MEAC Game of the Week Bethune Cookman vs NC A&T

The third week of October continues with all 11 teams in action this weekend. Five conference games will take place in addition to a non-conference contest featuring Savannah State at Charleston Southern. The contest featuring Bethune-Cookman at North Carolina A&T State will be shown on national TV as ESPNU will show the contest at 10:30 p.m. Saturday night.

• The MEAC has picked up two FBS wins this season as North Carolina A&T State defeated Charlotte (Conference USA) on Sept. 16. Howard also picked up an FBS win as they defeated UNLV on Sept. 2. The wins mark the second straight year the conference has earned an FBS win. Last year’s North Carolina A&T State’s win over Kent State on Sept. 10, 2016 was the Aggies’ first FBS win in school history and the first MEAC FBS win since Bethune-Cookman defeated C-USA’s Florida International 14-12 in 2014.

• North Carolina A&T State is the only MEAC team with an undefeated overall record while North Carolina Central and Hampton are the only other MEAC teams that have a winning record. While its early, the Aggies will possibly have to deal with the pressure of chasing history as only two teams in NCAT history have finished undefeated (1927, 1943).

• Two teams (Delaware State, Savannah State) have yet to win a contest in 2017 as Morgan State came off the list last weekend with a homecoming win over Savannah State.

• Two teams (North Carolina A&T State, South Carolina State) feature defensive units ranked in the top 10 nationally. NCAT is No. 3 while South Carolina State ranks eighth. Hampton is bordering the top 10 as they rank 13th.

• The MEAC’s ESPN TV schedule shifts to Saturdays as North Carolina A&T State/Bethune-Cookman will be shown this weekend. The schedule picks back up at the end of the year with a pair of games (MEAC Wildcard/Florida Classic) on Nov. 18. The wildcard contest will be announced in early November.

• The MEAC is coming off a successful 2016 campaign as the league produced a pair of postseason participants in North Carolina A&T State and North Carolina Central. NCAT earned an at-large bid to the NCAA FCS Playoffs while NCCU was crowned league champion and participated in the second annual Celebration Bowl.

• North Carolina A&T State and North Carolina Central are the lone MEAC teams ranked amongst FCS teams. The Aggies are ranked No. 11 in the FCS Coaches poll and No. 12 in the STATS FCS poll. North Carolina Central is ranked No. 25 in the STATS FCS poll.

• North Carolina Central was picked to defend its MEAC Football Championship as the Eagles topped the league’s annual preseason poll. The Eagles have won three consecutive MEAC Championships as the 2016 title was their first outright title since returning to the MEAC. They have won 18 consecutive MEAC contests which is tied for the third-longest streak in MEAC history behind South Carolina State (21 / 2008-10) and Hampton (19 / 2004-06).

• Howard University quarterback Caylin Newton was selected as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Offensive Player and Rookie of the Week, the conference announced today. Howard linebacker Eli Anglin was named the Defensive Player of the Week while North Carolina Central’s Marley Conley received Offensive Lineman of the Week honors. Bethune-Cookman placekicker Uriel Hernandez was tabbed as the Specialist of the Week.

• The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced a partnership with the MEAC to reveal the league’s offensive and defensive players of the year as part of the festivities surrounding the 60th NFF Annual Awards Dinner Dec. 5 at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York City. This marks the second consecutive year the players will be honored in New York.

• At stake once again for the MEAC Champion is a postseason berth to the 3rd annual Celebration Bowl in Atlanta, Ga. on Dec. 16 at the brand new Mercedes Benz Stadium. North Carolina Central fell to Grambling State 10-9 in 2016. The all-time bowl series featuring the MEAC and SWAC Champions stands at 1-1.

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