The annual FBS matchups against the FCS usually decidedly go the way of the the school with deeper roster, more scholarship and millions in their athletic coffers.
On Saturday, several HBCUs will have their handfuls attempting to pull off the upset against FBS opponents.
Florida A&M quarterback Damien Fleming, whose Rattlers taken on Miami, is confident his team can give the Hurricanes a tough game.
“We look forward to challenges like this,” Fleming told the Tallahassee Democrat. “I mean, Ohio State, Oklahoma and South Florida. Those are the previous teams that I played against so I know that as a team we look forward to going up against bigger competitions.”
Since FAMU beat Miami in 1979, the programs has not won once in 22 meetings against FBS foes.
Down in South Carolina double-digit favorite Clemson will look to improve to 3-0 all-time against South Carolina State.
Even though South Carolina State head coach Buddy Pough understands his team will more than likely be outmanned by the No. 23-ranked Tigers on the road, he says his players relish the opportunity to compete against one of the nation’s best.
“I think it focuses your team in ways you ordinarily wouldn’t have a chance to. You don’t have to worry about the guys working with Clemson looming in the background.”
“All of these kids wanted to play at these places. We didn’t beat those guys for anybody,” Pough said. “But some are good enough to play there, and they want to show those guys what a mistake they made.”
For Jay Hopson, it will be a homecoming when he leads Alcorn State into Hattiesburg to take on Southern Mississippi.
Hopson, who was an assistant at Southern Mississippi under then head coach Jeff Bowers, still has great respect for the program even though it has struggled of late.
“They’re an FBS opponent,” he said. “So we have to really come to play. We have a challenge ahead of us.”