Although the HBCU football regular season has come to an end for most schools, the final full Saturday of games concluded with maximum excitement with several high-stakes games and dramatic finishes.
We saw a co-champion crowned in the MEAC, a SWAC team finishing the regular season undefeated for the first time in school history, and a team falling short of their first conference championship in a new conference.
Jackson State ends the regular season unbeaten
For the first time in school history, the Jackson State Tigers end the regular season with a perfect 11-0 record after defeating Alcorn State 24-13.
The Tigers are one of three teams in all of the FCS to end the regular season unbeaten along with Sacramento State and Holy Cross.
This is the first time a Division I HBCU football team has finished a full 11-game regular season undefeated since North Carolina A&T in 2017.
Jackson State will now advance to the SWAC championship game looking to claim their second straight conference title against the yet-to-be-decided West division champion
NC A&T falls short of Big South title
The North Carolina A&T Aggies’ hopes for a Big South title were dashed on Saturday following a 38-17 loss to Gardner-Webb.
Entering this game, the Aggies were riding a seven-game win streak and were one win away in the season finale from claiming their first Big South title and an automatic bid in the FCS playoffs.
Despite the loss, Aggies running back Bhayshul Tuten added another 100-yard rushing performance, including a 61-yard TD run to his resume. He will now await word on whether he will receive the Big South Offensive Player of the Year award.
North Carolina Central holds off Tennessee Tech
The North Carolina Central Eagles ended the regular season on a strong note defeating Tennessee Tech by a narrow 22-20 margin.
Trailing 20-19, the Eagles secured the victory thanks to a game-winning 36-yard field goal by Adrian Olivo as time expired.
North Carolina Central concludes its regular season on a four-game win streak bringing its overall record to 9-2.
They will now advance to the Celebration Bowl and await the SWAC champion.
Howard wins a share of the MEAC title
For the first time since 1993, the Howard Bison claim a share of the MEAC championship following a decisive 35-6 win over the Morgan State Bears.
Saturday was Howard’s fifth straight win over Morgan State dating back to 2017. The Bison end the regular season with a 5-6 overall record and a 4-1 MEAC tally.
The Bison’s 4-1 record allows the program to claim a portion of the MEAC title with North Carolina Central. The Eagles, however, receive the Celebration Bowl berth as a result of their head-to-head win over the Bison.
Florida A&M wins Florida Classic
For the second straight year, the Florida A&M Rattlers come out of the Florida Classic victorious after defeating Bethune-Cookman Wildcats 41-20.
Florida A&M came into this game looking to build a case for an at-large bid in the FCS Playoffs. Earlier this week, it was reported that the Rattlers were putting together a bid to host a playoff game.
While their selection into the FCS Playoffs is not guaranteed, this win was a step in the right direction. Florida A&M ends the regular season with a 9-2 overall record. It is their third straight season with at least 9 or more wins.
The FCS playoff field will be announced at 12:30 p.m. on ESPNU.