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A&T Seeks Greatness At Greatest Homecoming

Courtesy: NC A&T Sports Information
          Release: 10/23/2015
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Junior Denzel Keyes leads the conference in touchdown receptions. Photo by Kevin L. Dorsey
Courtesy: NC A&T Sports Information
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Howard (0-6, 0-4 MEAC) at North Carolina A&T (5-1, 3-0 MEAC)    
Date:
 Oct. 24, 2015
Time: 1 p.m.
Facility: Aggie Stadium
Series: A&T leads 26-20-2
Radio: 1510 AM WEAL; flexzoneradio.com; ncataggies.com; Play-by-play – Donal Ware, Analyst – Al Swann
PROBABLE OFFENSIVE STARTERS:

Pos.

Player

Ht.

Wt.

Cl.

Note

WR

Denzel Keyes

6-4

210

Jr.

They seem to throw him more and more jump balls at basketball season approaches

LT

Brandon Parker

6-7

280

R-So.

He had another stellar game on the left side of the Aggies O-Line

LG

Joshua Mattocks

6-3

308

R-So.

Mattocks brings some stability to the Aggies O-Line

C

Darriel Mack

6-2

293

R-So.

Mack is looking to start his fifth straight game and solidify himself as the starting center

RG

Wes Cole

6-6

335

Jr.

Cole returned to the starting lineup last week vs. B-CU

RT

Marcus Pettiford

6-3

271

Fr.

As the right side of the Aggies line gets stronger, the offense gets better

WR

Caleb Gabriel

5-9

165

R-So.

The Aggies speed man is looking to break a few long ones

WR

Khris Gardin

5-7

159

So.

He provides great field position for the offense as a punt returner

TE

Dequan Swann

6-1

230

R-Sr.

He provides the Aggies with a good pass-catching TE

QB

Lamar Raynard

6-4

174

R-Fr.

The Aggies use Raynard’s ability to be a passing threat to throw teams off balance

RB

Tarik Cohen

5-6

173

Jr.

Cohen has also been the Aggies leading receiver the past two games

PROBABLE DEFENSIVE STARTERS:

Pos.

Player

Ht.

Wt.

Cl.

Note

DE

Angelo Keyes

6-1

268

R-Jr.

His pass-rushing skills are getting sharper

DT

Michael Neal

5-11

260

Sr.

Neal helped the Aggies control the line of scrimmage against B-CU

NT

Marquis Ragland

6-3

271

R-Jr.

His impact doesn’t show up in the tackling stats

DE

Malik Hampton-Priloeau

6-4

247

Jr.

He is pretty good at stopping the run and keeping outside containment

LB

Julius Reynolds

5-9

211

R-Fr.

He is making a somewhat silent bid for conference rookie honors

LB

Denzel Jones

5-9

244

R-Sr.

He is the only Aggie with double-figure tackles in a game this season

LB

Marcus Albert

5-10

200

R-So.

He posted six tackles against B-CU

ROV

Landis Shoffner

6-0

186

Sr.

He recovered a fumble against the Wildcats

FS

Zerius Lockhart

5-10

174

R-So.

Earned his second career INT last weekend

CB

Marquis Boyan

5-11

191

Sr.

He is sixth in the nation in fumbles recovered

CB

Tony McRae

5-9

178

Sr.

He is Mr. durable. McRae will be playing in his 41st straight game

The Game: N.C. A&T head coach Rod Broadway made it clear this week. Don’t look at the record. The veteran head coach knows when you are sitting alone in first place in the conference after being predicted to win the conference, you are a major target on everyone’s schedule. Add to that, Howard has played conference foes pretty tough this season. Before being blown out by S.C. State last week, the Bison lost to Morgan State by eight and to Norfolk State by three. The Bison have struggled offensively, posting just three offensive touchdowns over their first six games. The Aggies are looking for their fourth straight win over the Bison, which would tie a series record for longest winning streak.

News & Notes 

  • The Aggies special teams have been special. Over the past two seasons the Aggies have blocked four kicks, returned two kicks for touchdowns and one punt for touchdown. Meanwhile, the Aggies have not surrendered a kickoff return for touchdown in 16 straight games and no one has returned a punt on A&T during the Broadway era.
  • Tarik Cohen moved closer to the Aggies all-time rushing record. He needs 387 yards to pass Mike Mayhew as the school’s leading rusher. He joins Mayhew as the only two players in school history with more than 3,000 career rushing yards. He needs more than 1,500 yards to break the conference record.
  • Freshman Steve Sawicki took over the punting duties during the North Carolina game and has excelled at the position. He has punted 25 times for 38.3 yards per punt. Eight of the punts have landed inside the 20, there have been six fair catches and three touchbacks.
  • The Aggies looking to win their fifth straight homecoming. The most homecomings the Aggies have won in a row is six (1989-94). The Aggies are 17-16 in homecomings played at Aggie Stadium.

Coaches’ Point of View

“They’re a physical tough team upfront. They believe in eliminating the run game, and so they’re going to try to impose their will. That program is definitely moving in the right direction. I’m just looking forward to going down there and being a part of the festivities. As a Howard guy, I remember us having a great rivalry with A&T when it was homecoming time. It was always a great environment and both teams usually rise to the occasion.”

Howard head coach Gary Harrell on playing A&T for homecoming

“It’s hard to keep guys focused for homecoming. I mean they don’t call it The Greatest Homecoming on Earth for nothing. It’s a big week for them, and we want them to be a part of it. They’re college kids, so they need to go out and enjoy themselves. But they also need to understand the importance of this game. Homecoming is for everybody coming back home. If it is anything like last year they’re going to be people everywhere, so we need to go out and represent and play well this game.”

A&T Head Coach Rod Broadway on playing well for homecoming

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