It’s still early, but postseason hopes are slowly starting to develop after Week 4 of the FCS HBCU Football season.
15th-ranked North Carolina Central and 20th-ranked Florida A&M are living up to preseason expectations. AAMU, Grambling, Jackson State, and Prairie View got much-needed conference wins, while Norfolk State and South Carolina State earned impressive out-of-conference victories.
This week’s slate is filled with interconference contests and several teams looking for vindication in rematches, while Bethune-Cookman, Jackson State, and South Carolina State are on byes.
Here are my top five matchups and predictions for this week.
2023 record: 46-15
Week 4: 7-3
Place College Football Wagers at BetMGM
All times are Eastern Standard
Week 5 HBCU Top 5 Games
5. Howard (1-2) at Robert Morris (2-2), Saturday, Noon (ESPN+)
A late touchdown led the Colonials to a 22-16 win over Howard in 2021. Fresh off a bye, the Bison will travel back to Moon Township for a potential quarterback dual between HU’s Quinton Williams (672 pass yards, 7 touchdowns, Int) and RMU’s Anthony Chiccitt (802 pass yards, 10 touchdowns). The Bison will have to play mistake-free on special teams to get their first road win of the season.
Bison 28, Colonials 24
4. North Carolina A&T (0-3) at Norfolk State (2-2), Saturday, 2:00 PM (ESPN+)
A&T is currently riding a seven-game win streak over the Spartans, including a 49-24 victory last year. Unfortunately, the winless Aggies have fallen on hard times. The Blue Death Defense, which allows 215 yards per game on the ground, will have a tough time trying to slow down the Spartans who rushed for 350 yards in their upset over Towson a week ago.
Spartans 24, Aggies 14
3. Campbell (2-2) vs. #15 North Carolina Central (3-1), Saturday, 4:00 PM (ESPN+)
After back-to-back travel games, the Eagles will return to O’Kelly-Riddick with the intention of redeeming their 48-18 road loss to Campbell last year. With NCCU quarterback Davius Richard still a game-time decision to start, Walker Harris (263 yards and 5 touchdowns) proved to be a viable backup in their Circle City Classic victory over MVSU, but can the Eagles corral the nation’s tenth-best scoring offense (37.2 points per game)?
Camels 31, Eagles 27
2. Tennessee State (2-1, 1-0) at #22 UT Martin (3-1, 0-0), Saturday, 7:00 PM (ESPN+)
TSU is looking to stay atop the Big South-OVC standings and win at least three straight games in three consecutive seasons for the first time since 2012-14. This won’t be a layup for the Tigers, who are looking to atone for a 20-3 loss last season to the Skyhawks. And it won’t get easier for TSU on Saturday as they face the nation’s leading rusher Sam Franklin.
Skyhawks 35, Tigers 17
1. Grambling State (2-2, 1-0) at Prairie View A&M (2-2, 2-0), Saturday, 7:00 PM (ESPN+)
Saturday’s winner will have an early hold on the West divisional lead. Last year, the Panthers beat the Tigers 34-14 with an outstanding ground game (233 rush yards, 2 touchdowns) and two defensive scoop-and-scores. If Grambling wants to avoid a repeat performance, the SWAC’s worst rush defense must slow down the conference’s best ground game (181.5 rush yards per game) led by running back Ahmad Antoine.
Panthers 30, Tigers 21
Morgan State (1-3) at Yale (0-2), Saturday, Noon (ESPN+)
Bulldogs 28, Bears 16
Virginia Lynchburg (0-3) at Delaware State (0-4), Saturday, 1:00 PM (ESPN+)
Hornets 24, Dragons 14
Tuskegee (4-0) at Alabama A&M (2-2), Saturday, 3:00 PM
Bulldogs 30, Golden Tigers 28
Lincoln (Ca) (0-4) at Texas Southern (0-4), Saturday, 3:00 PM
Tigers 24, Oaklanders 7
Southern (1-2, 1-0 SWAC) at Arkansas-Pine Bluff (1-3, 0-1) Saturday, 5:00 PM
Jaguars 21, Golden Lions 17
Alcorn State (1-3, 0-1) at Alabama State (1-2, 0-1), Saturday, 6:00 PM
Braves 17, Hornets 14
#20 Florida A&M (3-1, 2-0) at Mississippi Valley State (0-3, 0-0), Saturday, 6:00 PM
Rattlers 35, Delta Devils 10
Hampton (2-1, 0-0) at Richmond (2-2, 1-0), Saturday, 2:00 PM (FloSports)
Pirates 31, Spiders 30