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Aggies Open Season In Magic Kingdom

Courtesy: NC A&T Sports Information
          Release: 08/29/2014
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Fifth-year lineman William Ray Robinson III has moved from left tackle to left guard to start the 2014 season. Photo by Kevin L. Dorsey
Courtesy: NC A&T Sports Information

North Carolina A&T (0-0, 0-0) vs. Alabama A&M (0-0, 0-0)   
 August 31, 2014 
Time: 11:45 a.m.
Facility: Bright House Networks Stadium
Series: First meeting  
Media: ESPN (play-by-play Mark Neely; analyst Jay Walker; sideline reporter Tiffany Greene)

PROBABLE OFFENSIVE STARTERS: WR Denzel Keyes (6-4, 210, So.); LT Brandon Parker (6-7, 280, R-Fr.); LG William Ray Robinson III (6-3, 307, R-Sr.); C Ronald Canty (6-0, 277, R-Sr.); RG Josh Mattocks (6-3, 310, R-Fr.); RT Wes Cole (6-6, 306, So.); TE Dequan Swann (6-1, 226, R-Jr.); WR Desmond Lawrence (5-10, 181, Sr.); WR Joseph Spann (5-10, 164, So.); QB Kwashaun Quick (6-0, 188, Jr.); RB Tarik Cohen (5-6, 172, So.).

PROBABLE DEFENSIVE STARTERS: DE Daniel Pinnix (6-1, 237, Sr.); DT Michael Neal (5-11, 270, Jr.); NT Marquis Ragland (6-3, 265, R-So.); DE Angelo Keyes (6-1, 263, R-So.); LB D’Vonte Grant (5-10, 195, R-Sr.); LB Denzel Jones (5-9, 231, R-Jr.); LB Jeremy Taylor (5-11, 183, R-Fr.); ROV Landis Shoffner (6-0, 172, Jr.); FS Zerius Lockhart (5-10, 175, R-Fr.); CB Donald Mattocks (5-8, 178, R-Sr.); CB Tony McRae (5-9, 175, Jr.).

Aggies Overview:  North Carolina A&T was 16 points away from a perfect season in 2013. The Aggies lost to S.C. State, Hampton and Delaware State by five points in consecutive weeks. Two weeks later they lost 24-23 at Morgan State on a last-second field goal. Head coach Rod Broadway hopes a year of maturity and some lessons learned can turn some of those close losses into wins in 2014. Broadway will see just how much his team has grown up early in the season. A&T’s first three games are torturous. The Aggies start out against an Alabama A&M team they do not have a lot of film against before playing a nationally-ranked Coastal Carolina team at home and then traveling to play Elon, a team looking to get even in the Piedmont rivalry after the Aggies came away with a convincing 23-10 win last year.

Alabama A&M Overview: Alabama A&M is now under the direction of James Spady, a former offensive coordinator for Broadway when Broadway was the head coach at Grambling. There are plenty of rumors out there about what the Bulldogs might run offensively against one of the best defenses in the nation. But the truth is no one really knows. The best educated guess is that the Bulldogs will run a pistol offense since that is the offense at the University of Nevada, Spady’s last school. What is known is that the Bulldogs have one of the receivers in the SWAC in Montauris Smith. Smith made a team-leading 56 receptions for 779 yards and five touchdowns in 2013. Brandon Wells appears to be the Bulldogs’ starting quarterback .

News & Notes:

North Carolina A&T only has one player from the state of Alabama and that is starting free safety Zerius Lockhart. They have three players from the state of Florida in freshmen Amos Williams (DeFuniak) and Timadre Abram (Lakeland) and redshirt freshman Tard McCoy (Delray Beach).
•There will be several players from last season in new numbers. Quarterback Kwashaun Quick has gone from No. 16 to No. 2, receiver Denzel Keyes has gone from No. 10 to No.1, receiver Quentin Todd is now No. 10 after wearing No. 83 for three years. Safety Zerius Lockhart is now wearing No. 9 instead of 47, kicker Cody Jones went from No. 82 to No. 42 to No. 13 and Oluwafemi Bamiro went from No. 9 to No. 49. The four other number changes are Daniel Pinnix (No. 93 to No. 40), Xavier Griffin (No. 8 to No. 3), Justin Smith (No. 92 to No. 30) and Tony McCrae (No. 25 to No. 21).
• A&T will have three new starters along its offensive line when the ball kicks off on Sunday. Two of those tall new starters will be at the tackle positions. Brandon Parker and Wes Cole stand at 6-7 and 6-6 respectively with Parker starting at left tackle and Cole starting at right. The third new member is Josh Mattocks at right guard.

What did he say?: “Everybody is in the same position. You may think you know, and everybody feels good right now because everybody has been practicing against yourself and you think you have a chance. We will know a lot more next Monday about our football team than we do right now. But I think we have the chance of being a decent football team if we can stay healthy. Staying healthy is so important in this league, especially with us having 63 scholarships and 84 guys on scholarship; we are at the 53 mark right now. If we lose somebody, it is devastating. But if we can stay healthy I think we can be in the mix when this thing clears up.”

Head coach Rod Broadway on the start of the season

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