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Saturday's game capsules

Today's game Hampton at Florida A&M RECORDS: Hampton 5-4, 4-2 MEAC; Florida A&M 7-3, 3-3.

WHEN: 1 p.m.

WHERE: Bragg Stadium, Tallahassee, Fla.

RADIO: 88.1FM.


1. First-year Hampton coach Jerry Holmes faces his former boss, Joe Taylor, in his first season with the Rattlers after going 136-48-1 in 16 seasons as head coach of the Pirates.

2. Hampton has lost three straight games, starting with a 35-13 loss at South Carolina State on Oct. 25 that was, at the time, a showdown for first place in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

3. The Pirates' potent offense was held without a touchdown in last week's 17-6 loss to Bethune-Cookman, which piled up 211 rushing yards on 40 carries with its triple-option attack.

4. Hampton, averaging just 118 rushing yards per game this season, had just 94 on the ground last week, but could get a boost from the expected return of second-leading rusher Dennis Mathis, benched the past two weeks after missing practice.

THE BUZZ: Plenty of hoopla will surround the game, with Holmes and Taylor reuniting and ESPN's College GameDay broadcasting from the FAMU campus before kickoff. But the Pirates will have to find the passion they've been missing the past three weeks, when Holmes said some of his players told him they just weren't having fun anymore.

THE PICK: Florida A&M 27, Hampton 17.

— Melinda Waldrop

William and Mary at James Madison RECORDS: William and Mary 7-2, 5-1 CAA; James Madison 8-1, 6-0.

WHEN: 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: Bridgeforth Stadium, Harrisonburg.

RADIO: 1310AM, 92.3FM, 107.9FM


1. The Tribe, ranked 12th by The Sports Network and 15th in the FCS Coaches poll and guaranteed its first winning season in three years, can solidify itself as a Colonial Athletic Association title contender and buoy its playoffs hopes by beating JMU, No. 1 in both polls.

2. The Dukes lead the CAA with 36.9 points per game, while William and Mary's average point total of 35.2 is third in the conference. Defensively, JMU gives up just 16.6 points per game (second), while the Tribe allows opponents an average of 21.4 points (fifth).

3. Tribe junior wide receiver D.J. McAulay leads the CAA with 19.6 yards per catch but still is behind the school-record pace. Mike Tomlin, the coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, averaged 25.5 yards per catch in 1992 and 20.1 yards in his career from 1991-94.

4. William and Mary has won five straight games and seven of its past eight, while JMU hasn't lost since a 31-7 defeat at Duke in its Aug. 30 season opener. The Tribe last beat the Dukes, 27- 24, in 2004.

THE BUZZ: Tests don't come any bigger than this one for the Tribe. With a win today or in its regular-season finale at home Nov. 22 against Richmond, the Tribe will be well on its way to its first playoff appearance since its 2004 I-AA semifinal run — which ended with a 48-34 loss to JMU.

THE PICK: James Madison 34, William and Mary 28.

— Melinda Waldrop

Ferrum at Christopher Newport RECORDS: Ferrum 7-2, 5-1 USA South, CNU 7-1, 6-0.

WHEN: 1 p.m.

WHERE: Pomoco Stadium, Newport News.

RADIO: 99.1FM.


1. The Captains can win their first outright conference title in school history with a victory against Ferrum — and book themselves a playoff spot in the process.

2. CNU, ranked for the first time this season as's No. 23 team, is powered by junior running back Tunde Ogun, leading Division III with 181.6 yards per game.

3. The Captains have won seven straight games, matching the longest streak in the program's eight-year history. It's the third time CNU has won seven consecutive games.

4. CNU was picked to win the conference, while Ferrum was picked second. The Captains lead the Panthers 6-1 in the teams' all-time series, including a 34-23 win last season.

THE BUZZ: Teams don't get any more motivation than the Captains have today. An outright conference title, a postseason bid, the longest winning streak in school history — it's all on the line. CNU, which has both dominated opponents and pulled out close victories this season, should be able to ride Ogun to all three goals.

THE PICK: CNU 24, Ferrum 21.

— Melinda Waldrop

Southern Virginia at Apprentice School RECORDS: Southern Virginia 3-7; Apprentice School 1-7.

WHEN: 1 p.m.

WHERE: Apprentice Field, Newport News.

THE BUZZ: The Builders return home to close out the season with in-state rival Southern Virginia in the 59th Oyster Bowl. Both teams have shown the capabilities of a wide-open passing game, but the Knights have had a little more success running the ball than the Builders. The Builders will need to limit their turnovers, averaging more than four per game the past four, to keep a high-octane SVU offense off the field.

THE PICK: SVU 24, Apprentice 21.

— Staff

Today's game

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