HBCU Gameday SWAC Blogger Picks: Week Eight

Robert Harris Jr.


Grambling Statevs. Mississippi Valley State

Grambling Stateis coming off a second bye week and looks to continue their dominance in the SWAC. GSU leads the SWAC in scoring offense, defense, and pass offense. Mississippi ValleyState loss a tough against Alabama State last Saturday 56-24 as it had a tough time stopping the running attack, allowing 346 on the ground.

In this matchup the key will be running backs Jestin Kelly and Martez Carter against the struggling rushing defense of Mississippi State. MSVS rushing defense is ranked ninth, allowing 200 yards on the ground, and if they cannot stop this tandem it will be a long day for the Delta Devils.

PREDICTION: Grambling 60, Mississippi Valley 24

Prairie View A&M vs. Rice

Prairie View is coming back from a bye week and looks forward to a non-conference matchup with the Rice Owls. Rice looks to bounce back after a tough loss to UTSA 14-13. The key matchup in this game will how PVAMU defense compares with the Owls offense because the Panthers lead the SWAC in sacks (25) this season. Even though, the Owls haven’t won a game this season you still can’t count them out in this non-conference matchup.

PREDICTION: Rice 26, Prairie View 13

Arkansas Pine-Bluff vs. Southern

Arkansas-Pine Bluff continues to suffer another tough loss this past Saturday. UAPB lost their homecoming game against Alabama A&M 40-7. UAPB had a tough time stopping the running attack of AAMU’s Jordan Bentley as he rushed for 91 yards and a touchdown.
Southern, conversely, was victorious over Jackson State in Week Seven with a 28-24 win. Lenard Tillery continues to chase after the all-time SWAC rushing record he tallied up 127 yards on 29 attempts with two touchdowns. The key to this matchup will be Tillery against the Golden Lions rushing defense that is allowing 200 yards a game. Can they stop him from getting the record? The other matchup to look at is UAPB quarterback Brandon Duncan against that vicious Southern passing defense only allowing 184 yards per game. Duncandoes not make many mistakes only throwing one interception this season, but will he be able to make enough plays to pull off the upset? 

PREDICTION: Southern 49, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 16  

Jackson Statevs. TexasSouthern

These two teams lost last Saturday less than five points. Texas Southern had a chance to upset the two-time defending SWAC champions in Alcorn State, but a blocked punt by Alcorn changed the momentum of the game. Jackson State had a chance to beat Southern but could not the stop the running attack, which is funny because JSU still leads the SWAC in the rushing defense category (127).
The key to this matchup will be Averion Hurts against the defense of JSU. Can Hurts get started early with the connection with wide-out Austin Watts against the SWAC’s seventh-ranked passed defense? JSU is now on their third-string quarterback Jarin Morikawa who was solid against SU, completing 13-of-23 passes for a 136 yards and a touchdown. How will Morikawa look against Texas Southern defense? It is TxSO’s homecoming game and so they’ll be looking to give the crowd something to cheer about other than the band. 

PREDICTION: TexasSouthern 20, Jackson State 13
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