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NCCU game must-see in person

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best on Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 12:00:00 am

North Carolina Central only has five home games this season, and of those five (Elizabeth City State, Bethune-Cookman, Delaware State, Norfolk State and South Carolina State), only two are really worth attending. Tonight is one of those times.

NCCU and Bethune have developed quite a rivalry over the years. Three of the last four matchups have been decided by three points or less, but 2017 is the game Eagles fans will never forget.

Sixteen seconds were all that separated NCCU’s chances for a fourth straight conference championship. Quarterback Chaunecy Caldwell’s touchdown pass to Xavier McKoy with 16 seconds remaining gave the Eagles their first lead of the game. But a celebration penalty pushed them back 15 yards on the kickoff, giving the Wildcats good field position. On the final play of the game, B-CU QB Larry Brihm Jr. threw a 48-yard pass that was deflected, then caught by Keavon Mtchell in the end zone for the 13-10 win and eliminating NCCU’s chances at another title.

Then last season in Daytona Beach, the Wildcats scored a late TD in the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime, and eventually won in double OT 28-25. So, yeah, this is one of those games that’s better off being seen in person than on a TV set.

MEAC streams: Other MEAC games on ESPN3 on Saturday are Norfolk State at Howard at 1 p.m. Before the season, this was a can’t miss contest; now, it’s which coach will go first by the end of the season. Delaware State (1-4) at Morgan State (0-5) at 1 p.m. (YAWN!)

The best matchup of the weekend goes to Florida A&M at South Carolina State at 2 p.m. It also will be rebroadcast on ESPNU at 10:30 p.m. If the Rattlers (4-1, 2-0) weren’t barred from competing for a conference championship, they’d be tied for first place. So they have a chip on their shoulders. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs (3-1, 1-0) are definitely back under coach Buddy Pough. Bethune, N.C. A&T and SCSU are also undefeated in the conference. Should be a doozy in South Carolina.

Over in the SWAC, Prairie View A&M is at Southern at 7 p.m. EST on ESPN3.

 

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