NORTH CAROLINA A&T (0-0, 0-0) at COASTAL CAROLINA (0-0, 0-0)
Date: September 1, 2012
Time: 6 p.m.
Stadium: Brooks Stadium
Series: Coastal leads, 3-0
Radio: WNAA 90.1 FM; Campus Radio Station: Spencer Gwynn (play-by-play), Al Swann (color); Billy Covington (color), Mel Swann (halftime host).
CHIT CHATTER: North Carolina A&T is looking for its first win over a non-HBCU since beating Elon 19-17 on Sept. 25, 2004. The Aggies have lost their last seven games against non-HBCU's, including three straight losses to Coastal Carolina. The Aggies will also be looking for just their second road win in nine tries. Their last road win came against Morgan State on Oct. 1, 2011. A&T is making its second trip to Conway, S.C., in four years. Their last trip occurred on Sept. 26, 2009 during Mike Mayhew's freshman season. The rookie rushed for 84 yards on 11 carries in the 28-7 loss.
From the other coach:
Coastal Carolina head coach Joe Moglia on the Coastal offense
"Our Offense is coming along, not as much depth in offensive line. We've had inconsistency in regards to our specialists."
Moglia on A&T
"North Carolina A&T has an outstanding tailback and they put a big full back in front of him. At the end of the last football season, they really became a powerful team. They really have a lot of skilled athletes offensively and defensively."
It's A "Lock": Junior linebacker D'Vonte Grant still has a lot to prove. He is mainly out to prove that last season was no fluke. At first glance, Grant doesn't look like a big, bad scary linebacker. But once he is in his pads, he is as fearless as any linebacker in the FCS. Grant (5-11, 205, Charlotte, N.C.) led the Aggies in tackles and was considered one of the best newcomers in the FCS after being a finalist for the Jerry Rice award. No one will be surprised by his success this season after he earned a spot on the MEAC's defensive preseason team. Another solid season even though there will be more attention paid to him, will show despite his size, he can still be an effective linebacker.
Potential Gameday Star power: North Carolina A&T: Junior safety Travis Crosby lives around the football. He is accustomed to making big plays whether the ball is in the air or on the ground. He will play a big part in trying to slow down the Chanticleers offense. Coastal Carolina: Senior quarterback Aramis Hillary threw for 255 yards and three touchdowns in the Chanticleers 31-14 win over the Aggies in 2011 at Aggie Stadium. No other opponent threw for that many yards against the Aggies throughout last season. Hillary, who was 18-for-24 in the game, has many of his weapons back including junior receiver Matt Hazel, who caught two of Hillary's touchdown passes.
The Magic Number For A&T: 0: In the Aggies previous three meetings against Coastal Carolina, they have failed to score a single point in the first half. If the Aggies are able to strike early against the Chanticleers, it could go a long way in helping the Aggies earn their win in three tries against the Chanticleers.
Fantasy League Pick: If this were a fantasy league ballgame, a solid guy to play would be senior receiver Larry Raper. Raper runs a 4.34 in the 40-yard dash, making him one of the fastest players on the team. For Aggie fans, Raper's speed is no surprise. What will make him an offensive threat this season are two other added elements to his game - size and leadership. Raper has put in the work to replace Wallace Miles as the Aggies No. 1 receiver by adding muscle and determination during the offseason. All that hard work may pay off Saturday night in Conway, S.C.
FROM THE NOTES
The Monster Mash
North Carolina A&T had one of the best run defenses in the country last season. The Aggies ranked seventh in rush defense and eighth in overall defense. A big part of the Aggies success came behind the leadership of senior defensive end Tony Mashburn. Mashburn made 12.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage in 2011. As a team, the Aggies held five of their opponents to under 50 yards rushing last season. In three of those games, the Aggies held their opponents to under 10 yards rushing.
North Carolina A&T head coach Rod Broadway is entering his 10th season as a head coach. He spent four seasons apiece at N.C. Central and Grambling. He is 5-4 in season openers as a head coach. He was 1-3 at Grambling when playing a season opener with two of those losses coming to Division I FBS teams. At N.C. Central, he was 3-1 in games that opened the season with his only loss coming to North Carolina A&T in 2003. Last season the Aggies opened with a 38-7 win over Virginia University of Lynchburg.
Mayhew Carries The Load
Mike Mayhew native is just 10 carries shy of becoming the school's all-time leader in rush attempts as well. He was only one of 25 backs with at least 150 carries in the Football Championship Subdivision to rush for more than 100 yards per game. In 2010, Mayhew carried the ball a school record 221 times. The following year, he outdid himself by breaking his own record with 231 rushing attempts. Mayhew has recorded 25 or rushing attempts eight times in his career. He is averaging 131.8 yards in those games.