GREENSBORO (January 10, 2017) – The NCAA Coaches’ Poll and the STATS Media Poll released their final Football Championship Subdivision polls and for the second straight season North Carolina A&T finished nationally ranked in both.
Both polls had N.C. A&T finishing 20th in the nation after the Aggies finished the season 9-3 overall and 7-1 in the MEAC. The Aggies also reached the postseason for the second straight season with an at-large bid to the 2016 NCAA FCS Playoffs where they were defeated by the Richmond Spiders in Richmond, Va. The 2016 season marked the first time the Aggies reached the NCAA playoffs via an at-large bid.
The Aggies finished a season nationally ranked in either the coaches’ poll (formerly sponsored by the USA Today) and or the media poll (formerly sponsored by Sports Network) for the 10th time in school history. This marks the third time they have done it back-to-back years. The 2015 and 2016 seasons mark the first time they have finished nationally ranked two consecutive years since the 1999 and 2000 seasons. During the 2016 season, the Aggies ranked as high as eighth in the media poll and went as far up as ninth in the coaches’ poll.
N.C. A&T’s 2016 season included the program’s first-ever win over a Division I Football Bowl Subdivision school with their quadruple 39-36 overtime win over Kent State. After a loss to Miami Beach Bowl Champion in FBS Tulsa (10-3), the Aggies ran off seven straight conference wins by an average margin of 23.9 points.
In addition to the numerous wins, the Aggies played on an ESPN network seven times in 12 outings. Senior running back Tarik Cohen ran for 200 or more yards in three straight games on ESPNU including breaking the all-time MEAC rushing record with a 62-yard touchdown run against Norfolk State on Oct. 13.
There were also many records broken. Cohen broke single-season school records in total touchdowns (19), all-purpose yards (1,927) and rushing (1,588) and tied the single-season mark for rushing touchdowns (18). He also became the school’s all-time leader in total touchdowns (59), rushing touchdowns (56) and all-purpose yards (6,564).
Denzel Keyes broke the career touchdown receptions record (25).