*No. 13/No. 17 North Carolina A&T (4-0, 1-0 MEAC) vs. S.C. State (1-2, 0-1 MEAC)
*FCS Coaches Poll/STATS Media Poll
Date: Sept. 30, 2017
Time: 6 p.m.
Facility: Oliver C. Dawson Stadium (15,000)
Series: SCSU leads, 32-20-3
Radio: ESPN Triad Radio (1320 AM, 93.7 FM, 104.9 FM, 1230 AM); Play-by-play – Donal Ware, Analysts – Al Swann
OFFENSIVE STARTERS FROM LAST GAME: WR Elijah Bell (6-2, 221, So., Had two more receiving TD’s last week); LT Brandon Parker (6-7, 309, R-Sr., he received offensive lineman of the week again, what’s new?); LG Joshua Mattocks (6-3, 331, R-Sr., entering his fourth season as a starter); C Darriel Mack (6-2, 293, R-Sr., he is turned into a pretty good lineman as well); RG Daquan Blake (6-1, 290, Jr., The left side of the line has Parker, but don’t sleep on the right side); RT Marcus Pettiford (6-3, 274, R-So., Pettiford’s return makes the Aggies O-Line really good); WR Khris Gardin (5-7, 185, Sr., he is known for his punt returns but can be dangerous in the passing game as well); WR Ron Hunt (6-1, 181, So., d the Aggies with four receptions); TE Leroy Hill (6-3, 249, R-Jr., opponents are in trouble if they forget how good he is); QB Lamar Raynard (6-4, 200, R-Jr., has thrown 141 straight passes without an INT); RB Marquell Cartwright (5-8, 201, R-Jr., leads the MEAC in rushing).
DEFENSIVE STARTERS FROM LAST GAME: DE Sam Blue (6-1, 247, R-Jr., has filled in NICELY for the Aggies); NG Jermaine Williams (6-1, 301, R-So., the Aggies have been resourceful at this position); DT Justin Cates (6-2, 275, Jr., he is a tough man to block); DE Darryl Johnson (6-5, 226, R-So., leads A&T in TFL’s (5.5); LB Julius Reynolds (5-9, 226, R-Jr., saw limited action vs. Morgan St.); LB Kiaundric Richardson (6-0, 214, R-Jr., finished with five solo tackles vs. MSU); LB Marcus Albert (5-10, 205, R-Sr., third on the team in tackles); FS Jeremy Taylor (5-11, 190, R-Sr., leads the team in tackles); CB Mac McCain (5-11, 174, R-Fr., the pick-6 man was named national freshman player of the week); ROV Jamaal Darden (5-9, 198, Sr., it was good seeing Darden back in the lineup); CB Timadre Abram (5-10, 168, R-Jr., he has held his own opposite McCain).
The Game: If there is one thing North Carolina A&T vs. South Carolina State has guaranteed us lately, it is a close, hard-hitting, defensive-minded football contest. The Bulldogs took control of the series at the turn of the new millennium, winning 10 straight at one point. But the Aggies have reclaimed some footing in the series and have won the last two contests against the Bulldogs. The last time the Aggies won three straight against SCSU was before the new millennium with wins in 1998, 1999 and 2000. But playing at Oliver C. Dawson stadium will be a tough order for the Aggies who have only won their five times in 21 tries. Oh and the 2017 Bulldogs do not want to be the first SCSU team in 16 years to start 0-2 in the conference.
N.C. A&T defeated Morgan State 49-17 last Saturday. The Aggies had more than 500 yards of offense in the win, marking the fifth time in the Rod Broadway 73-game era. N.C. A&T has now won their conference opener five straight seasons with the Morgan State Bears being the last team to prevent the Aggies from starting 1-0 with a 21-18 win in 2012. Redshirt freshman Mac McCain once again put himself in the spotlight. After a game-winning pick-6 against the Charlotte 49ers, McCain returned last week to return two interceptions for touchdowns including one that went 100 yards. McCain had 178 return yards in interceptions and led the Aggies in all-purpose yards. Redshirt junior Marquell Cartwright also put his claim on being the next great Aggie running back with a career-high 176 yards rushing and one touchdown.
News & Notes
- Redshirt freshman Franklin Mac McCain III has stepped on the scene and made an impact for the Aggies. McCain, a Greensboro native, has already made five interceptions this season. Three of those INTs have gone for touchdowns, and he has returned those three pick-6’s 252 yards. On the season, McCain has 274 interception return yards.
- In 2002, Bethune-Cookman’s Rashean Matthis returned 14 interceptions for 455 yards for the NCAA FCS record. The FCS record for INT returns for touchdown is four, putting McCain one pick-6 away from tying that mark. His 178 INT return yards on Saturday was 39 yards shy of breaking the FCS single-game record.
- N.C. A&T started playing 11-plus game schedules in 1971. Their best start since that point was in 1993 when they started 6-0. N.C. A&T finished 8-0 in 1927 to hold the record the program’s best start. The Aggies finished 7-0 in 1943.
- N.C. A&T is only one of 15 undefeated teams in the FCS and the only unbeaten Division I HBCU.
- Last season the Aggies broke the school record for points scored with 422, surpassing the 1993 team that scored 420 points. This season the Aggies are on pace to break the Aggies scoring record again. The Aggies have scored 185 points thus far this season, which is 46.3 points per game. Therefore, the Aggies are on pace to score 509 points this season.