Game Of The Week: Bethune-Cookman At Tennessee State

Quentin Williams and Bethune-Cookman will travel to Nashville to take on Tennessee State in the John Merritt Classic. (Miami Herald photo)

Bethune-Cookman @ Tennessee State, Sept 1 (John Merritt Classic)

Television: ESPN3 

While the MEAC/SWAC Challenge may garner more national attention, for our money, this could be the best played HBCU football game of the weekend. Both teams have to feel like they are the best HBCU football has to offer, and of course, would like to prove that with a win on Sunday.

// we highlighted in our Tennessee State preview, the Tigers enter the 2013 season with a legit chance of winning the competitive Ohio Valley Conference. TSU returns all 11 starters from a defense last year that was at times dominant. They also feature one of the best tight ends in FCS football in former Florida Gator A.C. Leonard. Two big weapons from 2012 that won’t be at TSU’s disposal on Saturday: Running back Trabis Ward, who left school after his junior season for the pros and quarterback Mike German is serving a two-game suspension. Telvin Hooks will step in to fill Ward’s shoes and freshman Ronald Butler will start his first game.

// Bethune-Cookman, the mission is simple: repeat as MEAC champs and make a playoff run. The Wildcats also return a ton of talent, from running back Isidore Jackson to a defense filled with playmakers. BCU also has a trio of quarterbacks that can run his offense, a luxury rare in black college football. One big loss for BCU is tackle Terrance Hackney, who will sit out the 2013 season.

Matchup to watch: BCU WR Eddie Poole vs. Tennessee State CB Steven Godbolt

It’s a good bet that Godbolt, Tennessee State’s All-American corner will be matched up against BCU’s main receiving threat.

Bottom line: With all due respect to the MEAC/SWAC Challenge, this may be the best game to showcase HBCU football this weekend.

Prediction: Tenn. State 27-21

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