North Carolina A&T (5-3, 2-3 MEAC) at Morgan State (3-6, 3-2 MEAC)
Date: November 9, 2013
Time: 1 p.m.
Facility: Hughes Stadium
Series: Morgan State leads 42-36-3
Radio: WNAA 90.1 FM, Campus Radio Station: Spencer Gwynn (play-by-play); Billy Covington (color); Al Swann (analysis)
A&T OFFENSIVE PLAYERS TO WATCH: RB Tarik Cohen (5-8, 170, Fr., second in the MEAC in rushing (92.5 ypg); RT Nathan Isles (6-5, 324, Sr.); QB Lewis Kindle (6-1, 205, Sr., 94-for-174, 1,142 yds passing, 7 TDs, 5 INTs); WR Desmond Lawrence (30 rec., 356 yds, 3 TDs); LT William Ray Robinson III (6-3, 305, R-Jr.).
MORGAN STATE OFFENSIVE PLAYERS TO WATCH: OL Karim Barton (6-3, 315, Sr., preseason All-MEAC lineman); RB Lamont Brown (5-10, 180, R-Fr., 545 yds rushing, 3 TDs); QB Seth Higgins (6-4, 230, Jr., 37-for-70, 5 TDs, 4 INTs); QB Robert Council (6-4, 215, R-Jr., 20-for-27, 287 yards, 1 TD vs. Hampton last week); QB Moses Skillon (18-for-44, 2 TDs, 2 INTs); WR Antonio Jefferson (14 rec., 235 yds., 16.8 ypr).
A&T DEFENSIVE PLAYERS TO WATCH: SS Travis Crosby (5-9, 189, Sr., leads the team with 70 tackles); CB D’Vonte Graham (5-7, 157, Sr., 8 passes defended, 2 INTs for 57 yards); LB D’Vonte Grant (5-10, 208, Sr., 69 tackles, 9.0 TFLs, 3 fumble recoveries, 1 INT for TD, 2 forced fumbles, 2 BLKs); LB Brian Houston (5-11, 235, Sr., 63 tackles, 8.0 TFLs); CB Ayodeji Olatoye (6-1, 197, Sr., 2 INTs, 10 passes defended).
MORGAN STATE DEFENSIVE PLAYERS TO WATCH: LB Cody Acker (6-1, 220, Jr., 75 tackles, 2 fumble recoveries); DB Joe Rankin (5-10, 190, Sr., 37 tackles, 8 passes defended); SS Darien Irby (5-11, 200, Sr., 43 tackles, 2 passes defended); LB Chris Robinson (6-2, 220, R-So., 31 tackles, 6.5 TFLs, 3.0 sacks).
Aggies Overview: The Aggies are trying to get back to. 500 in the conference with a win over Morgan State. A&T freshman running back Tarik Cohen is coming off of another great week. He was named MEAC Co-Rookie of the Week after rushing for 130 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries. It marked the third time in four weeks he has earned a conference weekly honor. A&T quarterback Lewis Kindle also had a promising performance against Virginia University of Lynchburg last week as he threw for 229 yards and two touchdowns. In the process, he completed 74 percent of his passes. He completed passes to nine different receivers led by sophomore Darren Bullock who caught five passes for 59 yards and a touchdown. The Aggies defense continues to play well. The group is ranked No. 4 in the nation in total defense and rush defense. The Aggies have three players – strong safety Travis Crosby, outside linebacker D’Vonte Grant and middle linebacker Brian Houston – ranked in the top 15 in tackles.
Morgan State Overview: Morgan State has caught fire since starting conference play. After an 0-5 start, the Bears have won three out of their last four, including a 30-27 win over Hampton last Saturday. Quarterback Robert Council was instrumental in the win after completing 20 of 27 passes for 287 yards and a touchdown. Morgan State’s running game has been the main reason for the resurgence. The Bears are averaging 187 yards per game on the ground. Bears running back Lamont Brown has rushed for 368 yards and three touchdowns on 66 carries in the last four games. The Morgan State defense does give up nearly 400 yards per game. Linebacker Cody Acker leads the way with 75 tackles and 7.5 tackles for loss.
Potential Star: The Morgan State running game is the key to its offense. The Aggies defense is the key to the Aggies’ success. In the clash, weak side linebacker D’Vonte Grant may come out as the game’s standout. Grant has a knack for creating turnovers and making plays on defense. An Aggies win could rise and fall on a Grant big play.
News & Notes:
It did not seem possible at the beginning of the season, but now it is a real possibility. A&T running back Tarik Cohen could fi nd himself in not only rare air among A&T running backs, but also within the MEAC. Cohen rushed for 130 yards on Saturday, marking the third time in four weeks he has rushed for more than 100 yards in a game. On the season, Cohen has rushed for 740 yards, putting him 260 yards shy of 1,000 yards with three games remaining. Only six other Aggie running backs – James White, Milton Shaw, Maurice Hicks, Maurice Smith, Mike Ferguson and Mike Mayhew – have rushed for more than 1,000 yards in a season. Only two other freshman in MEAC history – Bethune Cookman’s Pa’Tell Troutman and Hampton’s Alonzo Coleman have gone over 1,000 yards in a season.
North Carolina A&T is slowly becoming Running Back U. A&T freshman running back Tarik Cohen is in a battle for the top rushing spot in the MEAC with Norfolk State’s Rolandan Finch. If Tarik Cohen leads the
Aggies in rushing, it will mark the third time in four years an A&T running back as led the conference in rushing. Former A&T running back Mike Mayhew led the conference in rushing in 2010 and 2011. Cohen is averaging 92.5 yards per game, while Finch is averaging 93.1 yards per contest.
From the Coach
“I don’t know if we have any momentum. Morgan State is playing really well right now. As I look at them on tape, it’s hard to see how they have lost as many games as they have lost. They’re hot right now and they are playing really well. We’ve got to play well to beat this team, and we have to prepare well. We need to go up and play our best game of the season because they’re playing really well.”
A&T head football coach Rod Broadway on Morgan State