Saturday, November 5, 2016

North Carolina A&T Aggies Face S.C. State On Senior Day

S.C. State (3-4, 3-1 MEAC) at *No. 11/10 North Carolina A&T (7-1, 5-0 MEAC)
 Nov. 5, 2016
Time: 1 p.m.
Facility: Aggie Stadium (21,500)
Series: SCSU leads, 32-19-3
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., led the team with 5 rec.);  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., had another 3-touchdown game); QB Lamar Raynard (6-4, 176, R-So., completed 20 of 27 passes for 230yds and a TD); WR Khris Gardin (5-7, 158, Jr.); WR Elijah Bell (6-2, 210, Fr., 25 TD rec.). 

LAST GAME’S DEFENSIVE STARTERS: DE Angelo Keyes (6-1, 270, R-Sr., 1TFL); DT Marquis Ragland (6-3, 277, R-Sr., 3 unassisted tackles); NG Julian McKnight (6-3, 291, R-So.); DE Kenneth Melton (6-2, 220, R-Jr., 1TFL); LB Deion Jones (5-11, 207, R-So.); LB Kiaundric Richardson (6-0, 207, So., all 3 tackles went for loss); LB Jeremy Taylor (5-11, 181, R-Jr., 5 unassisted tackles); ROV Marcus Albert (5-10, 207, R-Jr., led the Aggies with six tackles); CB  Zerius Lockhart (5-10, 175, R-Jr.); CB Timadre Abram (5-10, 164, R-So.); FS Tyree Andrews (6-1, 194, R-Sr., secured career-high six tackles).

The Game: N.C. A&T will play their home finale on Saturday as they welcome one of the conference’s best teams in South Carolina State. In fact, the Aggies play two of the top-three teams in the conference over the past three weeks of the season. The Bulldogs have dominated the series lately. Under head coach Buddy Pough, the Bulldogs are 13-2 against the Aggies. The only two losses Pough has endured to N.C. A&T came during the six-year Rod Broadway era at N.C. A&T. Even superstar running back Tarik Cohen has struggled against the Bulldogs, averaging 56.3 yards in three games against the Bulldogs, while averaging 141.5 yards against the rest of the league in 25 games played. He is also averaging 3.3 yards per carry against S.C. State.

The Aggies are coming off a 42-17 homecoming win over Florida A&M. The Aggies held their fifth straight opponent to under 100 yards rushing in winning its fifth straight game. Before the game the Aggies will honor 16 seniors including all-time great Cohen, all-time touchdown receptions leader Denzel Keyes, record-breaking kicker Cody Jones and All-MEAC defensive linemen Angelo Keyes and Marquis Ragland. The Bulldogs last trip to Aggie Stadium resulted in a 17-7 loss to the Aggies. The Bulldogs are coming off a 28-26 loss to Hampton, therefore, they need a win over N.C. A&T to remain in the MEAC title race. The Bulldogs played three FBS schools in the non-conference, but since playing conference games only, they are ranked No. 1 in scoring defense against MEAC foes. 

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 460 straight touches without a fumble.  
  • Defensive end Angelo Keyes has 14 pass break ups in his career. That is more career pass break ups than any defensive back on the Aggies roster.  
  • S.C. State coach Buddy Pough is the longest tenured coach in the MEAC. He is followed by Aggies coach Rod Broadway and Howard coach Gary Harrell who have each been at their respective institution for six seasons.
  • Tarik Cohen has won MEAC Offensive Player of the Week five weeks in a row. He has won a weekly honor from the conference in 15 of the 42 weeks he has played in his career.
  • N.C. A&T is the unanimous No. 1 black college football team in two polls. In eight of the nine polls the Sheridan Broadcast Network has released this season, the Aggies have garnered all 30 first-place votes. The Aggies also secured all the first-place votes in the BoxToRow Black College Football poll. Nationally, the Aggies reached the top-10 in the NCAA FCS Coaches’ poll.     
Opposing Point of View

“They’ve now started to, I believe, settle in at the quarterback position. They kind of went back and forth for a while between (Lamar Raynard) and (Oluwafemi) Bamiro. Both guys are big, strapping, tall kind of guys, but I think the young guy has kind of taken over. You can see they’ve settled in with his style of attack. I think with him settled in there, they have the entire package now. They’ve got tight ends. Their wide receivers are exceptionally good football players, so they look like a big-time college football program. I’ve got to do all I can to make sure we are prepared for A&T come this weekend.”

S.C. State coach Buddy Pough on the Aggies quarterback situation


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