Cohen (aka Football 101)
Onnidan Online Prognosticator
A&T vs. Hampton
The consensus #1 black college football team is
back on the road facing long time nemesis NC A&T.
Both teams have a short week in order to get prepared
to play on national TV (ESPNU) and under the Thursday
night lights. Neither team has yet to play their
best football but they both need to get it together
as they get into the meat of their MEAC schedule.
Hampton’s vaulted offense ran into a brick
wall in Washington, DC as Howard put the clamps
on the Pirates and clung to a 12-0 lead at halftime.
As with last year’s team, defense and special
teams found a way to put points on the board as
they earned a hard fought come from behind victory.
The Aggies obviously were looking ahead and almost
lost to the MEAC’s worst team. Norfolk St.
competed for four quarters with the Aggies, but
couldn’t make the plays at the end of the
game to pull off the upset. NC A&T has yet
to get used to new offensive coordinator Kent Schoolfield’s
offensive scheme and learning curve has ended.
The Aggie band may bump to the sounds of TI’s “Bring
em Out” but it will only hype up the Hampton
Pirates football team. Hampton will not hold back
as they give the TV viewers a show at the Aggie’s
expense. Hampton 35, NC A&T 17.
Tennessee-Martin vs. Tennessee State
TSU got a well deserve overtime victory as they
outlasted Jackson State in the Southern Heritage
classic. Linebacker Jamar Landrom lead the way
with 6 tackles, two QB sacks, a forced fumble and
I think that he substituted as drum major during
halftime on his way to earning Defensive MVP. Tennessee-Martin
was taken to the woodshed as they suffered another
plus 45 point beating at the hands of Arkansas
State for the 2 nd consecutive year. That kind
of beating can mentally affect a team’s moral
and confidence. TSU’s offense misses All-American
RB Charles Anthony and they are lacking a “go-to” guy.
Tennessee-Martin has that go to guy and he is sophomore
running back Donald Chapman; a 1000 yard rusher
as a freshman. These teams are not expected to
compete for the Ohio Valley conference title so
they are competing not to finish in last place.
I know little about Tennessee-Martin, but a solid
running game and TSU’s continued sloppy play
make my job easier. Tennessee-Martin
28, Tennessee State 24.
Shaw vs. NC Central
Last year’s CIAA champions finally got their
first victory of the year last week as they beat
long time punching bag Edward Waters. Shaw doesn’t
seem to be playing with that same type of chip
on their shoulder as they did a year ago and it
shows. Talent is not the problem so it’s
up to Coach Deondri Clark to figure out what is
going on and fast. NC Central seems to have taken
Shaw’s “mojo” from a
year ago and is playing some outstanding football
during their first three games. They are obviously
the team to beat at this point of the season in
the CIAA but Shaw cannot afford another conference
if they want to repeat as CIAA champions. Running
backs Byron Cary and Deon McIver have got to take
some pressure of QB Jermonty Kimbrough so he won’t
be put in a position where he will be forced to
pass. Also, Shaw’s running attack must be
affective enough to run time off the clock and
keep NCCU’s potent offense off the field.
NCCU’s dynamic duo RB Gregg Pruitt and QB
Adrian Warren, aka Batman and Robin, will lead
the attack for the CIAA’s #1 offensive unit.
Fans should expect a great game especially if Shaw
plays up to their potential. Shaw will finally “represent” and
push NCCU to the limit for the 3 rd consecutive
week but just like an old school Batman and Robin
episode they will find a way to escape with a victory
when all seems lost. Shaw fans and players will
walk out of Durham feeling like they got 5 numbers
out of 6 on their lottery tickets. NCCU
35, Shaw 31.
Benedict vs. Tuskegee
Every team has a game on their schedule that could
spell trouble and this may be it for Tuskegee.
Tuskegee fans and players need to be wary of Benedict
and not take this game of granted. Benedict has
won two in a row and their confidence is high.
Although they were against opponents that are much
less inferior to the Tuskegee team, a win is a
win. Running back Jeff Nobles is the workhorse
for the Benedict offense but taking care of the
ball is going to be their biggest asset on Saturday.
Last week against Johnson C Smith Benedict threw
2 interceptions and had 5 fumbles, two of which
were recovered by JC Smith. That won’t cut
it with Tuskegee. Last week Tuskegee’s offense
came out of the closet like a metro-sexual man
during Atlanta’s Gay Pride weekend and put
on a show against Miles. They racked up nearly
500 yards of total offense as they dominated Miles.
Still, they must execute and remain focus because
Benedict players will be pumped up and ready to
jump on any opportunities that Tuskegee gives them.
Expect Benedict to get out of the gates quickly
in this game and have Tuskegee on their heels.
However, Benedict will not be the team to spoil
Tuskegee’s hope of an undefeated season but
they will make it interesting for a while. Tuskegee 35,
The game of the week takes place
this weekend in Jacksonville, Fl as the 52 nd Gateway
Classic football game kicks off. Both teams are
undefeated and this game will be big in determining
who will challenge Hampton for the MEAC title this
year. SC State has looked very good thus far and
has showed no ill effects with new QB, Cleveland
McCoy at the helm. As a matter of fact, the offense
is rolling like a Hummer on 26 inch rims and is
averaging almost 40 points a game. BCC isn’t
offense isn’t rolling on 26’s like
SC State but they are close behind. Their offense
is rolling in a Infinity Q56 on 24’s and
is averaging almost 33 points a game. The funny
thing about BCC is that offensive vehicle is driven
by a guy who can barely see over the steering wheel
in 5’9” (yeah
right) juggernaut WR Eric Weems. Although he can’t
ride the adult rides at Six Flags he can catch
and run that football. Football fans will get a
treat and they watch these two offenses slug it
out as the score board will light up like Christmas
lights on a mobile home. The bad thing about this
game is that one of these good teams is going to
lose. Sorry Bethune but “Don’t hit
me on the Nextel Cherp” when SC State gives
you your first loss of the season. SC
State 42, Bethune-Cookman 35.
Howard I’m going to back
off on what I said last week about calling you
Buster’s if you
don’t beat Hampton. Defensively and offensively
you played like a winner but your special team
play was nominated for the BUSTERS of the week
award. Still there is reason for hope as you travel
to the Sunshine state because there is still a
lot of football to be played this year. Florida
A&M used to strike fear in their opponents
heart but now teams are enjoying the role of being
the bully. Since the NCAA sanctions came down the
ruthless Rattlers are more like garden snakes.
With all the bad going on the with football team,
the band is still the “shiznic.” Just
seeing them get down is enough to keep the people
jumping out of their seats. The “Boys in
the Hood” at FAMU will need more than a hour
to get themselves together as Howard’s punishing
defense keeps them in the MEAC title hunt. Howard
21, FAMU 7.
A few more for the
black football lover in you:
7: St. Paul was on the outside looking
inside the CIAA window in 2004. After this game,
they wished they stayed there.
SW Assemblies of God 21, Paul Quinn 14: With
God on your side and part of your school name how
can you lose.
Fort Valley State 17,
Clark-Atlanta 10: Clark-ATL tasted defeat
for the first time this season, but it won’t
be the last.
Alabama State 30,
Arkansas Pine-Bluff 27: With the SWAC
east title still up for grabs Alabama State can’t
afford another bad outing.
Washington St. 45, Grambling
St. 21: Why can’t we play one
of these games in our stadium?
Miss Valley State 28,
Alabama A&M 20: Thought last week’s
victory against Southern was a fluke, think again!
Winston Salem State 28,
Elizabeth City 14: Round 1 saw Elizabeth
City come out strong against Livingstone. Round
2 saw them throw big punches on offense in a
loss against Bethune-Cookman. Round 3 Fayetteville
wakes them up from the dream and reality sets
in. Round 4 they are knocked back into dreamland
My record through week
3 for the 2005 season is 24-7.
AND I’M GONE!! SEE
YOU NEXT WEEK!