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Wayne Cavadi | | September 8, 2017

No. 20 Albany State, No. 22 Tuskegee square off in DII football showcase

  Winston-Salem's Rod Tinsley drops back in the Rams' Week 1 upset of UNCP.

Week 1 was full of upsets in Division II football. Eleven ranked teams found themselves in the loss column, leading to a shakeup in the Top 25. Winston-Salem State, Albany State, and Tuskegee were all on the winning side of big upsets. It's only fitting that they highlight this week's DII football showcase.

RELATED: Instant reaction to Week 1 AFCA Poll

Bowie State at Winston-Salem State, 4 p.m ET    WATCH THIS GAME

Game 1 of the showcase is a matchup of 1-0 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association teams. WSSU pulled off the upset last weekend, defeating then-No. 19 UNC Pembroke 34-31. Running back Kerrian Moore led the charge with a 230-yard day, picking up CIAA Offensive Back of the Week honors. Quarterback Amir Hall -- responsible for a total of six touchdowns -- was equally impressive for Bowie State as the Bulldogs upended Seton Hill 48-7. Last week both teams combined for over 1,000 yards and more than 80 total points -- this game has the makings of a shootout.

Both teams were projected to win their respective CIAA divisions, with Bowie State tops in the North and WSSU best of the South. WSSU has won four of the past five CIAA championships, so this may be Bowie State's chance to stake its claim in the conference with a big win Saturday.

2017 outlook:

Bowie State Winston-Salem State
2016 record: 7-4 2016 record: 9-3
Head coach: Damon Wilson (9th year) Head coach: Kienus Boulware (3rd season)
Preseason ranking: NR | Current ranking: RV (13) Preseason ranking: NR | Current ranking: No. 19

Key players (Week 1 stats):

Amir Hall, QB: 361 passing yards, 5 touchdowns, 55 rushing yards, 1 TD

Lansana Sesay, Geordan Clark, Kerrick Pollack, WRs: combined for 301 yards and 4 touchdowns

Derrick Tate, LB: 6 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble

Key players:

Kerrian Moore, RB: rushed for 230 yards and 3 TDs in upset

Canard Brown, WR: QB Rod Tinsley only threw for 158 yards. Brown caught 125 of them, along with a TD

Kyrell Williamson, LB: team-high 9 tackles, including 0.5 sacks

2017 by the numbers:

Bowie State Winston-Salem State
Points: 48 Points: 34
Pass yards: 382 Pass yards: 158
Rush yards: 217 Rush yards: 278
Total offense: 599 Total offense: 436
Points allowed: 7 Points allowed: 31
Total defense: 151 Total defense: 237

RELATED: DII football players on NFL rosters

Albany State vs. Tuskegee, 5 p.m. ET  

Suddenly, the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference has two Top 25 teams. Thanks to two upsets in Week 1, Albany State (GA) and Tuskegee face off in the only game featuring two ranked teams this week. 

Unlike the first matchup, neither offense lit up the stat sheet in Week 1. In fact, Tuskegee won with only 192 total yards. The Golden Tigers have one of the premier linebackers in DII football -- All-American Osband Thompson -- who will need to make his presence felt for Tuskegee to win. Both defenses will make finding room on the ground and through the air difficult for either team.

Coined the White Water Classic, the game will be played on neutral turf in Phenix City, Alabama. As with the first game, this is a battle of projected division winners, so it will go a long way in deciding who will be the king of the SIAC come season's end.

2017 outlook:

Albany State Tuskegee
2016 record: 5-4 2016 record: 9-3
Head coach: Gabe Giardina (1st year) Head coach: Willie Slater (12th season)
Preseason ranking: NR | Current ranking: No. 20 Preseason ranking: NR | Current ranking: No. 22

Key players:

McKinley Habersham, RB: ran for 110 yards 

Nick Scott, DB: had a 75-yard interception return for a TD  in upset

Zavondric Shingleton, LB: 6 tackles, 2 sacks 

Key players:

Osband Thompson, LB: 14 tackles, 1 forced fumble

Jonah McCutheon, S: 7 tackles, 46-yard interception return for a TD

Peyton Ramzy, WR: 66 yards, including 55-yard TD

  Tuskegee's Osband Thompson is already showing why he's an All-American linebacker.

2017 by the numbers:

Albany State Tuskegee
Points: 29 Points: 14
Pass yards: 88 Pass yards: 139
Rush yards: 212 Rush yards: 53
Total offense: 300 Total offense: 192
Points allowed: 12 Points allowed: 6
Total defense: 311 Total defense: 367

The Battle of the Mascot Week 2: 

Last week's debut of the Battle of the Mascot was a battle for Arkansas. The Wonder Boys of Arkansas Tech prevailed in a 28-21 upset of Great American Conference rival Southern Arkansas Muleriders. Who's on tap this week?

It was a tough choice. The Pennylvania State Athletic Conference has an exciting matchup between the Lock Haven Bald Eagles and the Edinboro Fighting Scots.

As enticing as that may be, there may be an even better contest.

The Dixie State Trailblazers travel to Rapid City, South Dakota to take on the South Dakota School of Mines Hardrockers. The 'Rockers edged the 'Blazers by a four points in last year's matchup, so we can hope that this one goes right down to the wire as well.

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