In the MEAC, the Spartans of Norfolk State University have gone from the preseason MEAC pick to repeat as league champion to bringing up the rear as Delaware State came to Norfolk last Saturday and left with a 20 – 17 victory. The Spartans have lost four straight games and find themselves without a MEAC win at 0 – 3 with the “Battle of the Bay” coming up this Saturday against the winless Pirates of Hampton University.
Considering the plight of the Pirates this season, the Spartans should be very worried that this could be the week Hampton digs deep enough to scratch out a win, and in a rivalry similar to the Cowboys/Redskins, nothing would be more pleasing to the Hampton fans than a win over Norfolk State. Even if it’s their ONLY win of the season. With this grudge match on the schedule, it’s like having two Homecoming games every year, even in a down year as it is for Hampton University, which remains on probation and ineligible for the MEAC title or postseason play.
In the CIAA, both the Trojans of Virginia State University head north to Bowie State to take on the Bulldogs Saturday, while the Panthers of Virginia Union go south to Chowan University in North Carolina. Union hoping to seize some momentum after their 61-point outburst last weekend in their Homecoming victory over Lincoln University. VSU also picked up a win at home over the Vikings of Elizabeth City State, and would love to get a road win before their big Homecoming weekend next Saturday on the Hill.
The defending CIAA Champion Rams of Winston-Salem State will rest up this weekend, and why not after a 5 – 0 start. They deserve a little downtime. The Rams haven’t had a serious challenge all season, winning all five games by a total of 169 points. That’s impressive no matter what league you’re playing in, and it’s pretty clear that Winston-Salem is in a “league of their own”.