Friday, September 22, 2017

HBCU Football Judgment Day Schedule - Week 4


Tennessee State at UT Martin, 5 PM, ESPN3

Grambling State at Mississippi Valley State, 7 PM
Texas Southern at Alabama A&M, 7 PM
Southern at Alcorn State, 7 PM
Arkansas Pine Bluff at Jackson State, 7 PM
Prairie View A&M at Alabama State, 8 PM

North Carolina Central 33. South Carolina State 28, (9/21/17)
Bethune-Cookman at Howard, 1 PM
Monmouth at Hampton, 2 PM
Norfolk State at Delaware State, 2 PM
Florida A&M at Savannah State, 6 PM
North Carolina A&T at Morgan State, 7 PM

Tuskegee at Findley (OH), 1 PM
Albany State at West Georgia, 2 PM
Benedict at Fort Valley State, 2 PM
Clark Atlanta at Lane, 2 PM
Central State (OH) vs. Kentucky State, Circle City Classic, Indianapolis, IN, 3 PM
Saint Augustine's at Lincoln (PA), 5 PM
Morehouse at Miles, 6 PM

West Virginia State at Shepherd (WV), 12 Noon
Faith at Virginia-Lynchburg, 12 Noon
Cheyney at Bloomsburg, 2 PM
Bacone at Langston, 3 PM
Truman State at Lincoln (MO), 3 PM
Texas College at Wayland Baptist, 3 PM
Cumberlands at Edward Waters, 4:30 PM

Fort Valley State at Virginia Union, 1 PM
Johnson C. Smith at Elizabeth City State, 1 PM
Shaw at Bowie State, 6 PM
Winston-Salem State at Virginia State, 6 PM
Livingstone at Chowan, 6 PM


Fourth-Quarter Rally Lifts NCCU Football Over SC State

DURHAM, North Carolina -- North Carolina Central University overcame a 14-point, first-half deficit and scored the only two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to earn a 33-28 victory over MEAC foe South Carolina State University during a nationally-televised ESPNU contest on Thursday night at O'Kelly-Riddick Stadium.

A swarming NCCU defense registered 12 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, including three sacks, while holding the Bulldogs to only 80 yards of total offense in the second half. Junior safety Alden McClellon paced the Eagles with 3.0 stops for a loss with a sack and eight total takedowns. Senior linebacker Reggie Hunter collected a team-best nine tackles with 2.5 hits for a loss and a pass break-up, while fellow linebacker Kenneth O'Neal added eight tackles with 2.0 stops for a loss.

The NCCU defense even contributed in the scoring column, as junior safety Davanta Reynolds halted a S.C. State drive when he returned a fumble 85 yards for a touchdown.

Offensively, NCCU (2-1, 1-0 MEAC) was led by freshman quarterback Chauncey Caldwell with a game-high 91 yards rushing and two passing touchdowns. Caldwell's first pass attempt of the night found senior wide receiver Jordan Fieulleteau in the end zone for a 27-yard score. The Durham, North Carolina native capped the evening with the game-winning 38-yard pass to junior tight end Josh McCoy with 5:24 left in the contest.

Caldwell's heroics may not have been possible if not for sophomore quarterback Naiil Ramadan, who entered the game during a critical drive in the fourth quarter when Caldwell was temporarily sidelined. Ramadan scrambled to his right and fired a strike to senior receiver Jacen Murphy for a 20-yard touchdown.

And while Ramadan proved he's a clutch performer, the right foot of junior kicker Aedan Johnson also proved worthy of the tag. Johnson nailed field goals of 35 and 41 yards to keep the Eagles close in the third quarter, and he converted all three extra-point kicks.

S.C. State (1-2, 0-1 MEAC) was charged by sophomore quarterback Dewann Ford with 223 yards and two touchdowns through the air and a team-high 29 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Linebacker Darius Leonard, the MEAC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, amassed a game-best 12 tackles for the Bulldogs.

The Eagles have now won 16 consecutive conference games and 10 straight at home.

After opening the season with three outings in Durham, NCCU will leave the Bull City for the first time next week to play Florida A&M in a second straight Thursday night ESPNU game on Sept. 28 at 7:30 p.m.



Thursday, September 21, 2017

North Carolina A&T Aggies Go After First 4-0 Start In 24 Years

*No. 15/No. 21 North Carolina A&T (3-0, 0-0 MEAC) vs. Morgan State (0-3, 0-0 MEAC)
*FCS Coaches Poll/STATS Media Poll
Date: Sept. 23, 2017
Time: 7 p.m.
Facility: Hughes Stadium (10,000)
Series: MSU leads, 43-37-3
Radio: 1320 AM/93.7 FM WCOG; Play-by-play – Donal Ware, Analysts – Al Swann

OFFENSIVE STARTERS FROM LAST GAME: WR Elijah Bell (6-2, 221, So., Leads the nation in receiving TDs); LT Brandon Parker (6-7, 309, R-Sr., three-time reigning O-Lineman of the week in the MEAC); LG Joshua Mattocks (6-3, 331, R-Sr., entering his fourth season as a starter); C Darriel Mack (6-2, 293, R-Sr., held his own against the FBS Charlotte 49ers); RG Daquan Blake (6-1, 290, Jr., Third-team All-MEAC); RT Marcus Pettiford (6-3, 274, R-So., Returns after one-year layoff); WR Khris Gardin (5-7, 185, Sr., did not have a punt return last week); TE Leroy Hill (6-3, 249, R-Jr., All-MEAC tight end); QB Lamar Raynard (6-4, 200, R-Jr., had his third straight game over 200 yards passing); RB Marquell Cartwright (5-8, 201, R-Jr., scored twice against the 49ers); RB Jamari Smith (5-10, 203, Gr., led the Aggies with four receptions).

DEFENSIVE STARTERS FROM LAST GAME: DE Sam Blue (6-1, 247, R-Jr., second on the team in tackles loss (4));  NG Kadarius Kendrick (6-4, 277, R-So., has filled in nicely at the nose guard position); DT Justin Cate DE s (6-2, 275, Jr., had a career game at Charlotte, 3 sacks, 7 tackles and earned national acclaim); DE Darryl Johnson (6-5, 226, R-So., leads the team in TFL’s (4.5)); LB Julius Reynolds (5-9, 226, R-Jr., recorded seven tackles on Sat.); LB Kiaundric Richardson (6-0, 214, R-Jr., returned as a starter on Sat.); LB Marcus Albert (5-10, 205, R-Sr., led the Aggies with nine tackles, 1.5 for loss); ROV Jeremy Taylor (5-11, 190, R-Sr., had another solid game, seven tackles); CB Mac McCain (5-11, 174, R-Fr., pick-6 game-winner, enough said); FS Tard McCoy (5-9, 191, R-Sr., had seven tackles in the start); CB Timadre Abram (5-10, 168, R-Jr., Posted five tackles vs. Charlotte).

The Game: The quest to reach Atlanta starts in Baltimore on Saturday for North Carolina A&T as they face Morgan State in each team’s Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference opener. The Aggies are 33-15 in conference play under head coach Rod Broadway. They are 20-4 in conference play over the past three seasons with three of those losses coming to North Carolina Central and the other coming to South Carolina State. Morgan State enters the game without a point scored this season. The Bears’ competition has been difficult, however. The Bears have faced FBS school Rutgers, FCS nationally-ranked foe Albany and crosstown FCS rival Towson to open the season. Where they have lacked in offense, they have excelled in defense. The Bears are fourth in the MEAC in total defense and first in pass defense.

The Aggies are coming off another big win in the Broadway era. During Broadway’s tenure, the Aggies defeated Appalachian State who was in transition to FBS play in 2013. Last season, they defeated FBS institution Kent State in Kent, Ohio. Charlotte became the latest FBS to fall to N.C. A&T on Saturday as the Aggies used a pick-6 from redshirt freshman Mac McCain to down the 49ers 35-31. The Aggies continued to throw the ball well. Redshirt junior quarterback Lamar Raynard was 16-for-26 for 259 yards and a touchdown. Raynard has completed 72.2 percent of his passes on the season and ranks fifth in the nation in completion percentage. He has at least connected with seven different receivers in all three games. The defensive superstars last week were McCain and his two INTs that both led to touchdowns, and Justin Cates he posted three sacks.

News & Notes
  • The Aggies are 3-0 for the first time since 2013, they are looking for their first 4-0 start since 1993. Neither season resulted in a MEAC title as the Aggies finished 7-4 in 2013 and 8-3 in 1993.
  • A&T is off to a 3-0 start for the 20th time in the 94 seasons of Aggies football. The program is seeking its 15th 4-0 start.
  • Redshirt junior quarterback Lamar Raynard has not thrown an interception in his last 118 throws. The Aggies are only one of 16 FCS programs not throw an interception this season.
  • The last interception Raynard occurred on Oct. 29, 2016 against Florida A&M. Raynard leads the MEAC in passing yards per game (280.7) and completion percentage (.722).
  • The Aggies are only one of 18 teams on the FCS level who are undefeated. N.C. A&T and Tennessee State are the only two undefeated FCS HBCU’s in the nation.
 Opposing Point of View

 “It makes a difference in people’s mind when you’ don’t score points. I am aware of that, I accept that. We’re going to go back to the drawing board and try to figure that out. But we get a fresh start this week. Heading into the MEAC is always exciting, we’re going to be competitive to the best of our ability in every single MEAC game. But at the same time, I don’t know North Carolina A&T is any different than the three teams (Towson, Albany, Rutgers) we just played. They’re pretty doggone good. It’s a tough start in the MEAC, but we’re excited about it. We get a chance to play at home, and we think they give us an opportunity to try to get some things done. It will be a challenge for us. They have good players, they’re big, they’re strong, they’re physical and they play with an attitude.”


Southern still needs to test Austin Howard's injured knee; does not rule him out for Alcorn State game

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana -- Before Southern can determine the status of senior quarterback Austin Howard for Saturday’s game at Alcorn State, the mailman needs to make an appearance.

SU coach Dawson Odums said earlier this week that he hoped to have an answer on Howard’s status by Thursday — but as of Thursday afternoon, a custom brace for Howard’s injured knee had not arrived.

Without the brace, which was custom-made to fit Howard’s frame, Odums said he wouldn't test Howard’s knee.

“We haven’t been able to test him out. we haven’t been able to run him because you can’t do anything without the brace,” Odums said.

Howard did throw some passes at Thursday morning’s practice, but he was limited to upper-body work.

Odums did not rule him out for this weekend. The Jaguars (1-2) begin Southwestern Athletic Conference play against Alcorn (1-2) at 6 p.m. Saturday in Lorman, Mississippi.


Quintin Guice steps up for Grambling

GRAMBLING, Louisiana – There’s no rushing trust. It takes repetitions, performance and time.

Entering the 2017 football season, it was no secret plenty of fresh faces in the receiver group needed to show they could be relied on by Grambling State coaches and senior quarterback DeVante Kincade through reps at practice, but more importantly, stepping up in these early season games.

The receiving corps lost 81 percent of the receiving yard production off last season’s SWAC and HBCU national championship team, and welcomed back just three players that caught a pass from Kincade. Redshirt junior Devohn Lindsey, the leading Tigers pass catcher from a season ago, suffered an injury in the team’s season opener at Tulane and has missed the last two contests.

Through how he’s looked in practice, sophomore Quintin Guice slid into that starting role for the first time and has quickly caught the eye of his coaches and quarterback after a team-high performance of eight catches for 72 yards this past Saturday versus a good Jackson State defense.

“Guice is hungry,” GSU tight ends coach Darrell Kitchen said. “Every day he comes to practice ready to practice, and then Saturday was just the fruits of his labor. He’s been out there, he’s doing some things.”


Stuck in neutral, Jackson State offense hopes to break through against Pine Bluff

JACKSON, Mississippi -- Jackson State’s offense faced several huge questions going into the 2017 season. Among those: Who would play quarterback? Who will step up at receiver? Will the offensive line improve?

More than a quarter of the way into the season, we have some (partial) answers — Brent Lyles, everyone and not yet.

Lyles has been serviceable. He’s completed 52 of his 85 passes for 444 yards and one touchdown. His 104.2 pass efficiency rating is fifth among SWAC quarterbacks, but more importantly, he’s only throwing one interception per 42.5 attempts.

Jackson State players are not being made available for media interviews, so we can’t get Lyles’ take on what’s working — and what’s not — in the Tigers offense. Nor his receivers, for that matter. Nor his offensive line. That leaves it up to our own analysis — with help from Hughes.

First, the numbers.

JSU ranks 113th out of 123 FCS schools in total offense after three games. It is gaining an average of 208 yards of total offense. It ranks 99th in passing, 114th in rushing and the Tigers are tied for 106th in scoring with three offensive touchdowns in as many games.


Gold Nuggets sweep GCAC awards for 3rd time this year

NEW ORLEANS — This is getting to be a habit for the Xavier University of Louisiana volleyball program.

After sweeping the three Gulf Coast Athletic Conference weekly awards only once in the past two seasons, the Gold Nuggets have stepped up their production in 2017, earning a sweep for the second straight week and the third time in four weeks.

XULA's honorees for Sept. 11-17 are Vivica Price-Spraggins, Attacker of the Week; Tiffany Phillips, Setter of the Week; and Anna Dalla Vecchia, Defender of the Week. Price-Spraggins won for the first time in her career. Phillips and Dalla Vecchia were honored for the second straight week and the third time this season, and Phillips won for the ninth time in her career to extend her XULA record.

Price-Spraggins, a freshman middle blocker/right-side hitter from Chicago and a graduate of Whitney Young Magnet High School, did not commit an attack error in GCAC home victories against Edward Waters and Talladega. She hit .467 for the week with 14 kills in 30 attacks. Against Talladega she became the first XULA player since Moira Kirk in 2013 to hit .400 or better in five straight matches with at least 10 attacks in each match.

Phillips, a sophomore from Gardena, Calif., and a graduate of Bishop Montgomery High School, had a team-best 41 assists — 25 against Edward Waters — and eight digs.

Dalla Vecchia, a freshman from Vicenza, Italy, had 25 digs and successfully passed 40 service receptions without an error. She also produced three aces and seven assists. Dalla Vecchia has yet to commit a reception error in her college career.

XULA (9-1 overall, 3-0 GCAC) won 25-20, 25-22, 21-25, 25-16 Tuesday at William Carey and will put an eight-match win streak on the line Thursday in a 6 p.m. GCAC match at SUNO. The Gold Nuggets, the six-time defending GCAC regular-season and tournament champion, are the only unbeaten team in GCAC matches.

Ed Cassiere, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications