MEAC Makes Statement With Non-Conference Wins

Anthony Jordan rushed for 150 yards as Bethune-Cookman easily desposed of Florida International on Saturday. (Miami Herald Photo) 

Saturday was a banner day for MEAC football, probably one of the best non-conference days in recent history. All four of the conference’s top predicted finishers came up with solid, and in many cases, blowout wins over non-conference opponents.

Headlining  the action was defending MEAC champ Bethune-Cookman’s 34-13 win at Florida International. It was the BCU’s first over an FBS team. Even more impressive, it did so without it’s top weapon, running back Isidore Jackson. Anthony Jordan filled-in for the suspended back and rushed for 150 yards.

 “I’m ecstatic and just so proud of our guys,” BCU coach Brian Jenkins told The Daytona Beach News Journal. “It means the world to me and the program.”

North Carolina Central recorded the biggest blowout of the day, winning 40-13 over a first-year UNC-Charlotte program at Jerry Richardson Stadium. The Eagles took advantage of seven Niner turnovers and looked like a different team than the one that struggled with St. Aug of the CIAA the week prior. For a program that lost its coach, was shutout against Duke and struggled with a D2 team,  this was a huge win. Especially against a team that is competing with for players as it makes its transition to the FBS.

About an hour north on I-40, A&T took care of business with a 23-10 win over nearby rival Elon. Coming off an upset over App State, some where worried about a letdown, but the Aggie defense made those worries look silly. They came up big against the run, holding their opponents to an average of just two yards per rush.

After Week One, we wrote about the failure of the MEAC and SWAC to get an FBS win when nearly everyone else did. We also said they needed more wins over majority institutions (PWIs) to earn respect. Apparently some one was reading because they have managed to do just that in the last week.

Savannah State’s struggle win over D2 Fort Valley and blowout losses by Howard (79-16 to ODU) and Delaware State (49-7) not withstanding, the conference strengthened its case for an at-large playoff bid.

That wont matter much if the conference fails to win its first playoff game since the Clinton administration. For now, the MEAC will hope to continue its improvement as conference play begins.

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