Saturday, September 3, 2016

JCSU Football to Open 2016 Slate at Wingate

JCSU Game Notes

WGNC AM Audio Link

ESPN3 Link
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina – The Johnson C. Smith University football team will start 2016 with a matchup against local rival Wingate for the second straight season on Saturday, Sept. 3. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at Wingate's Irwin Belk Stadium.

JCSU is coming off a 4-6 season in 2015 that started with a 14-0 home loss to the Bulldogs in Charlotte. Looking to garner the first Golden Bulls win over Wingate, JCSU will be led offensively by a pair of 2015 CIAA All-Rookie selections in quarterback Jordan Lane (Charlotte, N.C.) and running back Desean Binyard (Winston-Salem, N.C.). The sophomore duo will look to improve on last season's offensive output, which ranked 11th in the league in scoring at 17.0 points per game. Joining Binyard and Lane are returning receivers Roderick Carter (Miami, Fla.) and Eugene Holmes (Columbia, S.C.). Carter hauled in 31 receptions for 366 yards and scored four touchdowns last season while Holmes caught 14 passes for 201 yards and a score. Newcomer Gabriel Yuille (Baltimore, Md.) will also add depth to the JCSU receiving corps as will sophomore Deion Caldwell (Orlando, Fla.).

Defensively, JCSU returns seven starts that topped the league in takeaways a season ago. The defense also led the CIAA in defensive scoring. JCSU returns a stout defensive group headlined by junior Carlo Thomas (East Orange, N.J.) manning duties at safety. Last season, Thomas led all NCAA divisions in interceptions with 12 total picks on the season, including four against Fayetteville State. Thomas also finished with 55 tackles and had nine breakups. On the line, defensive tackle Jamaal Tutt (Atlanta, Ga.) and defensive endBrice Smith (Atlanta, Ga.) both return. Tutt registered 52 tackles a season ago including two sacks and an interception. Smith had 24 tackles, a sack and recovered two fumbles.

Daryl Napper (Winston-Salem, N.C.) and JeJuan McCalston (Covington, Ga.) return to man the corners, with each registering 33 and 25 tackles respectively, a season ago. Desmond Taylor (Picayune, Miss.) returns to help the JCSU defense at strong safety. Taylor registered 30 tackles, two breakups and recovered two fumbles last season.

Dating back to Oct. 17, JCSU has won three of their past four games with the lone loss coming in the season finale at rival Livingstone.

After starting 2015 with a 5-0 mark, Wingate struggled in the latter part of the season, losing four straight to finish with a 6-5 mark, 3-4 in SAC play. Ironically, Wingate has not won since Oct. 17.

Once again, JCSU football will be broadcast on WGNC 1450/100.7 in the Charlotte/Gastonia area. Dave Friedman will have the call for the eighth straight season.

In addition, this Saturday's game will be broadcast on ESPN3 and on the WatchESPN app with Ryan Brown on the call.


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