Love them or hate them (like most people), the New England Patriots just completed one of the best comebacks ever on Sunday night in Super Bowl LI. The Pats defeated the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 after trailing 28-3 in the third quarter.
Now that football is officially over until the second half of the year, we figured it was a good time to take a look back at the best comebacks in HBCU football during the 2016 season.
4. Virginia Union recovers from Bowie State Skunk attempt
Fresh off a comeback win of their own against Virginia State, Bowie State took a 21-0 lead over Virginia Union in the first quarter of their game. VUU would get a boost from running back William Stanback (194 yards, 3 TDs) and Shawheem Dowdy (284 yards, 3 TDs) to come up with a 42-35 win, handing BSU its only CIAA North division loss in 2016.
3. Clark Atlanta outlasts Morehouse for AUC supremacy
Few, if any, rivalries in college football are as close as Clark Atlanta and Morehouse. For all intents and purposes, they are on the same college campus.
Morehouse looked like it was about to roll to another win over its rival early on, taking a 15-0 lead at halftime and stretching it to as much as 22 points with a Monquavious Johnson touchdown run to take a 29-7 advantage with nine minutes left in the third. They led 36-14 with just under two minutes to go, but that would be the last time they would score.
CAU reeled off 23-consecutive points to win the game on a Carlos Saldana 35-yard field goal as time expired, earning bragging rights for a year.
2. Bowie State bull dogs Virginia State
The matchup between the two previous CIAA North division winners was a game that many had circled on their calendar early in the year and it did not disappoint. Virginia State stretched a 24-20 halftime lead into a 17 point one in the third quarter with back-to-back touchdown drives thanks to consecutive touchdown passes from Tarian Ayers to make it 37-20 in favor of his team. BSU would put together three touchdown drives in the final 23 minutes of the game, including a touchdown run and pass by eventual CIAA Player of The Year Amir Hall to notch a 38-37 win.
BSU would take sole possession of first place in the division and represent it in the CIAA Championship Game.
1. Grambling dethrones Alcorn in Houston
When Grambling arrived in Houston with a 9-1 record, fresh off a big Bayou Classic win over rival Southern, most figured it was a formality that they would easily take the title and represent the SWAC in the Celebration Bowl. But Alcorn State, the defending SWAC Champion, had other ideas. They came in the game with a 5-5 record and as heavy underdogs, but went in at halftime up 17-0 against Grambling.
That would be the apex of Alcorn’s success in Houston that day, however, as Grambling would outscore their Mississippi rivals 23-3 in the second half to win the game on a miraculous 31-yard run by Martez Carter. The win gave Grambling its first SWAC title since 2011 and punched its ticket to the Celebration Bowl, which it won to claim the Black College Football national title.