Aggies Seek Their First ESPNU Win
Howard (1-2) at North Carolina A&T (2-0)
Date: September 26, 2013
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Facility: Aggie Stadium
Series: A&T leads 24-19
Radio: WNAA 90.1 FM, Campus Radio Station: Spencer Gwynn (play-by-play); Billy Covington (color); Al Swann (analysis)
TV: ESPNU: Mark Neely (play-by-play); Jay Walker (analysis)
A&T OFFENSIVE PLAYERS TO WATCH: RB Dominique Drake (5-9, 202, Sr., 177 yds rushing, 47 att., 4 rec., 36 yds); RT Nathan Isles (6-5, 324, Sr., will clear the way in the running game); QB Lewis Kindle (6-1, 205, R-Sr., 20-for-38, 1 TD); WR Desmond Lawrence (5-10, 181, Jr., 15 rec., 191 yds 1TD); RB Ricky Lewis (5-9, 187, Sr., 5.8 yds per carry); LT William Ray Robinson III (6-3, 305, R-Jr., MEAC Offensive Lineman of the Week (9/16-9/22); sack).
HOWARD OFFENSIVE PLAYERS TO WATCH: WR Brandon Flanagan (5-7, 165, R-Sr., 15 rec., 142 yds); C Joshua Matthews (6-4, 330, Sr., leader on the Bison’s offensive line); QB Greg McGhee (6-3, 208, Jr., 59-for-85 4INTs, 4TDs, 639 yds passing, 163 yds rushing, 34 att.); RB William Parker (41 att., 227 yds, 1 TD, 5.5 ypc); WR Rodney Tyson (5-9, 175, Jr., 7 rec., 93 yds, 1 TD, 13.3 ypr).
A&T DEFENSIVE PLAYERS TO WATCH: DB Travis Crosby (5-9, 189, Sr., leads the team with 19 tackles) CB D’Vonte Graham (5-7, 157, Sr., preseason All-MEAC, preseason All-American); LB D’Vonte Grant (5-10, 208, Sr., 14 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 INT returned for TD, 1 BLK); DE Daniel Pinnix (6-1, 240, So., 11 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 3.0 sacks, 2 QB Hurries).
HOWARD DEFENSIVE PLAYERS TO WATCH: FS Cameron Alston (6-0, 190, R-Jr., 30 tackles, leads the team); DL Damon Gresham-Chisolm (6-3, 250, So., preseason All-MEAC, 13 tackles, 4 TFLs, 1.5 sacks); RCB Ademola Olatunji (2 INTs, 5 PBUs); SLB Tabrian Resby (6-0, 230, Sr., 29 tackles, 4 TFLs, 2.0 sacks, 2 QB Hurries).
Aggies Overview: The Aggies are going to play on ESPNU for the seventh time in their history when they face Howard University Thursday night at 7:30 p.m., from Aggie Stadium. The Aggies have never won on the network, losing the previous six matchups by an average of 38 points. The Aggies are seeking more than just their first win on ESPNU, they’re looking for their first conference win of the season. The Aggies and Bison will be playing in the first conference matchup of the 2013 season. A&T is hoping to the combination of quarterback Lewis Kindle and wide receiver Desmond Lawrence will continue to be productive. Kindle targeted Lawrence 12 times in the Aggies’ 23-10 win over Elon on Sept. 14. Lawrence responded with 10 receptions for 148 yards. The Aggies defense, more specifically, their rush defense continues to be the cornerstone of the team. The Aggies have not given up 100 yards rushing since Oct. 13, 2012, a 38-10 win over the Howard Bison. It is a streak of seven straight games. The Aggies also have not given up a rushing touchdown in the last 26 quarters.
Howard Overview: Howard will be without one of the best defensive players in the MEAC in Julien David. The preseason All-MEAC will be out, but the Bison still has some stellar defensive players. Damon Gresham-Chisolm is one of the best defensive ends in the conference. The preseason All-MEAC performer has 13 tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. Cornerback Ademola Oltaunji already has two interceptions and five passes defended on the season. The Howard offense begins and ends with quarterback Gregg McGhee. McGhee is a dual threat with his arm and his legs. In two previous games versus A&T, McGhee is 39-for-71 for 476 yards and three touchdowns. This season, McGhee has completed 69 percent of his passes and thrown for 639 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions. He also has 163 yards rushing on 34 carries. William Parker leads the rushing attack, averaging 5.5 yards per carry.
Potential Star: The quarterback matchup between Lewis Kindle and Greg McGhee is an intriguing one. Both men came into their respective programs with the expectation of being the key piece to turn around previous misfortunes. Both have run into road blocks along the way. Thursday’s winner could easily be determined by the man who wins the quarterback battle between Kindle and McGhee.
News & Notes:
The Aggies will hit the road for Atlanta next week as they prepare to face the S.C. State Bulldogs in the Atlanta Football Classic in the Georgia Dome. The Aggies snapped an 11-game losing streak to the Bulldogs last season with their 17-7 win at Aggie Stadium. The Bulldogs have retooled under head coach Buddy Pough. Pough has had tremendous success against the Aggies, posting a 10-1 record against the border foes. This will mark the 12th time the two schools have played on neutral ground with the Bulldogs winning eight of those previous 11 match-ups.
The Aggies’ 2-0 start marks the 39th time in school history the Aggies have started 2-0. The Aggies have finished with a winning record 28 out of the 39 times they have started 2-0. The Aggies only won one CIAA Championship in their history after starting 2-0. Five of their previous six MEAC titles came after 2-0 starts with the only exception being the 1975 championship they shared with S.C. State. The Aggies are a combined 217-97-10 in season’s where they start 2-0.
From the Coach
“I don’t get caught up in all that. My job is to get our football team ready to play a football game. If I can do that, everything else handles itself. One of the things I try to focus on and I try to get our kids to focus on is the things you can control. I know our people are excited about playing on TV, and I know there has been a lot of excitement around here the last two weeks, and I hope our people come out in droves to support their football team. But we can’t let our guys get caught up on TV being here.”
A&T head football coach Rod Broadway on the Aggies nationally-televised game