Alvin Hollins Jr.

By ALVIN HOLLINS JR.

OCTOBER 4 – The first weekend of October will be the first MEAC Showcase Saturday, as the three league co-leaders will be in action vying to keep their toehold on the catbird’s seat.

This first full weekend of conference games also features contests between contenders looking to move closer to the top, and some teams trying to stay alive.

Saturday’s Games at a Glance

*North Carolina A&T (2-2, 0-1) at Bethune-Cookman (3-2, 2-0)
The Irresistable Force (B-CU Offense) against the Immovable Object (A&T Defense) might be one way to handicap this game, as the Wildcats will send their top-ranked offense and run attack against A&T’s league-leading defense. The Aggies aim to get back on track in its’ Operation MEAC Monkey Wrench after a narrow 21-18 home loss to Morgan State last week…. Ineligible for the 2012 title, the Aggies can still affect the title chase with a takedown the first place Wildcats for a second straight year, especially with five home games against conference contenders looming the next five weeks.

*Florida A&M (2-3, 2-0) at Howard (3-1, 2-0)
The game of the week between two of the three first place teams, this D.C. Showdown truly has playoff implications, as well as a potential paradigm shift for the league. FAMU represents the old guard whose grip on the MEAC is on the verge of being wrested away by a new breed of insurgents led by Howard…. The Bison own the #2 rushing attack and rank #4 in total defense, and come in averaging 30.8 points per game, while the road-weary Rattlers check into their fifth road game in six weeks #1 in passing offense and #2 in total offense, but ranking near the bottom in total defense at #9, while scoring at a 21.8 per game clip.

*Morgan State (2-2, 1-0) at Savannah State (0-4, 0-2) The Bears’ Escape From Greensboro last Thursday night kept them in the hunt for the league title, and they will be heavy favorites to remain in the upper division against the slumping Tigers. Savannah State comes into the game dead last in offense and defense, while Morgan ranks 10th in total defense, while ranking 8th in total offense. Look for a possible shootout to ensue between these two based on their defensive numbers to date.

*South Carolina State (2-3, 1-1) vs. North Carolina Central (2-2, 1-0)
Another old school-new school face off features perennial contender South Carolina State in a fight to remain in title contention against upstart North Carolina Central in the Circle City Classic…SCSU is coming off a shutout of defending champ Norfolk State in an early elimination game last week, while NCCU outslugged fellow MEAC sophomore Savannah State, 45-33 two weeks ago… The Eagles top the league in rushing defense, second in scoring, and third in passing and total defense, while the Bulldogs rank sixth in total defense, third in pass defense, and 10th in total offense.

*Delaware State (1-3, 0-1) at Norfolk State (2-3, 0-2)
This battle of squads in search of their first conference win features defending champ Norfolk State, whose title defense has already gone up in smoke, hosting an improved Delaware State squad which still has designs on remaining in title contention after a two-point near miss against Florida A&M two weeks ago, is shaping up as a bitter battle …. Both squads rank in the lower half of the league in scoring offense (NSU 8th; DSU 9th), while standing near the top in scoring defense (DSU 2nd; NSU 3rd)… Norfolk State is also second overall in total defense.

BYE:Hampton University (0-4, 0-2).

MEAC FOOTBALL STANDINGS
Thru Saturday, September 29, 2012

School …………………………….. Conference ……….. Overall
Howard University ………………… 2-0 1.000 ……… 3-1 .750
Bethune-Cookman ………………… 2-0 1.000 ……… 3-2 .600
Florida A&M ……………………… 2-0 1.000 ……… 2-3 .400
Morgan State ……………………… 1-0 1.000 ……… 2-2 .500
North Carolina Central ……………. 1-0 1.000 ……… 2-2 .500
South Carolina State ……………… 1-1 .500 ……… 2-3 .400
North Carolina A&T ……………… 0-1 .000 ……… 2-2 .500
Delaware State ……………………. 0-1 .000 ……… 1-3 .250
Norfolk State ……………………… 0-2 .000 ……… 2-3 .400
Hampton ………………………….. 0-2 .000 ……… 0-4 .000
Savannah State …………………… 0-2 .000 ……… 0-4 .000

Saturday’s Games (October 6)
*Florida A&M (2-3, 2-0)`at Howard (3-1, 2-0)
*Delaware State (1-3, 0-1) at Norfolk State (2-3, 0-2)
*Morgan State (2-2, 1-0) at Savannah State (0-4, 0-2)
*North Carolina A&T (2-2, 0-1) at Bethune-Cookman (3-2, 2-0)
*South Carolina State (2-3, 1-1) vs. North Carolina Central (2-2, 1-0)(Circle City Classic)
BYE: Hampton University (0-4, 0-2)
(*)-Conference Games

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