Monday, October 17, 2016

North Carolina A&T Aggies Continue to Reap Benefits From Strong Start

GREENSBORO, North Carolina -- It was another good week for the North Carolina A&T football program. The Aggies improved to 5-1 overall and 3-0 in the MEAC with their 52-35 win over Bethune-Cookman in Daytona Beach, Fla. The win helped the Aggies move up in the national polls, remain No. 1 in the black college football polls and earn three more weekly honors.

N.C. A&T is No. 14 in the nation in both the FCS STATS Media and NCAA FCS Coaches’ polls this week. They moved up one spot in the media poll while they went up two spaces in the coaches’ poll. The Aggies went as high as 13th last season in the media poll, while their high in the coaches’ poll last season was 16th. N.C. A&T has been ranked 13 straight weeks in each poll.

The Aggies still hold the No. 1 spot in black college football and it is almost unanimous. For the fifth time in six weeks, the Aggies received all 30 first-place votes in the Sheridan Broadcasting Network Black College Football Poll. They have also received all 20 first-place votes in the BoxToRow Black College Football Poll in five out of six weeks. In the BTR media poll, the Aggies received 11 of 13 first-place votes to earn No. 1. The Aggies have been ranked in 34 straight SBN polls and 36 straight BTR polls.

The Aggies also garnered attention as individuals. For the third straight week senior Tarik Cohen (5-6, 179, Bunn, N.C.) was named the offensive player of the week in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. He also earned FCS STATS National Player of the Week honorable mention for the third straight week. Meanwhile, redshirt junior Brandon Parker (6-7, 299, Kannapolis N.C.) earned his third offensive lineman of the week honor from the conference this season.

Cohen’s third straight weekly honor coincides with Cohen’s third straight 200-plus yard rushing performance. Against the Wildcats on Saturday, Cohen rushed for 220 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries as runs of 87 and 54 helped him reach the total. Cohen is second in the nation in rushing (890) and third nationally in rushing touchdowns (10) and yards per carry (8.09). He is 79 yards short of reaching 5,000 rushing yards for his career.

Parker did not surrender a sack or have a penalty called on him, Saturday. He was credited with four pancake blocks, and he graded out at 93 percent in the film room. The Aggies produced a season-high 561 yards of offense. Parker was the MEAC Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2015.

N.C. A&T’s season continues 1 p.m., Saturday at Greene Stadium in Washington, D.C., as they take on Howard University for the 50th time in series history.


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