Sports Samplings – 8/29 - UPDATED
The HBCU season begins tonight with several MEAC games on the horizon.
N.C. Central coach Trei Oliver makes his debut against Austin Peay at 8 p.m. It is the first meeting between the two. The game can be watched on ESPN+ or listened on NCCU Sports Network. The Tyrone Wheatley era begins when Morgan State travels to Bowling Green at 7 p.m. Game can be seen on ESPN3. Delaware State travels to intrastate rival University of Delaware at 7 p.m. Game streamed on FloSports. Florida A&M travels to No. 17 Central Florida at 7:30 p.m. Game on CBS Sports Network. Interestingly, the Rattlers won the only matchup, 19-14, in 1987.
New rules: There are four new rule changes for the season that officially began last week, but, if it’s not HBCUs, who cares, right?
- Targeting: targeting penalties have been strengthened for repeat offenders. Under the new rule, a player who is ejected for a third or more targeting foul anytime during the season will be ineligible for the next game.
- Wedge blocking on kickoffs: the two-man wedge is illegal and carry a 15-yard penalty. As in the past, the wedge is not illegal during an onside kick or when the play results in a touchback. The only change is that the two-man wedge is outlawed.
- Blindside blocks: It is now illegal to deliver a blindside block by attacking an opponent with forcible contact, no matter where the contact is made.
- Overtime: After the fourth overtime, each team will have only one play: a two-point conversion attempt from the 3-yard line.
All HBCUs went winless Thursday night, but the SWAC's Alabama State had a "moral victory" against Alabama Birmingham, losing 24-19. The weekend continues with plenty more games on the horizon.
In the MEAC:
Howard vs. Maryland, Aug. 31, noon, Big Ten Network
N.C. A&T vs. Elon, Aug. 31, 6 p.m., ESPN3
S.C. State vs. Wofford, Aug. 31, 6 p.m., ESPN3
Norfolk State vs. Old Dominion, 7 p.m., ESPN3
Bethune-Cookman vs. Jackson State, Sept. 1, 3 p.m., ESPN2