BETHUNE-COOKMAN: The Wildcats are No. 22 in FCS preseason poll and return quarterback Quentin Williams, who passed for a career-best 1,270 yards in 2013.
S.C. STATE: The Bulldogs’ formula hasn’t changed much: Play defense and run one of the league’s best rushing attacks. They’ll be in the mix late.
N.C. A&T: The Aggies are playing relevant football in coach Rod Broadway’s fourth season. Like S.C. State, A&T depends on defense and running to win.
Five to watch
Greg McGhee, Howard, QB, Sr. (6-3, 208): Preseason all-conference pick averaged 272.9 yards per game in total offense in 2013.
Lynden Trail, Norfolk State, DE, Sr. (6-7, 260): First-team FCS All-America is always around the ball, as his 94 tackles, eight sacks, five forced fumbles and two recovered last season suggest.
Adrian Wilkins, N.C. Central, KR, Jr. (5-8, 170): Scored five special teams touchdowns (three kickoffs, two punts) last year. Topped the MEAC in all-purpose yards with 123.5 per game.
Tarik Cohen, RB, N.C. A&T, Soph. (5-6, 172): Earned MEAC rookie of the year award after rushing for a league-best 1,148 yards and eight touchdowns on 195 carries.
Milton Williams, WR, Delaware State Sr, (6-3, 200): Tough and elusive target who averaged 5.3 receptions per game with five touchdowns.
Game you shouldn’t miss
Oct. 4, S.C. State vs. N.C. A&T (Atlanta Football Classic): The winner takes a huge step toward the MEAC title; the loser will be left scrambling for help.