The HBCU sports season is officially on, and as host of the national sports talk radio show, From the Press Box to Press Row, I cover all the action on the games that showcase our Historically Black Colleges and Universities. HBCU GameTime will provide a weekly rundown on what’s happening on the field, and occasionally other sports-related topics. Let’s play!
Week 4 in HBCU football saw better results than week 3. Only two teams were shut out and teams fared much better against Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) opponents as a whole.
Delaware State forced Cincinnati into six turnovers and hung around before ultimately falling 23-7. Bethune-Cookman played Miami reasonably well, falling 38-10.
Three of the most important results that came out of these two games are that both Delaware State and Bethune-Cookman came away relatively injury free, they played top-level competition which will prepare both for tough games this Saturday and they got paid – Bethune-Cookman in excess of $400,000 (the Wildcats didn’t even have to spend money on a flight as the distance between Daytona Beach and Miami Gardens isjust a little more than four hours) and Delaware State made $325,000.
The first coaching casualty of the season saw Southern reassign head coach Stump Mitchell. Mitchell was fired the day after the Jaguars fell to Mississippi Valley State 6-0 on national television. The Delta Devils have won just two games in their last 25.
Mitchell was not the coach the rabid alumni base wanted when he was hired two years ago. Couple that with the way the Jaguars lost to the Delta Devils and Southern athletic director Dr. William Broussard decided to go in a different direction.
Defensive coordinator Dawson Odums is now the interim head coach.
Boxtorow National Game of the Week: Tennessee State (3-0) vs. Bethune-Cookman (2-1)
This could turn out to be the game of the year. B-CU and TSU are currently No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the Boxtorow FCS HBCU national coaches’ poll. Rarely do you see a game where an out-of-conference, non-classic game between two heavy weight teams is played. As a matter of fact this is a home and home, as the Wildcats will go to Nashville next season.
B-CU head coach Brian Jenkins is no stranger to the OVC having been an assistant coach at Eastern Illinois for five years. He wanted this type of game because he wants his team to be one of the elite programs in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). My guess is none of the “elite” programs wanted to play him.
The Tigers look to be on the way back to being elite and head coach Rod Reed is no stranger to B-CU having served as an assistant coach. TSU has been down for some years, but last year finished 5-6, 4-4 in the OVC and was still in contention for the OVC title the last game of the season.
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