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SWAC Football Teams Face Mixed Results in Non-Conference Matchups

In a week of non-conference clashes, SWAC football teams experienced a rollercoaster of outcomes, leaving fans both elated and concerned about the upcoming championship race.

Jackson State suffered defeat at the hands of Texas State. Photo Credit: Jackson State Media Team
Jackson State suffered defeat at the hands of Texas State. Photo Credit: Jackson State Media Team

The week started with high hopes for Jackson State, fresh off a definitive victory against Southern that ignited dreams of another championship run. However, their aspirations were dented significantly as they fell to Texas State in a disappointing defeat, with a scoreline of Jackson State 34 vs. Texas State 77. It was a stark reminder that SWAC teams face formidable challenges on the open circuit. Coach TC Taylor said "the offense was able to generate over 30 points, I think that's something we can take into a game this week, back home in the city of Jackson, playing at the vet, something our coaches and football have been looking forward to, our fans as well, but it was a tough one." Coach also said when you play those type of teams you've got to be perfect in all aspects of the game. "Their offensive line was massive, had some guys at the receiver position that could really run, ... defensively they flew around... we just are going to take it, learn from it and get ready for conference play."

Prairie View A&M, another team with championship ambitions, faced a tough test against SMU and came up empty-handed, suffering a crushing 69-0 defeat. Despite having standout players like Ahmad Antoine, who ranks fourth in SWAC rushing yards, the team's performance didn't inspire confidence for SWAC competition.

Texas Southern found themselves on the wrong end of a lopsided result, losing to Rice with a score of Texas Southern 7 vs. Rice 59. Similarly, Mississippi Valley State had a rough outing against Division II Delta State University, succumbing to a 35-7 defeat.

These losses raise questions about the depth and competitiveness of SWAC teams on the national stage and dampen the narrative of remarkable talent at the HBCU level.

However, there were bright spots in the SWAC's non-conference matchups. Alcorn State, led by Jarveon Howard, the Pre-Season Offensive Player of the Year, managed to secure a victory against McNesse State, signaling their intent to dominate in the SWAC.

Florida A&M demonstrated their potential as SWAC contenders by defeating West Florida with a score of University of West Florida 10 vs. Florida A&M University 31. Quarterback Jeremy Moussa earned SWAC Offensive Player of the Week honors for his pivotal role in the win. They play Alabama State this week in a matchup that will be very intriguing. Alabama State coach Eddie Robinson said that he's looking forward to the match up and that Florida A&M is one the best places in all of college football to play and that it's going to be a great game day experience. There is still a open competition at quarterback for the Hornets as Demetrius Davis hasn't completely shut the door UAB transfer Damon Stewart, who played in Alabama State's loss to Miles College. There is also a rivalry brewing between the two team because of their close proximity, but Coach Robinson said both teams have to win some games in order for there to be a true rivalry and right now they are down 0-2 to FAMU. They will look to even things up this week.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff faced a resilient Miles College but emerged victorious with a narrow 21-20 win, highlighting the competitive balance between Division I HBCU schools and Division II counterparts. Coach Hampton stated "excited to get the win for the players and the coaches, I think now everybody can relax and just kinda coach football." Coach was excited to get the first victory "out of the way" and now he believes that the program can focus on entering the remainder of the schedule. They play Alabama A&M on Thursday night live on ESPN.

Grambling State, after a tough loss to LSU, rebounded strongly by dominating Florida Memorial University with a commanding score of Florida Memorial University 22 vs. Grambling State 58. Linebacker Lewis Matthews earn SWAC Defensive player of the week for his role in the victory. His 32 yard pick six highlighted his elite athleticism. He is not a big guy, but he is very fast and it showed on that play. The Black College Football Hall of Fame added Myles Crawley to their player of the year watchlist after another stellar performance. Crawley and Moussa are tied for the lead in passing touchdowns in the SWAC with 6 touchdowns each.

We spoke to Coach Hue Jackson, Myles Crawley, and Chance Williams prior to the game.

In an all-SWAC showdown, Southern University defeated Alabama A&M with a score of Alabama A&M 10 vs. Southern 20, demonstrating that conference matchups can provide fierce competition. It was a good day stat wise for Harold Blood as he completed 14 passes for 202 yards and a touchdown. Southern still has to running game as no running back ran for over 40 yards. That doesn't mean running backs didn't contribute much, as Southern running back Gary Quarles contributed one rushing touchdown and one receiving touchdown on the day.

It’s been an up and down season for Southern so far, but they emerge victorious against Alabama A&M. Photo Credit Snapjoyvisuals
It’s been an up and down season for Southern so far, but they emerge victorious against Alabama A&M. Photo Credit Snapjoyvisuals

As SWAC teams navigate the challenges of non-conference play, they are set to return to the conference battles, where the pursuit of championship glory continues. The ups and downs of this week's matchups have only added to the intrigue of the upcoming SWAC football season.


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