NORFOLK, Va., Aug. 28, 2019 – The start of the 2019 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) football season is so big this weekend, the games are spread out over three days – culminating on Sunday with the 15th annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge in Atlanta, Ga., pitting Bethune-Cookman against Jackson State.
— MEAC/SWAC Challenge (@MEAC_SWAC) August 20, 2019
A glimpse at this week’s action:
Morgan State Bears (0-0, 0-0 MEAC) vs. Bowling Green Falcons (0-0, 0-0MAC)
Thursday, Aug. 29 • Doyt Perry Stadium • Bowling Green, Ohio • 7 p.m.
The Bears will kick off the 2019 season, and the Tyrone Wheatley era, on Thursday at Bowling Green. Thursday night’s game will mark the second ever meeting between the two schools; the Falcons won the previous matchup, 58-13, back in 2011. After splitting snaps with Deandre Harris last season, redshirt sophomore DJ Golatt, Jr., will take over the starting role full-time for Morgan State, and the Bears also return senior linebackers Rico Kennedy and Ian McBurrough to anchor the defense. Both were named to the preseason All-MEAC first team and the Black College Hall of Fame Player of the Year watchlist.
Delaware State Hornets (0-0, 0-0 MEAC) Vs Delaware 0-0,0-0 CAA)
Thursday, Aug 29 • Delaware Stadium • Newark, Del. • 7 p.m.
This game marks the ninth Battle of the First State. The Blue Hens, out of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), have dominated the series, winning all eight games – including the previous meeting, 22-3, back in 2017. The Hornets had eight players named to the preseason All-MEAC teams, including linebacker Brian Canicante, who was named the MEAC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
Florida A&M Rattlers (0-0, 0-0 MEAC) vs. #17 UCF Knights (0-0, 0-0 AAC)
Thursday, Aug. 29 • Spectrum Stadium • Orlando, Fla. • 7:30 p.m.
TV: CBS Sports Network
The two Florida schools meet for the just the second time, with FAMU winning the lone matchup, 19-14, back in 1987. The Rattlers had twelve players named to the preseason All-MEAC team, including redshirt senior quarterback Ryan Stanley, graduate defensive back Terry Jefferson, and sophomore receiver Xavier Smith. Smith was also named to the Black College Player of the Year watchlist.
North Carolina Central Eagles (0-0, 0-0 MEAC) vs. Austin Peay Governors (0-0, 0-0 OVC)
Thursday, Aug. 29 • Fortera Stadium • Clarksville, Tenn. • 8 p.m.
This matchup marks the first-ever meeting between the two schools. It also marks the head coaching debut of Trei Oliver, who returns to his alma mater. The Eagles had seven players named to the preseason All-MEAC teams. Redshirt junior running back Isaiah Totten, and senior defensive linemen Darius Royster and Kawuan Cox, were among those named. Totten was also named to the Black College Hall of Fame Player of the Year watchlist.
Howard Bison (0-0, 0-0 MEAC) vs. Maryland Terrapins (0-0, 0-0 Big Ten)
Saturday, Aug. 31 • Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium • College Park, Md. • 12 p.m.
TV: Big Ten Network
For the second time in four years, the Bison kick off the season with a game against Beltway rival Maryland. The Terps won the only meeting, 52-13, back in 2016. This game also marks the Howard coaching debut of Ron Prince. The Bison had 10 players named to the preseason All-MEAC teams, including Preseason Offensive Player of the Year Caylin Newton. Along with Newton, receivers Kyle Anthony and Jequez Ezzard, as well as running back Dedrick Parson, were named to the Black College Hall of Fame Player of the Year watchlist.
North Carolina A&T State Aggies (0-0, 0-0 MEAC) vs. Elon Phoenix (0-0, 0-0 CAA)
Saturday, Aug. 31 • BB&T Stadium • Greensboro, N.C. • 6 p.m.
The two North Carolina schools will meet for the 12th time in history. North Carolina A&T State leads the all-time series, 7-4, including the last meeting, 14-7 in 2015. The Aggies feature 11 players named to the preseason All-MEAC teams, including receiver Elijah Bell and defensive back Mac McCain III. Both were also named to the Black College Hall of Fame Player of the Year watchlist. The Aggies enter their second season under head coach Sam Washington, coming off a 2018 campaign that saw them win the MEAC title again, the Celebration Bowl for the third time in four years and the Black College national title.
South Carolina State Bulldogs (0-0, 0-0 MEAC) vs. Wofford Terriers (0-0, 0-0 Southern Conference)
Saturday, Aug. 31 • Bulldog Stadium • Orangeburg, S.C. • 6 p.m.
The two South Carolina school will meet for the ninth time, with the Bulldogs losing the last meeting back in 2006, 28-21. The Terriers lead the all-time series, 6-2. The Bulldogs feature seven players named to the preseason All-MEAC teams, including redshirt senior defensive linemen Tyrell Goodwin and Paul McKeiver.
Norfolk State Spartans (0-0, 0-0 MEAC) vs. Old Dominion Monarchs (0-0, 0-0 Conference USA)
Saturday, Aug. 31 • SB Ballard Stadium • Norfolk, Va. • 7 p.m.
The two Norfolk rivals will meet for just fourth time, with the Monarchs winning all three games. The Monarchs won the last matchup, 24-10, in 2015. The Spartans, entering their fifth season under head coach Latrell Scott, claim seven players who were named to preseason All-MEAC teams, including junior offensive lineman Kenneth Kirby and senior linebacker Nigel Chavis. Senior defensive backs Bobby Price and Nhyre’ Quinerly were also named to the team.
2019 MEAC/SWAC Challenge
Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (0-0, 0-0 MEAC) vs. Jackson State Tigers (0-0, 0-0 SWAC)
Sunday, Sept. 1 • Georgia State Stadium • Atlanta, Ga. • 3 p.m.
The Wildcats will take on the Tigers in the 15th annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge. This marks the sixth meeting between the two schools, with the Tigers leading the series, 4-2. The Tigers won the last meeting, 27-7, back in 1989. The game is the first of 10 nationally-televised games for the conference in 2019. The Wildcats feature 11 players named to the preseason All-MEAC team, including return specialist Jimmie Robinson.
(Stories and Information provided by the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference)