Saturday, November 12, 2016

N.C. A&T Tries to Remain Undefeated In MEAC

No. 10/9 North Carolina A&T (8-1, 6-0 MEAC) at Delaware State (0-9, 0-6 MEAC)
 Nov. 12, 2016
Time: 2 p.m.
Facility: Alumni Stadium (7,193)
Series: Series is tied, 22-22-1
Radio: 1320 AM/93.7 FM WCOG; Play-by-play – Donal Ware, Analysts – Al Swann
*FCS media poll listed first/coaches’ poll listed next

LAST GAME’S OFFENSIVE STARTERS: WR Denzel Keyes (6-4, 215, Sr., 4 rec., 61 yards);   LT Brandon Parker (6-7, 299, R-Jr., 4x MEAC Offensive Lineman of the Week ); LG Joshua Mattocks (6-3, 332, R-Jr.); C Darriel Mack (6-2, 291, R-Jr.); RG Daquan Blake (6-3, 315, Jr.); RT Wes Cole (6-6, 335, Sr.); WR Michael Weaver, Jr. (5-7, 163, Sr.); RB Tarik Cohen (5-6, 179, Sr., scored first career TD vs. SCSU); QB Lamar Raynard (6-4, 176, R-So., threw two touchdown passes); FB Anthony McMinn II (6-1, 241, R-Sr.); TE Leroy Hill (6-3, 239, R-So.). 

LAST GAME’S DEFENSIVE STARTERS: DE Angelo Keyes (6-1, 270, R-Sr., 1PBU); DT Marquis Ragland (6-3, 277, R-Sr., 5 tackles vs. SCSU); NG Julian McKnight (6-3, 291, R-So.); DE Kenneth Melton (6-2, 220, R-Jr.); LB Deion Jones (5-11, 207, R-So., 7 tackles); LB Kiaundric Richardson (6-0, 207, So., 5 tackles, 1 sack); LB Jeremy Taylor (5-11, 181, R-Jr., led Aggies with 12 tackles); ROV Marcus Albert(5-10, 207, R-Jr.); CB  Zerius Lockhart (5-10, 175, R-Jr., 9 tackles); CB Marquis Willis (5-8, 153, R-So., 29-yard INT return for TD); FS Tyree Andrews (6-1, 194, R-Sr.).

The Game: N.C. A&T is set to play the first of two road games to finish the regular season. It starts with a game at Delaware State. No matter what happens on Saturday, the Aggies will get a chance to play for their third straight MEAC title the following week at N.C. Central. The only question that remains is whether N.C. A&T and N.C. Central, both 6-0 in the conference, will be playing for the outright title or another share after sharing the title the previous two seasons. A win by both teams on Saturday will mean the at NCCU on Nov. 19 will be for the outright title. But playing at Alumni Stadium has not been easy for N.C. A&T. The Aggies did win there in 2014, but prior to that win, the Aggies had lost five straight in Dover, Del., including 7 of 10.

In the last eight games at Alumni Stadium, the Hornets are averaging 27.8 points per game. The series has been so even, that the Aggies have scored 933 points and the Hornets have scored 909 points in the 45 games they have played against one another. Delaware State, however, has run into some rough times. The Hornets finished 6-5 in 2012. The Hornets are 8-35 since that time including losing 24 out of their last 25 games. In their last 32 games, the Hornets have surrendered 35.5 points per game including 40.7 points per game this season. The Aggies are coming off a big 30-20 win over S.C. State in which they overcame their second fourth-quarter deficit of the season. Two more wins and the Aggies will put together their first-ever back-to-back double-digit win seasons.

News & Notes
  • Cohen fumbled at the 1-yard line in the fourth quarter at N.C. Central on Nov. 22, 2014. Cohen hasn’t fumbled since. Cohen has now had 482 straight touches without a fumble.
  • N.C. A&T is after the school’s second undefeated season in the MEAC since joining the conference in 1971. The only other time the Aggies finished undefeated in the MEAC was in 1999. The Aggies had four undefeated seasons in the CIAA — 1950, 1958, 1959 and 1964. The Aggies are 18-2 in their last 20 conference games.
  • Quarterback Lamar Raynard completed 18 passes against S.C. State last Saturday. He is 35 completions shy of breaking Alan Hooker’s single-season completion record of 169.
  • Raynard has completed 64.6 percent of his passes this season. Raynard leads the MEAC in completion percentage and is 14th in the nation. He is also first in the MEAC in passing efficiency and 26th nationally with a 140.8 passer rating with 14 touchdown passes and six interceptions.
  • Freshman receiver Elijah Bell caught two touchdown passes against S.C. State, including the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter. He was rewarded with the most recent MEAC Rookie of the Week award from the conference.      
Opposing Point of View
“Everything worries me about A&T. It starts at the top. I am a huge fan of Rod Broadway. I think he is one of the best football coaches in the country at any level. He has had great success in every place that he has been because he clearly knows how to reestablish a program and build in to something that is very, very special. And you can see the excitement and the juice his program has. It jumps off the film at you. But we don’t look at their program as a worry, we look at it as an aspiration. We tell our players, look at what North Carolina Central does, look at A&T does, and those teams are in our league. Those things are obtainable. When you can model teams in your own league, you know you’re in the right league.”

Delaware State coach Kenny Carter on the Aggies program  


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