Last Updated 10:50 AM, September 17, 2021

2021 HBCU football schedule, scores and updates

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Brett Davis | USA TODAY Sports ImagesNorth Carolina A&T hoists the 2019 Celebration Bowl trophyNorth Carolina A&T hoists the 2019 Celebration Bowl trophy after defeating Alcorn State 64-44 in a battle between HBCU football's best.
3:53 am, September 17, 2021

Thursday's HBCU results

Alabama A&M defeated Bethune-Cookman 30-27 in the lone Thursday night game.

Aqeel Glass
10:56 pm, September 16, 2021

Thursday Night HBCU football

Bethune-Cookman takes on Alabama A&M in a Thursday SWAC battle.

How to Watch:

  • Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Date: Thursday, Sept. 16
  • TV channel: ESPN
  • Streaming: ESPN.com
  • Location: Dayton Stadium in Dayton, Florida

Click or tap here for live stats.

Bethune Cookman Football
10:51 pm, September 16, 2021

HBCU games to watch Week 3

After two weeks of thrilling games, Week 3 of HBCU football is here. Here are two games to watch in the opening week.

Thursday, Sept. 16

Alabama A&M at Bethune-Cookman | 7:30 p.m. | ESPNU

Bethune-Cookman will play their first SWAC game against the reigning SWAC champion Alabama A&M. There won’t be any easing into SWAC play for the Wildcats as they’ll have to contain a dynamic Bulldogs offense led by elite QB Aqeel Glass. The game will be a litmus test to see how Bethune-Cookman sizes up in its new conference.

Saturday, Sept. 18

Game of the Week: Hampton at Howard | 12 p.m. | NBCSN

The battle for the real HU is back! The storied Hampton vs Howard rivalry makes its return after a two-year absence. Although the two programs have struggled as of late, this game is sure to be intense as it is a rivalry renewed. Expect an insane game-day atmosphere as bragging rights are on the line for players, students, and alumni this week.
 

10:01 pm, September 16, 2021
10:00 pm, September 16, 2021

The Road to Atlanta: Week 3 HBCU football power rankings

With two weeks in the books, it's time to take a look at the latest HBCU football power rankings.

The weekly rankings sort each HBCU football team at the FCS level based on their performances this season. Nicknamed The Road to Atlanta, the power rankings lead up to the annual meeting of HBCU football's two best teams at this year's Celebration Bowl held in Atlanta, GA.

See the power rankings below.

  1. Alabama A&M | SWAC | 1-0 | LW: 1
    • The reigning SWAC champions were off in Week 2. However, the Bulldogs opened the season with a statement win over preseason MEAC favorite South Carolina State.
  2. Jackson State | SWAC | 2-0 | LW: 3
    • Jackson State has shined in two nationally televised games to open the season. After defeating Florida A&M in the Orange Blossom Classic, the Tigers responded with a win over Tennessee State in the Southern Heritage Classic. QB Shedeur Sanders appears to have taken the next step.
  3. North Carolina Central | MEAC | 1-1 | LW: 2
    • The Eagles put up 10 points in a loss to FBS opponent Marshall. After a week where many HBCU programs played FBS schools, North Carolina Central remains in the top 3 thanks to winning the MEAC/SWAC Challenge.
  4. North Carolina A&T | Big South | 0-2 | LW: 4
    • North Carolina A&T fought hard in the first half against Duke before falling short. Despite opening the season 0-2, the Aggies remain one the more talented HBCU programs. However, All-American RB Jah-Maine Martin has been relatively quiet through two games with only 53 rushing yards.
  5. South Carolina State | MEAC | 0-2 | LW: 5
    • South Carolina State wasn’t expected to defeat FBS powerhouse Clemson. Even in a loss, South Carolina State players like CB Decobie Durant performed well. Their performance in a loss to Alabama A&M still qualifies as a good loss.
  6. Florida A&M | SWAC | 1-1 | LW: 8
    • The Rattlers rebounded after a loss with a Week 2 defeat of Fort Valley State.  Florida A&M’s defense only allowed seven points in consecutive weeks, but the offense still has a decision to make at quarterback.
  7. Alcorn State | SWAC | 1-1 | LW: 6
    • Alcorn State won a close game against Northwestern State. QB Felix Harper was unable to score through the air but found paydirt on the ground.
  8. Arkansas-Pine Bluff | SWAC | 1-0 | LW: 11
    • The Golden Lions were off in Week 2. In Week 1, QB Skyler Perry led Arkansas-Pine Bluff in passing and rushing as the team picked up an early-season victory.
  9. Delaware State | MEAC |1-1 | LW: 7
    • Delaware State fell to Georgetown in overtime. The Hornets were held scoreless in the second half and overtime.
  10. Prairie View A&M | SWAC | 1-1 | LW: 9
    • Prairie View A&M’s explosiveness on offense disappeared against UIW. However, the Panthers did pick up a conference win in Week 1.
  11. Grambling State | SWAC | 1-1 | LW: 10
    • Grambling State was held scoreless against Southern Miss. The loss came after opening the season with a defeat of Tennessee State.
  12. Norfolk State | MEAC | 0-2 | LW: 13
    • Norfolk State lost to Wake Forest but QB Juwan Carter and LG Jalen Powell performed well against an FBS opponent. The Spartans have caught the eyes of NFL scouts after two FBS games to open the season.
  13. Bethune-Cookman  | SWAC | 0-2 | LW: 12
    • Bethune-Cookman opened the season with back-to-back FBS losses. They’ll get reigning SWAC champion Alabama A&M in their first ever SWAC game.
  14. Southern | SWAC | 1-1 | LW: 17
    • Southern defeated Miles 41-24. It was Southern’s first win and Miles’s second loss to a SWAC opponent.
  15. Hampton | Big South | 1-1 | LW: 14
    • Hampton’s ground game was unable to get going in Week 2. The Pirates drop one spot before they battle for the real HU.
  16. Alabama State | SWAC | 1-1 | LW: 15
    • Alabama State played top-25 opponent Auburn. Auburn dominated this in-state game.
  17. Tennessee State | Ohio Valley | 0-2 | LW: 16
    • Tennessee State lost their only two games against HBCUs this season. They’ll try and bounce back during the remainder of the season.
  18. Howard | MEAC | 0-2 | LW: 18
    • Howard couldn’t find the endzone against Maryland. They’ll stay put in the rankings.
  19. Mississippi Valley State | SWAC | 0-1 | LW: 21
    • Mississippi Valley State was off Week 2. 
  20. Texas Southern | SWAC | 0-2 | LW: 19
    • Texas Southern fell to 0-2 after losing to Baylor 66-7.
  21. Morgan State | MEAC | 0-2 | LW: 20
    • Even when positive play occurred, Morgan State’s loss to Tulane was marred with miscues. 
6:51 pm, September 13, 2021

Standings after Week 2

Here are the conference standings after Week 2. Click or tap here for more standings.

Conference records in parentheses.

MEAC

  1. Delaware State | 1-1 (0-0)
  2. North Carolina Central | 1-1 (0-0)
  3. South Carolina State | 0-2 (0-0)
  4. Howard | 0-2 (0-0)
  5. Morgan State | 0-2 (0-0)
  6. Norfolk State | 0-2 (0-0)

SWAC

East

  1. Jackson State | 2-0 (1-0)
  2. Alabama A&M | 1-0 (0-0)
    • Last Game: Off Week 2
  3. Alabama State | 1-1 (0-0)
  4. Mississippi Valley State | 0-1 (0-0)
    • Last Game: Off Week 2
  5. Bethune-Cookman | 0-2 (0-0)
  6. Florida A&M | 1-1 (0-1)

West

  1. Prairie View A&M | 1-1 (1-0)
  2. Arkansas-Pine Bluff | 1-0 (0-0)
    • Last Game: Off Week 2
  3. Grambling State | 1-1 (0-0)
  4. Alcorn State | 1-1 (0-0)
  5. Southern | 1-1 (0-0)
  6. Texas Southern| 0-2 (0-1)

Other

  • North Carolina A&T fell to 0-2 (0-0) after a 45-17 loss to Duke. They are tied for last in the Big South, but no conference games have been played.
  • Hampton moved to 1-1 (0-0) after a 47-7 loss to Old Dominion. They are tied for second in the Big South, but no conference games have been played.
  • Tennessee State fell to 0-2 (0-0) after a 38-16 loss to Jackson State. They are tied for second in the Ohio Valley, but no conference games have been played.
6:43 pm, September 13, 2021

Jackson State QB Shedeur Sanders named National Freshman Player of the Week

Shedeur Sanders

Jackson State QB Shedeur Sanders has been named the Stats Perform FCS National Freshman Player of the Week after his Week 2 performance. Sanders set the Southern Heritage Classic record for passing completions on an evening where he completed 30 of 40 passes for 362 yards and three touchdowns. Sanders connected with nine different receivers as Jackson State won 38-16.

6:25 pm, September 13, 2021

Week 2 Accolades

The MEAC and SWAC have announced their Week 2 awards. Find them listed below.

MEAC

  • Offensive Player of the Week: Norfolk State QB Juwan Carter (195 pass yards, 2 TDs)
  • Defensive Player of the Week: South Carolina State CB Decobie Durant (3 TAK, 2 INT, 2 PBU)
  • Specialist of the Week: North Carolina Central P Juan Verlade (43.8 yards per punt, 3 50-yard punts)
  • Rookie of the Week: Delaware State RB Sy'Veon Wilkerson (98 yards, 1 TD)
  • Offensive Lineman of the Week: Norfolk State LG  Jalen Powell (4 pancake blocks, 0 sacks)

SWAC

  • Offensive Player of the Week: Jackson State QB Shedeur Sanders (362 pass yards, 3 pass TDs, 30 completions, 75% completion percentage)
  • Defensive Player of the Week: Jackson State LB James Houston (10 TAK, 4.5 SK, 5 TFL)
  • Specialist of the Week: Jackson State WR Warren Newman (81-yard punt return TD)
  • Rookie of the Week: Florida A&M LB Deonte Williams (3 TFL, 2 SK, 1 FF)
1:55 pm, September 7, 2021
3:51 pm, September 11, 2021

Follow today's Week 2 HBCU early Saturday action

HBCU football is back in action with an exciting weekend of Week 2 games. Click or tap here for a live scoreboard.

Teams not in action Week 2: Alabama A&M, Mississippi Valley State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff

  • Auburn 62, Alabama State 0
    • Halftime Update: Auburn leads Alabama State 20-0 at half. The Auburn defense has shutdown the Alabama State attack so far forcing five punts. Tigers CB Nehemiah Pritchett returned a blocked field goal 80 yards for a touchdown to keep the shut out alive.
    • Final: Auburn defeated Alabama State 62-0. Alabama State was held to just 176 yards of offense. The Tigers ran for 364 yards and three touchdowns in a dominant performance on the ground.
  • Wake Forest 41, Norfolk State 16
    • Halftime Update: Wake Forest leads Norfolk State 24-9 at half. After the Spartans took a 3-0 lead, the Demon Deacons scored 21 straight points. Norfolk State QB Juwan Carter found RB Rayquan Smith on a 10 yard pass. The extra point was missed making the score 21-9. A Wake Forest field goal with 18 seconds remaining pushed the score to 24-9.
    • Final: Wake Forest defeated Norfolk State 41-16. Wake Forest ran for 161 yards and four touchdowns. Norfolk State QB Juwan Carter threw a fourth quarter touchdown for the only Spartan points of the second half.
  • Tulane 69, Morgan State 20
    • Halftime Update: Tulane leads Morgan State 52-7 at half. Tulane passed for three touchdowns in the first half , supported by three first half rushing touchdowns. The Green Wave have been dominant through two quarters. 
    • Final: Tulane defeated Morgan State 69-20. Morgan State QB Neil Boudreau threw for two second half touchdowns and completed 65% of his passes. 
  • Georgetown 20, Delaware State 14
    • Halftime Update: Delaware State leads Georgetown 14-7 at half. RB Sy'veon Wilkerson's success in Week 1 has continued with 58 yards and a touchdown. 
    • Final: Georgetown defeated Delaware State 20-14 in overtime. The Hornets were held scoreless in the second half and overtime. Delaware State got the ball first in OT, but had their field goal blocked. Georgetown would score in four plays to win the game.
3:56 pm, September 11, 2021

Friday's HBCU results

North Carolina A&T lost to Duke 45-17 in the lone Friday night game. See the stats here.

North Carolina A&T vs. Duke
8:13 pm, September 7, 2021

3 Week 2 HBCU games to watch

After an exciting opening week of action, Week 2 of HBCU football continues with intriguing games. Here are three games to watch in the opening week.

Saturday, September 11

 

  • Tennessee State vs. Jackson State (Liberty Memorial Bowl Stadium in Memphis, TN) | 7 p.m. | ESPN3
    • Two NFL Hall of Famers will meet on Saturday in Memphis, but as head coaches not players. Tennessee State's Eddie George and Jackson State's Deion Sanders will lead their teams into the Southern Heritage Classic. Tennessee State is still looking for their first win while Jackson State is looking to build upon a 1-0 start.
    • Players to watch: QB Shedeur Sander (JSU), WR Josh Lanier (JSU), LB Aubrey Miller (JSU), RB Devon Starling (TSU), WR Dayron Johnson (TSU)
  • Miles at Southern | 7 p.m. | TBD
    • After almost beating Alabama State, the DII Miles football team will once again try to upset a SWAC opponent. Southern will look to bounce back after a tough loss in Week 1.
    • Players to watch: DE Jordan Lewis (SU), QB Ladarius Skelton (SU)
  • Prairie View A&M at UIW | 8 p.m. | TBD
    • This game is shaping up to be a shootout. Each team's quarterback threw for 350+ passing yards and three or more touchdowns in Week 1. Expect fireworks in this showdown.
    • Players to watch: QB Juwon Pass (PVAMU), QB Cameron Ward (UIW)
4:33 pm, September 7, 2021

The Road to Atlanta: Week 2 HBCU football power rankings

After one week of gameplay, it's time to take a look at the HBCU football power rankings.

The weekly rankings sort each HBCU football team at the FCS level based on their performances this season. Nicknamed The Road to Atlanta, the power rankings lead up to the annual meeting of HBCU football's two best teams at this year's Celebration Bowl held in Atlanta, GA.

See the Week 1 power rankings below.

  1. Alabama A&M | SWAC | 1-0
    • The reigning SWAC champions opened the season with a statement win over preseason MEAC favorite South Carolina State. QB Aqeel Glass picked up where he left off as he accounted for five total touchdowns.
  2. North Carolina Central | MEAC | 1-0
    • The Eagles had Week 1 off after winning the MEAC/SWAC Challenge. North Carolina Central was in control of that game for much of the second half.
  3. Jackson State | SWAC | 1-0
    • Jackson State opened the season with a win over Florida A&M in the Orange Blossom Classic. The Tigers were led by a dominant defense that got to the quarterback at will.
  4. North Carolina A&T | Big South | 0-1
    • The Aggies lost their first game since leaving the MEAC. The game was also the first for North Carolina A&T since 2019. They'll look to get RB Jah-Maine Martin going after he was held to just 33 rushing yards in Week 1.
  5. South Carolina State | MEAC |0-1
    • South Carolina State lost a close game to Alabama A&M after leading by as much as 10 points in the second half. The rushing attack was a bright spot for the Bulldogs; they gained 242 yards on the ground plus four touchdowns.
  6. Alcorn State | SWAC | 0-1
    • Alcorn State will look to bounce back after an opening season loss. Their offense showed flashes as QB Felix Harper showed he is still an elite HBCU quarterback. The Braves will have to fix their red zone struggles to get back to their winning ways.
  7. Delaware State | MEAC |1-0
    • Delaware State defeated a DII powerhouse in Bowie State this weekend. The Hornets forced turnovers and capitalized off of mistakes all afternoon. RB Sy'Veon Wilkerson looks like a future star in the Delaware State backfield.
  8. Florida A&M | SWAC | 0-1
    • The move to the SWAC got off to a rough start for Florida A&M. Despite playing tough defense, the Rattlers struggled to find consistency at quarterback in the one-point loss to Jackson State. A talented team, Florida A&M will try and bounce back at home this week.
  9. Prairie View A&M | SWAC | 1-0
    • Prairie View A&M defeated rival Texas Southern in the Labor Day Classic this weekend. New QB Jawon Pass put on a show passing for 354 yards and three touchdowns.
  10. Grambling State | SWAC | 1-0
    • Grambling State opened the season by defeating Tennessee State in a neutral site game in Canton, OH. It was a hard-fought out-of-conference victory that showcased HBCU football on a national stage.
  11. Arkansas-Pine Bluff | SWAC | 1-0
    • QB Skyler Perry led Arkansas-Pine Bluff in passing and rushing as the team picked up an early-season victory. The Golden Lions will need more performances like that from Perry as they continue their defense of the SWAC West crown.
  12. Bethune-Cookman  | SWAC | 0-1
    • Bethune-Cookman nearly landed the upset against FBS opponent UTEP. Th
  13. Norfolk State | MEAC | 0-1
    • Norfolk State lost to FBS opponent Toledo in Week 1. The Spartans fought hard but were simply outmatched. They'll continue the FBS tour in Week 2, visiting Wake Forest.
  14. Hampton | Big South | 1-0
    • Hampton played with fire in Week 1, tied with DII Virginia Union through three quarters. The Pirates scored 21 unanswered to secure the victory.
  15. Alabama State | SWAC | 1-0
    • Rivalry games are always intense and Week 1 wasn't any different for Alabama State. They were able to squeak by Miles College in the Labor Day Classic with an overtime victory.
  16. Tennessee State | Ohio Valley | 0-1
    • Tennessee State lost in head coach Eddie George's debut in the Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic. The Tigers will again try and get George his first win this week against fellow Hall of Fame coach Deion Sanders and surging Jackson State.
  17. Southern | SWAC | 0-1
    • Southern was outmatched against FBS opponent Troy. Jaguar quarterback threw four interceptions en route to a 55-3 loss.
  18. Howard | MEAC | 0-1
    • Howard opened the season with a loss in 2021. The Bison defense allowed three first-half rushing touchdowns while the offense was held scoreless in the second half. However, a 64-yard passing touchdown from QB Quinton Williams showed that Howard has potential.
  19. Texas Southern | SWAC | 0-1
    • Being named dropped in a Drake song was the highlight of the weekend for Texas Southern. On the field, the Texas Southern lost the Labor Day Classic after allowing an offensive explosion from Prairie View A&M. As the season progresses, the Tigers will need to stop big plays defensively.
  20. Morgan State | MEAC | 0-1
    • Morgan State was held scoreless in a 31-0 loss in the Battle for Greater Baltimore. There are issues under center for the Bears as they used three different quarterbacks on the afternoon.
  21. Mississippi Valley State | SWAC | 0-1
    • Mississippi Valley State struggled to get anything going against Murray State in a Thursday night clash. The Delta Devils failed to reach 100 yards in the air or on the ground. Defensively, they could not stop the run as the Racers ran for 307 yards and five touchdowns.
1:27 pm, September 7, 2021

Standings after Week 1

One game is in the books for HBCU teams across the board. Here are the conference standings after Week 1. Click or tap here for more standings.

Conference records in parentheses.

MEAC

  1. Delaware State | 1-0 (0-0)
  2. North Carolina Central | 1-0 (0-0)
  3. South Carolina State | 0-1 (0-0)
  4. Howard | 0-1 (0-0)
  5. Morgan State | 0-1 (0-0)
  6. Norfolk State | 0-1 (0-0)

SWAC

East

  1. Jackson State | 1-0 (1-0)
  2. Alabama A&M | 1-0 (0-0)
  3. Alabama State | 1-0 (0-0)
  4. Bethune-Cookman | 0-1 (0-0)
  5. Mississippi Valley State | 0-1 (0-0)
  6. Florida A&M | 0-1 (0-1)

West

  1. Prairie View A&M | 1-0 (1-0)
  2. Grambling State | 1-0 (0-0)
  3. Arkansas-Pine Bluff | 1-0 (0-0)
  4. Alcorn State | 0-1 (0-0)
  5. Southern | 0-1 (0-0)
  6. Texas Southern| 0-1 (0-1)

Other

  • North Carolina A&T fell to 0-1 (0-0) after a 29-18 loss to Furman. They are tied for last in the Big South, but no conference games have been played.
  • Hampton moved to 1-0 (0-0) after a 42-28 win over Virginia Union. They are tied for first in the Big South, but no conference games have been played.
  • Tennessee State fell to 0-1 (0-0) after a 16-10 loss to Grambling State. They are tied for second in the Ohio Valley, but no conference games have been played.
3:53 pm, September 7, 2021

Week 1 Accolades

The MEAC and SWAC have announced their Week 1 awards. Find them listed below.

MEAC

  • Offensive Player of the Week: Delaware State RB Sy'Veon Wilkerson (92 rush yards, 3 TDs)
  • Defensive Player of the Week: Delaware State DB Esaias Guthrie (2 INTS, 1 TD)
  • Specialist of the Week: Delaware State DT Kevin DeShields (2 blocked XP)
  • Rookie of the Week: Delaware State RB Sy'Veon Wilkerson

SWAC

  • Offensive Player of the Week: Alabama A&M QB Aqeel Glass (426 pass yards, 4 pass TDs, 1 rush TD)
  • Defensive Player of the Week: Jackson State LB Aubrey Miller (9 TAK, 1 SK, 1 TFL, 1 PBU)
  • Specialist of the Week: Grambling State K/P Garrett Urban (24-yard FG)
  • Rookie of the Week: Prairie View A&M QB Jawon Pass (354 pass yards, 3 TDs, 67 % comp)
2:58 pm, September 5, 2021

Week 1 action continues Sunday with two games

Week 1 of HBCU football wraps up with two big-time games. Jackson State takes on Florida A&M in the Orange Blossom Classic and Grambling State will meet Tennessee State in the Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic. Scroll down to find a brief preview of each game along with players to watch. Click or tap here for a live scoreboard.

Sunday, Sept. 5

8:18 pm, August 17, 2021
5:42 pm, September 4, 2021

Follow today's Week 1 HBCU early game action

Week 1 of HBCU football is underway! There are exciting games everywhere with 12 games on the schedule today. See all of the early games listed below. Click or tap here for a live scoreboard.

  • Furman 29, No. 25 North Carolina A&T 18
    • Halftime Update:  Furman leads North Carolina A&T 10-3 at half. Furman has scored 10 straight points, largely holding North Carolina A&T's offense in check. The Aggies have dealt with injuries during the first half.
    • Final: Rust showed with North Carolina A&T in their first game since 2019. The Paladins shutdown All-American RB Jah-Maine Martin holding him to just 33 rushing yards on the day. Furman also took advantage of North Carolina A&T's secondary with Hamp Sisson passing for 362 yards and three touchdowns. WR Ron Hunt was a bright spot for the Aggies catching five passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns.
  • Richmond 38, Howard 14
    • Halftime Update: Richmond leads Howard 23-14 at half. Richmond has been powered by a strong rushing attack that has three touchdowns so far. Howard's biggest play offensively was a 64 yard passing touchdown from QB Quinton Williams to WR Christion Carter.
    • Final: The Bison could not get anything going offensively in the second half as Richmond pulled away to secure the victory. The few Howard drives into Richmond territory ended with turnovers on downs as Richmond star defenders DE Kobie Turner and LB Tristan Wheeler made their presence known. 
  • Towson 31, Morgan State 0
    • Halftime Update: Towson leads Morgan State 17-0 at half. Towson has struggled to run the ball, only gaining 37 yards, but the Tigers have had their way through the air with 194 yards. Morgan State has struggled to get anything going with only one first down in the half.
    • Final: The Battle for Greater Baltimore went to Towson today; the Tigers were in control of the game throughout. Towson QB Chris Ferguson completed 60% of his passes including a 73 yard pass to WR Darian Street. The Bears used three different quarterbacks this afternoon and will look to bounce back next week.
  • Delaware State 32, Bowie State 24
    • Halftime Update: Delaware State leads Bowie State 26-3 at half. The Hornets opened the game in dominant fashion recovering a fumble, getting an interception, and blocking a punt en route to a 19-0 lead. Bowie State was able to get a field goal out a red zone trip, but the Delaware State defense responded getting a pick-six to close the first half.
    • Final: Delaware State holds off a Bowie State comeback to get a 32-24 win. The Hornets were able to capitalize off mistakes all game to keep the Bulldogs at bay. Delaware State RB Sy'veon Wilkerson powered through the Bowie State defense to secure the win over the DII power.
  • Hampton 42, Virginia Union 28
    • Halftime Update: Virginia Union leads Hampton 14-13 at half. After Hampton got out to a 13-0 lead to end the first quarter, Virginia Union responded with 14 unanswered points to close the half. The Pirates have moved the ball offensively with over 300 yards through two quarters, but two interceptions in Panther territory have them behind.
    • Final: A dominant fourth quarter spurred the Hampton Pirates to a season-opening win. Tied at 21 entering the final frame, Hampton doubled their scoring total to pull away and secure the victory. Hampton RB Darran Butts led the team in rushing with 143 yards and a touchdown.
  • Alabama State 14, Miles 13
    • Halftime Update: Alabama State leads Miles 7-0. The Hornet defense limited Golden Bears to just five passing attempts in the first half. Alabama State's offense has been led by QB Ryan Nettles who has the game's only touchdown.
    • Final: The Alabama edition of the Labor Day Classic was decided in overtime as Alabama State's K Cosmin Diancou hit the game-winning extra point. After the Hornets led most of the game, Golden Bear RB Octavius Griffin tied the game with a five yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. In overtime, Miles scored a touchdown on the opening possession but missed the extra point, opening the door for Alabama State to win.
9:12 pm, September 1, 2021

5 Week 1 HBCU games to watch

Week 1 of HBCU football features plenty of intriguing matchups as teams look to start the season with a win. Here are five games to watch in the opening week.

Saturday, September 4

Sunday, September 5
 

8:37 pm, September 1, 2021

12 players from HBCUs make initial 53-man NFL rosters

Left tackle Terron Armstead (New Orleans Saints, Arkansas-Pine Bluff) and linebacker Darius Leonard (Indianapolis Colts, South Carolina State) highlight the former players from HBCUs that made the initial 53-man 2021 NFL rosters. The MEAC led all conferences with five former players on active rosters. North Carolina A&T, South Carolina State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, and Grambling State were the only HBCUs with multiple former players on rosters.

Click here for the full list. 

8:30 pm, September 1, 2021

Glass is the first player selected to HBCU Legacy Bowl

Alabama A&M quarterback Aqeel Glass was the first player selected for the HBCU Legacy Bowl. Glass is the spring 2021 Deacon Jones Player of the Year and has agreed to participate in the post-season all-star game that features the best players from HBCUs around the country. 

The HBCU Legacy Bowl will be held February 19, 2022 at Yulman Stadium in New Orleans, LA.

8:17 pm, September 1, 2021

2021 NFL x HBCU Open House

From August 30-31, 2021, the NFL Football Operations department hosted the  2nd Annual NFL + HBCU Open House. The annual event brought together stakeholders across the HBCU and football landscapes to discuss the portfolio of existing NFL initiatives, areas of opportunity, and to further strengthen relationships. 

At the hybrid event, participants heard from various speakers and personnel from across different departments including football strategy, development, data and analytics, talent acquisition, and experienceship program. 

There was also a roundtable discussion moderated by reporter and writer, Steve Wyche and the four Conference Commissioners (CIAA, MEAC, SIAA, SWAC) in person in Los Angeles, CA . The Commissioners also received an exclusive tour of the new NFL West offices to conclude the event.

Here is a complete list of the NFL x HBCU programming initiatives:

  • Campus Connection
    • Campus Connection is part of our ongoing and continuous commitment to celebrating the impact HBCUs have had on the game of professional football, driving awareness around career opportunities, and providing access to the business of sport. Participating schools are: Howard University, Grambling State University, Florida Memorial University, St. Augustine’s University and Morgan State University. Programming includes: case study competition, access to NFL initiatives, and collaboration on school-specific programming with the NFL.  
  • NFL Experienceships
    • The NFL Experienceship program was designed to connect, develop, and assist diverse collegiate candidates at Historically Black Colleges and Universities interested in establishing a career in Football Operations with equitable opportunities to learn the intricacies of the business through practical learning and shadowing experiences. The initiative has since expanded to include various departments. 
    • It serves as a diversity pipeline platform for students at HBCUs to engage with NFL leadership and employees in various departments across the league and will provide several educational and experiential touch points throughout the calendar year. Students will receive a transformative learning experience with NFL business units, clubs and partners offering the opportunity to expand both their skillsets and network, and the chance to garner tangible work experience under the pillars of mentorship, experience, and access. Programming: Mentor program, seedkit challenge, virtual speaker series, shadowing opportunities at NFL tentpoles.
  •  NFL Virtual Speaker Series
    • In continuance of developing relationships and serving as a conduit for students to receive firsthand experiences and knowledge of working in the industry, the League Office offered several virtual development sessions throughout the 2020 – 2021 season. These sessions will continue this season and provide an inside look at various fields in the sports industry, opportunities for students to engage with industry professionals, and soft skills development. 
  • HBCU Careers in Football Forum
    • The HBCU Careers in Football Forum brings together students from HBCUs across the country with the objective of inspiring, developing, and connecting students with industry professionals and League partners. The event is traditionally hosted in Atlanta, GA during the Celebration Bowl. Participants are selected through an application-based process and have the opportunity to attend lectures and panel discussions with NFL leadership and club executives; take part in resume and skill-building workshops; and participate in networking sessions.
  • NFL + HBCU Madden Tournament
    • Madden NFL 21 x HBCU Tournament players representing HBCUs from CIAA, MEAC, SIAC, and SWAC, participated in the single elimination qualifiers in November 2020. The top four gamers from each HBCU conference – a total of 16 players – advanced to the Madden NFL 21 x HBCU Tournament ahead of Super Bowl LV in February 2021. The final two rounds were broadcasted live on EA Madden NFL Twitch channel.  
    • This year’s tournament will be open to all HBCUs. 
8:18 pm, August 17, 2021
11:34 pm, August 28, 2021

HBCU football kicks off with the MEAC/SWAC Challenge

The MEAC/SWAC Challenge between Alcorn State and North Carolina Central is underway. Follow along for live scores and updates here.
2:28 pm, August 25, 2021

MEAC/SWAC Challenge Preview

The 2021 college football season gets underway with Week 0 and a primetime HBCU battle when Alcorn State takes on North Carolina Central in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge.

The 2021 MEAC/SWAC Challenge will be played at Center Parc Stadium in Atlanta on Saturday, Aug. 28 at 7 p.m. Alcorn State and North Carolina Central will also open the season for College GameDay as the game will air live on ESPN.

Click here for a game preview and everything you need to know for the MEAC/SWAC Challenge game.

6:58 pm, August 25, 2021

Future MEAC/SWAC Challenge matchups announced

The future matchups for the MEAC/SWAC Challenge have been announced through 2024. All games will be played in Atlanta, GA to open the HBCU football season. See all of the exciting matchups below:

  • 2022
    • Alabama State vs. Howard
  • 2023
    • Jackson State vs. South Carolina State
  • 2024
    • Florida A&M vs. Norfolk State
  • 2025
    • Southern vs. TBA

This year's MEAC/SWAC challenge will feature Alcorn State vs. North Carolina Central on August 28, 2021 at 7 p.m. 

7:06 pm, August 25, 2021

33 MEAC and SWAC players land on Black College Football Player of the Year watch list

The Black College Football Hall of Fame has announced its watch list for the 2021 Black College Football Player of the Year Award. This award is presented in the form of the Deacon Jones Trophy to the most outstanding college football player from a HBCU.

33 players from the MEAC (15) and SWAC (18) were named to the watchlist. Four finalists will be chosen on November 30, 2021. The winner of the award will be announced during halftime of the HBCU Legacy Bowl on February 19, 2021.

Some notable names to make the list include spring 2021 winner QB Aqeel Glass (Alabama A&M), RB Jah-Maine Martin (North Carolina A&T), DL Jordan Lewis (Southern), and DB Decobie Durant (South Carolina State).

Click here for the complete watch list

3:07 pm, August 20, 2021

6 can't-miss HBCU football game-day atmospheres

When it comes to football at HBCUs, the setting is just as important as the product on the field. The fans, the bands, the stadiums, and more create a unique environment for teams to play in.

Here are some can’t miss game-day atmospheres in HBCU football.

THE BAYOU CLASSIC IS ONE OF HBCU FOOTBALL'S PREMIER EVENTS THE BAYOU CLASSIC IS ONE OF HBCU FOOTBALL'S PREMIER EVENTS
8:49 pm, August 18, 2021

6 storylines to watch in the 2021 HBCU football season

HBCU football returns this fall after a year where teams navigated the challenges of a pandemic that caused some teams to play in the spring while others opted out altogether. The long-awaited return to a traditional schedule has captivated players, fans, students and alumni as they prepare to dive into a compelling season.

Here are six preseason storylines to watch as the season approaches.

7:00 pm, August 17, 2021

HBCUs featured in FCS preseason polls

No. 25 North Carolina A&T leads all HBCUs in the FCS preseason poll after receiving 159 votes in the Stats Perform Top 25 rankings.

Also receiving votes were defending SWAC champion Alabama A&M (49), Florida A&M (47), Alcorn State (35) and South Carolina State (10).

North Carolina A&T is also ranked in the FCS Coaches Poll, coming in at No. 24.

7:00 pm, August 17, 2021

HBCU football players to watch

The Walter Payton Award and the Buck Buchanan Award are given annually to the best offensive and defensive players, respectively, at the FCS level.

The following HBCU players found their names on the preseason watch list for these awards.

Walter Payton Award

  • QB Juwan Carter, Norfolk State
  • QB Aqeel Glass, Alabama A&M (2020-21 finalist)
  • QB Felix Harper, Alcorn State (2019 finalist)
  • RB Jah-Maine Martin, North Carolina A&T (2019 finalist)

Buck Buchanan Award

  • DL Jordan Lewis, Southern (2020-21 recipient)
  • DB Markquese Bell, Florida A&M
  • DB Decobie Durant, South Carolina State

Southern's Jordan Lewis enters the 2021 season with a chance at becoming the second multiple-time winner of the Buck Buchanan Award.

7:00 pm, August 17, 2021

Preseason conference predictions

During the summer, conference head coaches and sports information directors predicted their order of finish for their respective teams. Below are the preseason predictions for HBCU teams.

MEAC

  1. South Carolina State (5 first-place votes)
  2. Norfolk State (2)
  3. North Carolina Central (2)
  4. Delaware State (1)
  5. Morgan State (1)
  6. Howard (1)

More info here.

SWAC

Eastern Division

  1. Alabama A&M
  2. Florida A&M
  3. Jackson State
  4. Alabama State
  5. Bethune-Cookman
  6. Mississippi Valley State

Western Division

  1. Alcorn State
  2. Southern
  3. Grambling State
  4. Prairie View A&M
  5. Arkansas-Pine Bluff
  6. Texas Southern

More info here.

Other

  • North Carolina A&T is predicted to finish third in the Big South during their inaugural season.
  • Hampton is predicted to finish seventh in the Big South.
  • Tennessee State is predicted to finish fifth in the Ohio Valley.
7:00 pm, August 17, 2021

Here are the FCS HBCU football programs and conferences

There are 21 football programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) at the FCS level. Primarily, FCS HBCU football programs play in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) or the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC).

Below are all the HBCU football programs and the conference they will play in for the 2021 season.

MEAC

  • Delaware State
  • Howard
  • Morgan State
  • Norfolk State
  • North Carolina Central
  • South Carolina State

SWAC

  • Alabama A&M
  • Alabama State
  • Alcorn State
  • Bethune-Cookman
  • Florida A&M
  • Grambling State
  • Jackson State
  • Mississippi Valley State
  • Prairie View A&M
  • Southern
  • Texas Southern
  • Arkansas Pine Bluff

Big South*

  • Hampton
  • North Carolina A&T

*The Big South is not an "HBCU conference".

Ohio Valley*

  • Tennessee State

*The Ohio Valley is not an "HBCU conference".

7:00 pm, August 17, 2021

What is the Celebration Bowl?

Since 2015, the MEAC and SWAC conference champions face off in a postseason football clash known as the Celebration Bowl. In the Celebration Bowl, two of the premier HBCU football programs in a particular year at the FCS level meet to determine who is the best. Traditionally, the game is in Atlanta, Georgia, a hub for HBCU culture. The Celebration Bowl celebrates great football and HBCU tradition on a national stage.

This year's Celebration Bowl will be at 12 noon December 18, 2021 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

7:00 pm, August 17, 2021

Celebration Bowl history

Here's the list of Celebration Bowl champions. The MEAC leads the SWAC in the all-time series 4-1.

Year Champion Score Runner-Up Site
2019 North Carolina A&T (MEAC) 64-44 Alcorn State (SWAC) Mercedes-Benz Stadium,
Atlanta GA
2018 North Carolina A&T (MEAC) 24-22 Alcorn State (SWAC) Mercedes-Benz Stadium,
Atlanta GA
2017 North Carolina A&T (MEAC) 21-14 Grambling State (SWAC) Mercedes-Benz Stadium,
Atlanta GA
2016 Grambling State (SWAC) 10-9 North Carolina Central (MEAC) Georgia Dome,
Atlanta GA
2015 North Carolina A&T (MEAC) 41-34 Alcorn State (SWAC) Georgia Dome,
Atlanta GA
7:00 pm, August 17, 2021

MEAC championship history

Here's the list of MEAC champions. South Carolina State has the most championships with 17.

Year Champion
2019 North Carolina A&T, South Carolina State
2018 North Carolina A&T
2017 North Carolina A&T
2016 North Carolina Central
2015 Bethune-Cookman, North Carolina A&T, North Carolina Central
2014 Bethune-Cookman, Morgan State, North Carolina A&T, North Carolina Central, South Carolina State
2013 Bethune-Cookman, South Carolina State
2012 Bethune-Cookman
2011 Vacated
2010 Bethune-Cookman, South Carolina State, Florida A&M
2009 South Carolina State
2008 South Carolina State
2007 Delaware State
2006 Hampton
2005 Hampton
2004 Hampton, South Carolina State
2003 North Carolina A&T
2002 Bethune-Cookman
2001 Florida A&M
2000 Florida A&M
1999 North Carolina A&T
1998 Florida A&M, Hampton
1997 Hampton
1996 Florida A&M
1995 Florida A&M
1994 South Carolina State
1993 Howard
1992 North Carolina A&T
1991 North Carollina A&T
1990 Florida A&M
1989 Delaware State
1988 Bethune-Cookman, Delaware State, Florida A&M
1987 Howard
1986 North Carolina A&T
1985 Delaware State
1984 Bethune-Cookman
1983 South Carolina State
1982 South Carolina State
1981 South Carolina State
1980 South Carolina State
1979 Morgan State
1978 South Carolina State
1977 South Carolina State
1976 South Carolina State, Morgan State
1975 North Carolina A&T, South Carolina State
1974 South Carolina State
1973 North Carolina Central
1972 North Carolina Central
1971 Morgan State
7:00 pm, August 17, 2021

SWAC championship history

Here's the list of SWAC champions. Grambling State has the most championships with 25.

year champion
2020-21 Alabama A&M
2019 Alcorn State
2018 Alcorn State
2017 Grambling State
2016 Grambling State
2015 Alcorn State
2014 Alcorn State
2013 Southern
2012 Arkansas-Pine Bluff
2011 Grambling State
2010 Vacated
2009 Prairie View A&M
2008 Grambling State
2007 Jackson State
2006 Alabama A&M
2005 Grambling State
2004 Alabama State
2003 Southern
2002 Grambling State
2001 Grambling State
2000 Grambling State
1999 Southern
1998 Southern
1997 Southern
1996 Jackson State
1995 Jackson State
1994 Alcorn State, Grambling State
1993 Southern
1992 Alcorn State
1991 Alabama State
1990 Jackson State
1989 Jackson State
1988 Jackson State
1987 Jackson State
1986 Jackson State
1985 Jackson State, Grambling State
1984 Alcorn State
1983 Grambling State
1982 Jackson State
1981 Jackson State
1980 Grambling State, Jackson State
1979 Grambling State, Alcorn State
1978 Grambling State
1977 Grambling State
1976 Alcorn State
1975 Grambling State, Southern
1974 Grambling State, Alcorn State
1973 Grambling State, Jackson State
1972 Grambling State, Jackson State
1971 Grambling State, Jackson State
1970 Alcorn State
1969 Alcorn State
1968 Alcorn State, Grambling State, Texas Southern
1967 Grambling State
1966 Grambling State, Souther, Texas Southern, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
1965 Grambling State
1964 Prairie View A&M
1963 Prairie View A&M
1962 Jackson State
1961 Jackson State
1960 Southern, Prairie View A&M, Grambling State
1959 Southern
1958 Prairie View A&M
1957 Wiley College
1956 Texas Southern, Langston College
1955 Southern
1954 Prairie View A&M
1953 Prairie View A&M
1952 Prairie View A&M
1951 Prairie View A&M
1950 Southern
1949 Southern, Langston College
1948 Southern
1947 Southern
1946 Southern
1945 Wiley College
1944 Wiley College, Texas College, Langston College
1943 N/A
1942 Southern, Langston College
1941 N/A
1940 Southern, Langston College
1939 Langston College
1938 Southern, Langston College
1937 Southern, Langston College
1936 Texas College, Langston College
1935 Texas College
1934 Texas College
1933 Langston College, Prairie View A&M
1932 Wiley College
1931 Prairie View A&M
1930 Wiley College
1929 Wiley College
1928 Wiley College
1927 Wiley College
1926 Sam Houston
1925 Bishop College
1924 Paul Quinn College
1923 Wiley College
1922 Paul Quinn College
1921 Wiley College