North Carolina A&T football
Photo: North Carolina A&T Athletics

The HBCU football season continues to heat up as we saw some entertaining and pivotal games that will have a bearing on potential conference championship matchups.

As far as games that did not make the list, Fayetteville State defeated Shaw to take the lead in the CIAA South.

Alcorn State and Jackson State each picked up wins to remain unbeaten in the SWAC.

Finally, there’s a three-way tie at the SIAC East division with Savannah State, Albany State, and Fort Valley State each gaining wins.

Here we will cover what arguably be the most shocking one-sided blowout of the season, a top defensive Division II team limits the top offensive team, and a team getting more comfortable in their new conference.

These are the takeaways from Week 6 of the HBCU football season.

Jackson State spoils Alabama A&M homecoming

In what was probably the shocking outcome that went down this past weekend, Jackson State demolished the reigning SWAC champion Alabama A&M 61-15 spoiling their homecoming.

Alabama A&M was limited to a season-low 301 yards of total offense while Jackson State recorded a season-high 496 yards.

The Tigers’ defense put the first points of the game on the board with linebacker James Houston scoring on a 67-yard fumble recovery.

That set the pace for the rest of the game with Jackson State going on to outscore Alabama A&M 20-0 in the first quarter and 33-7 at halftime.

The onslaught did not stop in the third quarter as the Tigers put up three more touchdowns to make the score 54-7 going into the fourth.

Shedeur Sanders had his best overall game in what has already been a great season for him throwing four touchdown passes and rushing for another.

The JSU defense continued to be spectacular recording a season-high 10 sacks forcing four fumbles and five pass breakups.

Bowie State limits Chowan offense

In a matchup of the top two teams in the CIAA North, Bowie State came out victorious defeating Chowan 14-3 handing them their first loss of the season.

Coming into their Saturday matchup, Bowie State was the CIAA’s top defense allowing just 14.2 points including just 7 total points in their first two conference games (gave up a touchdown against Johnson C. Smith).

Meanwhile, Chowan had been averaging a conference-high 51.4 points with their lowest-scoring game coming in their season opener scoring 30 points against Mars Hill.

Defense was the theme of the game as both teams combined for just 279 yards of total offense in the game.

Chowan scored the first points of the game on a 40-yard field goal in their opening drive. Bowie State answered putting six points on the board via the defense scoring on a 33-yard fumble recovery taking a 7-3 lead with 4:35 remaining in the first quarter.

For the next two quarters, neither team was able to get anything going due in part to the opposing pass rush as both teams combined for nine sacks in the game.

Chowan had two chances to score in the second quarter first missing on a 40-yard field goal then getting a second chance at a 35-yarder following a penalty but missed that too.

It was not until the fourth quarter that Bowie was able to seal the deal with Ja’rome Johnson connecting with Montez Clay on a 6-yard touchdown pass.

With four games remaining, Bowie State will look to become the first team to finish consecutive seasons unbeaten in the conference since Winston-Salem State did so from 2011-2014.

Howard shuts out Morgan State

In the first conference game in the MEAC this season, Howard came out victorious defeating Morgan State 27-0.

This was not only the Bison’s fourth straight win over the Bears, it was their first shutout win since November 2006 against Bethune-Cookman.

Quarterback Quinton Williams had another great game for the Bison recording 337 passing yards completing 59.4% of his passes and accounting for two touchdowns. This included a 97-yard connection between Williams and Antoine Murray setting a record for the longest touchdown pass in school history.

The Bison defense had its best game of the season so far holding Morgan State to just 122 yards of total offense forcing their first turnover of the season on a fourth-quarter interception by junior defensive back Elijah Coleman.

This is the fourth straight season Howard has won the conference opener.

This is also the first time Howard has won consecutive games since October 2018 when they beat Delaware State and Morgan State — the last time they’ve won back-to-back conference games.

They will look to change this on Saturday when they go on the road to face the aforementioned Delaware State Hornets.

 North Carolina A&T starts 2-0 in Big South

After a rough start to their first season away from the MEAC, North Carolina A&T now seems to have found their footing winning each of their last three games.

They have won each of their first two games in Big South conference play, including a 38-34 win over North Alabama this past weekend.

Coming into the game, North Alabama was 0-5 looking for their first win since 2019.

The Aggies started off well leading 24-7 at halftime on the strength of two touchdown passes by quarterback Jalen Fowler.

The beginning of the second half was rough for the Aggies. North Carolina A&T committed turnovers in each of its first two offensive drives which North Alabama converted into touchdowns

North Alabama briefly took the lead in the fourth quarter before the Aggies immediately regain it back via a 60-yard touchdown pass connection from Fowler to Bhayshul Tuten.

After a long offensive drive by North Alabama spanning nearly five minutes, North Carolina A&T sealed the win with an interception with 1:37 remaining in the game.

This is the second straight game that North Carolina A&T has finished with over 200 total passing and rushing yards while scoring a season-high three touchdown passes.

Mississippi Valley State stays in the win column

One of the biggest surprises in the SWAC this season has been the Mississippi Valley State.

Coming off a 17-16 win in their homecoming game against North Carolina Central, the Delta Devils remained in the win column defeating Bethune-Cookman for its first conference win (not including forfeit win over Alcorn State in spring) since defeating Texas Southern in 2019.

In addition, this was their first time winning two games against FCS opponents in a season since 2013 and their first time winning consecutive games since 2012.

In their win against Bethune-Cookman, the Delta Devils recorded a season-high 223 rushing yards and scored two rushing touchdowns both coming from sophomore running back Caleb Johnson.

Coming off of scoring the game-winning touchdown against North Carolina Central, Johnson finished with 96 rushing yards and the team’s aforementioned two touchdowns in the second half pacing his team to victory.

Currently sitting at 2-3 overall and 1-1 in the conference, Mississippi Valley State is looking to record their first winning season since 2010.

Their schedule going forward will be much more difficult with their remaining games being against Alcorn State, Florida A&M, Jackson State, Alabama A&M, Alabama State and Prairie View A&M.

The last time Mississippi Valley State beat any of the teams listed above was in 2015 when they knocked off Alabama A&M.


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