The MEAC's schedule of football games in Week 3 of the 2021 regular season.
NORFOLK, Va., Sept. 16, 2021 – The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s (MEAC) six football-playing institutions are on a mission: put last weekend’s losses behind them, regroup and be victorious this Saturday. One coach has offered up his remedy for making that happen.
Tyrone Wheatly, head coach of the Morgan State Bears, said, “The one thing about football, and any sport in particular, it’s your resolve. You’re going to have some ups and downs. It’s a battle of attrition, but at the end of the day, you’re going to have to come out standing. Those who do exactly as the game plan is taught, those who follow the game plan and the techniques in their training and let things become muscle memory instead of thought, those are the ones who come out on top.”
Here’s a glimpse at the games on tap for Saturday, Sept. 18:
Delaware State Hornets (1-1, 0-0 MEAC) vs. East Tennessee State Bucs (2-0, 0-0 SoCon)
Saturday, Sept. 18 ● William B. Greene Jr. Stadium ● Johnson City, Tenn. ● 7:30 p.m.
TV: ESPN+ - Live Stats
Delaware State will be looking to get back on track after suffering its first loss of the season last Saturday, a 20-14 defeat at home to Georgetown in overtime. This week, the undefeated East Tennessee State Bucs are up next on the Hornets’ schedule and head coach Rod Milstead says his team is looking forward to that contest rather than looking back at Georgetown.
“We can’t dwell on the loss (to Georgetown),” Milstead said, “you learn from it, but you can’t dwell on it. They (ETSU Bucs) create chaos all the time. It’s going to be a big, physical matchup for us. I’m excited about having the opportunity. It’s going to be a game that we have to play four quarters. We have to play four quarters against this team.”
Howard Bison (0-2, 0-0 MEAC) vs. Hampton Pirates (1-1, 0-0 Big South)
Saturday, Sept. 18 ● Audi Field ● Washington, D.C. ● 12 noon
TV: NBCSN ● Live Stats
The Howard Bison are eager to put the last two weeks behind them and focus on trying to get in the win column against none other than their most hated rival, the Hampton Pirates. The two teams will meet in the Truth and Service Classic, a contest which is traditionally monikered “The Battle of the Real HU.” Hampton will come into the contest 1-1 on the season after losing at Old Dominion this past week. Howard head coach Larry Scott said, “What we need to keep them focused and zeroed in on is controlling the controllables, controlling the things that we control toward continuing to get better as a football team – offensively, defensively and special teams-wise.
We still need to make everything about the process and not necessarily the opponent. There’s no doubt they know who they’re playing, and they know the importance of this game. It’ll be super exciting to play at Audi Field, right here in D.C. It’ll be a heck of an environment that they’ll be walking into, but we’ve got to keep them focused on what we’ve got to get done over the course of the week to get better.”
Morgan State Bears (0-2, 0-0 MEAC) vs. Sacred Heart Pioneers (1-1, 0-0 NEC)
Saturday, Sept. 18 ● Campus Field ● Fairfield, Conn. ● 1 p.m.
TV: NEC Front Row ● Live Stats
For the Bears to get on track and secure their first victory on Saturday afternoon at Sacred Heart, the team will simply have to take advantage of the opportunities which are presented to them, particularly against one of top defenses in all of FCS football.
“We’re going into a stingy defense,” head coach Tyrone Wheatley said. “Right now, I think they’re ranked sixth overall in FCS football. It’s a great opportunity. Here’s a great opportunity to go out and show that if we just do what we’re supposed to do, no matter who we line up against, we’re going to be a good team.”
Norfolk State Spartans (0-2, 0-0 MEAC) vs. Elizabeth City State Vikings (0-2, 0-0 CIAA)
Saturday, Sept 18 ● William “Dick” Price Stadium ● Norfolk, Va. ● 6 p.m.
TV: MEAC Digital Network on ESPN+ ● Live Stats
After a pair of tough road losses to Toledo and Wake Forest, the Spartans finally get a chance to showcase their skills before a home crowd at William “Dick” Price Stadium when they host Elizabeth City State on Saturday. For new head coach Dawson Odums, it’ll also be his home debut – and he’s excited about it.
"We’ve got a 30,000-seat stadium for a reason and we haven’t played football in a while,” Odums said. “Hopefully, our fans will come out and support this football team. I think it’s going to be a great day for football. This is a really good football team and now we finally get a chance to come home and showcase to our fans how much better we’ve gotten over the two weeks.”
North Carolina Central (1-1, 0-0 MEAC) vs. Winston-Salem State Rams (0-1, 0-0 CIAA)
Saturday, Sept. 18 ● O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium ● Durham, N.C. ● 6 p.m.
TV: MEAC Digital Network on ESPN+● Live Stats
NCCU head coach Trey Oliver is hopeful last weekend’s setback to Marshall was merely a set-up for a comeback this Saturday against an in-state foe that the Eagles haven’t faced in nearly a decade – the Winston-Salem State Rams. He likens this match-up to an old-fashioned dogfight. “Winston-Salem is a really good football team that’s been successful over the past several years,” Oliver said.
“I know they’re going to be excited to come in and play us. We’re going to have to bring our A-game because they’re a very good football team. We’re going to set that thermostat on 70, like they say. We’re not going to get too high and we’re not going to get too low. We’ve got to come prepared and be ready for a dogfight because I know Coach (Robert) Massey and his staff over there will have their team prepared.”
South Carolina State Bulldogs (0-2, 0-0 MEAC) vs. New Mexico State Aggies (0-3, Indep.)
Saturday, Sept. 18 ● Aggie Memorial Stadium ● Las Cruces, N.M. ● 8 p.m.
TV: FloFootball / BSAZ Network ● Live Stats
In Saturday’s matchup between South Carolina State and New Mexico State, something’s got to give. Both teams are still searching for their initial win of the season, the Bulldogs sitting at 0-2 and the Aggies sitting at 0-3. According to S.C. State head coach Buddy Pough, opportunity knocks for both squads. “We’ve got to figure out how to turn the tides on them a little bit,” Pough said.
“We’ve got our work cut out for us. It’ll be an even game, at least I hope it will be an even game at best, and when that happens, who says what’s going to make the difference in a situation like that? So, you need to be prepared because you might run into that opportunity and the worst thing you possibly could have is to have your shot and you’re not ready to take advantage of it.”