Week three is the MEAC’s time to shine, with some heated rivalry games and a potential game-changing contest on the docket. In addition, there is an upset alert in the SIAC could break a tie against the SWAC.
Here are the five games to watch in Week 3 of the HBCU football season.
1. Hampton vs. Howard
This Saturday, the 98th annual Battle of the Real HU between the Hampton Pirates and the Howard Bison commences from our nation’s capital.
Although Hampton has had complete control of this series in recent years, winning six straight against Howard, this will be the Bison’s best chance to end their losing streak.
Howard is having a great start to the season with a competitive contest against FBS opponent Eastern Michigan and a dominant win against Morehouse.
Meanwhile, Hampton is already down one in rivalry games, coming off a loss against Battle of the Bay rival Norfolk State.
However, history is not on the side of the Bison going far beyond their current six-game losing streak.
Howard has not beaten Hampton in the month of September since 1996 (Howard beat Hampton four straight times from 2011-2014, all taking place in November).
2. Morgan State vs. Towson
The Morgan State Bears will look to get back in the win column when they face the Towson Tigers in the Battle for Greater Baltimore.
Towson has won five straight games against Morgan State, but last year’s contest was much different than in years past.
In their previous four meetings, Towson won by a combined score of 119-13. Last year was a much more competitive final score of 29-21.
With the Bears’ win over Richmond, whom they also famously struggled against previously, this is the best chance for them to get a win over the Tigers.
3. North Carolina Central vs. UCLA
The reigning HBCU national champion North Carolina Central Eagles put their skills to the test when they face the Pac-12’s UCLA Bruins.
While the Eagles will be in search of a win when they travel to Pasadena against the Bruins, the importance of this game goes far beyond the final score.
This is an opportunity for North Carolina Central’s top players to have star-making performances, improving their draft stock in the process.
The player everyone has their eye on is Davius Richard, who has the chance to do something that has not been done in a very long time.
A quarterback from an HBCU has not been selected in the NFL Draft since 2006 (Tavaris Jackson, Alabama State).
Richard could see his stock rise with a great performance and be on some NFL teams’ radar come the 2024 NFL Draft.
4. Miles vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff
In search of their second straight win over the SWAC, the Miles Golden Bears go on the road facing off with the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions.
Miles came away with the upset of the weekend last week when they overcame a 10-point deficit to defeat Alabama State 21-17.
UAPB, on the other hand, has been prone to losses against the SIAC, losing to Central State in 2017 and Morehouse in 2018.
This game will break the tie between the SIAC and SWAC. Other games include Central State’s win over Mississippi Valley State and Alabama A&M and Bethune-Cookman’s wins over Lane and Savannah State, respectively.
5. Benedict vs. Lane
The Benedict Tigers put their perfect start to the 2023 season on the line when they play in their conference opener against the Lane Dragons.
As Benedict begins its defense of the SIAC conference championship, it will also look to build on what has been a historic start.
Not only have the Tigers not lost a game so far this year, but they have not surrendered a single point, outscoring their opponents by a combined score of 86-0.
Lane is looking to play a spoiler against a Benedict team looking for its 10th straight win against the SIAC.