bay (6 p.m., FloFootball), (0-1) Arkansas- Pine Bluff and (0-1) Tennessee State do battle in Memphis at the Southern Heritage Classic (6 p.m., HBCUGo), Morgan State (1-0), coming off a big win over nationally-ranked Richmond, is at FBS Akron (6 p.m., ESPN+) and Grambling tackles LSU in Baton Rouge (6:30 p.m., ESPN+).