Howard's football team will probably have a hard time catching Hampton in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference race, but the Bison can go a long way toward securing second place in the conference over the next two weeks.
Howard plays at South Carolina State on Saturday and at Bethune-Cookman on Nov. 13; Bethune-Cookman (5-2, 4-1) is tied with Hampton (7-1, 4-1) for the MEAC lead; South Carolina State is a half-game behind.
Like Howard (5-3, 2-2), South Carolina State has won four of its last five games. Its only loss was to Hampton, 52-36, on Oct. 23. The Bulldogs (6-2, 3-1) have won three of their last four games against Howard, scoring 21 unanswered points in the second half of last year's game to win, 24-14, in Greene Stadium.
"They have a great football team," Howard Coach Ray Petty said. "They run the ball really well; they throw the ball; and they play great defense. It's going to be a big challenge for us."
Under Coach Oliver "Buddy" Pough, the Bulldogs have relied heavily on Division I-A transfers during the past three seasons. Wide receiver Tavarus Morgan, who leads the team with 34 catches for 444 yards and five touchdowns, transferred from the University of Georgia. So did starting fullback Sharard Pritchett, the younger brother of longtime NFL player Stanley Pritchett.
Cornerback Ryan Hemby, who played at Clemson, leads the Bulldogs with four interceptions. Tight end Spencer Miller played at Wyoming, and former South Carolina quarterback Aryhel Freeman has thrown for two touchdowns and run for four.
"I think at this level, any time you can bring in a Division I-A player, they're going to be better than any freshman you can bring in," Petty said. "If you can put eight or 10 of those guys on the field, you're going to turn your program around."
The Bulldogs are led by running backs DeShawn Baker and Coty Martin, who have combined to run for more than 1,200 yards and 14 touchdowns. Baker leads the team with 682 rushing yards and eight touchdowns; Martin is a former teammate of Washington Redskins star Clinton Portis at Gainesville High School in Florida. . . .
Petty said he hasn't decided which senior quarterback -- Marcos Moreno or Antoine Hartfield -- will start against South Carolina State. Hartfield started last week, after Moreno threw four interceptions in a 14-13 loss at North Carolina A&T on Oct. 23. But Hartfield played tentatively and was sacked five times in last week's 35-17 win over Norfolk State. "We're probably going to play both of them this week," Petty said. "We're not sure which one is going to start." . . .
Senior tailback Roland "Jay" Colbert, who ran for a career-high 197 yards and four touchdowns against Norfolk State, was named MEAC co-offensive player of the week. The former Gaithersburg High star needs 194 rushing yards to reach 1,000 in a season for the second time in his career.
Hoyas Have Work to Do
Georgetown's football team hasn't beaten ninth-ranked Lehigh since 1925, and the Hoyas probably won't have much of a chance against the Mountain Hawks on Saturday at Harbin Field. The Mountain Hawks have won six games in a row and are undefeated in Patriot League play; the Hoyas have lost two in a row and are still seeking their first conference victory this season.
Top Ten Matchup
James Madison and Delaware are the last two teams with unbeaten records in Atlantic 10 games, and they play Saturday at Bridgeforth Stadium in Harrisonburg, Va. The No. 7 Dukes (7-1, 5-0) have won five games in a row; their only loss was a 45-10 defeat at West Virginia. Delaware (6-2, 5-0) had its six-game winning streak stopped with a 34-20 loss at Navy last week.
Delaware, ranked No. 6 in the ESPN/USA Today Division I-AA coaches' top 25 poll, has won seven of its last eight games against James Madison, including three in a row.