espnu.gifBIRMINGHAM – The Saturday, Oct. 18 game between Southern and Florida A&M will be televised live by ESPNU at 6 pm (CT), the network announced today.

The game was originally scheduled to air on a tape-delay basis on ESPNU at 9:30 p.m. next Saturday night, but now will be shown live on the network from Southern’s A.W. Mumford Stadium in Baton Rouge.

This will be the second consecutive year this matchup will be nationally televised. The two teams played in the 3rd annual MEAC-SWAC Challenge in Birmingham in the 2007 season opener, won by Southern, 33-27 and televised live on ESPN2.

This matchup of SWAC and MEAC teams has been one of the best and longest-running non-conference series in Black College Football. Florida A&M leads the matchup, which began in 1941, 33-25, with a scoreless tie in 1950. For 56 consecutive seasons from 1946-2001, these two legendary programs competed against each other every year, including twice in 1995.

That season, Southern defeated the Rattlers twice in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome in a pair of epic battles. Southern downed the Rattlers, 52-38 in early November. The two teams met again in the Heritage Bowl on December 29, with the Jaguars again defeating Florida A&M 30-25 to win the Black College National Championship.

After a five-year hiatus, the teams renewed their rivalry in 2007 in front of over 30,000 fans at legendary Legion Field. Southern scored on a 90-yard touchdown run on their first offensive play of the season, setting the stage for a spirited contest featuring big plays by both teams.

Some of college football’s coaching greats have been a part of this series, from Florida A&M’s Jake Gaither, Rudy Hubbard, and Billy Joe, to Southern’s A.W. Mumford, Marino Casem and Pete Richardson.

And not to mention the star players of the gridiron – from the Rattlers’ Bob Hayes, Ken Riley, and Earl Holmes to the Jaguars’ Harold Carmichael, Rufus Porter, and Aeneas Williams – all of whom have played in this historic series.

Next Saturday, Oct. 18, in Southern’s on-campus stadium named after Mumford, the 60th chapter in this storied rivalry will be written in front of a live nationwide audience.



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