Aggies Open At App St.
North Carolina A&T (0-0) at Appalachian State (0-1)
Date: September 8, 2013
Time: 6 p.m.
Facility: Kidd Brewer Stadium
Series: Appalachian St. leads 5-1
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: WR Darren Bullock (5-11, 184, So., 11.9 yds. per rec.); RB Dominique Drake (5-9, 202, Sr., 4.2 yds. per carry); RB Ricky Lewis (5-9, 187, Sr., 4.5 yds. per carry, 6TDs rushing); QB Kwashaun Quick (6-0, 185, So., 25-for-50, 4INT, 1TD, 4.3 yds. per carry); LT William Ray Robinson III (6-3, 305, R-Jr., first-team All-MEAC in 2012, surrendered only 1 sack)*
ASU OFFENSIVE PLAYERS TO WATCH: RB Ricky Ferguson (5-8, 182, So., 12 att., 53 yards); QB Jamal Londry-Jackson (6-3, 210, Sr., 12-for-21, 1INT, 89 yards); Malachi Jones (6-1, 180, So., Freshman All-American in 2012); WR Andrew Peacock (5-10, 190, Sr., 3 rec., 15 yds.).
A&T DEFENSIVE PLAYERS TO WATCH: DB/LB Travis Crosby (5-9, 189, Sr., 87 tackles, 9.0 TFLs, 2 INTs, 4 passes defended); CB D’Vonte Graham (5-7, 160, Sr., 4 INTs, 8 PBUs, 12 passes defended); LB D’Vonte Grant (5-10, 208, Sr., 88 tackles, 6.5 TFLs); DE Tyree Hearn (6-1, 221, Sr., 8.0 TFLs, 3.0 sacks).*
ASU DEFENSIVE PLAYERS TO WATCH: ILB John Law (6-0, 225, Fr., 12 tackles, 1 TFL); Kevin Walton (6-0, 190, So., 12 tackles); CB Joel Ross (5-10, 188, Jr., 11 tackles, 1FF, 1 blocked kick).
Aggies Overview: The Aggies missed out on the college football action last week, but will get their cravings satisfied this week as they head to Boone, N.C., to face Appalachian State from Kidd Brewer Stadium. The Aggies come in on a four-game winning streak after closing out the 2012 season with wins over Norfolk State, Florida A&M, S.C. State and N.C. Central. A&T will miss all-time leading rusher Mike Mayhew, who graduated in December, but there are some offensive weapons still in Greensboro. Ricky Lewis and Dominique Drake will team up to try to replace Mayhew’s production at running back, and the Aggies are hoping a group of first-year receivers led by speedster Desmond Lawrence can provide the Aggies some targets to throw to during the 2013 season. Defensively, the Aggies return the nation’s second-best defense led by hard-hitters D’Vonte Grant and Travis Crosby. The secondary returns all four starters from a defense that had the No. 1 pass defense in the nation. Two-time All-MEAC selection D’Vonte Graham is looking to put together another superb season.
Mountaineers Overview: Appalachian State did play last week as its trip to Missoula, Mont., resulted in a 30-6 loss to 20th-ranked Montana. Appalachian State comes in this week ranked 21st in the nation after a nine-place drop in the poll after its loss to the Grizzlies. For the first time in 102 games, the Mountaineers failed to score a touchdown. The last team to hold ASU without an offensive touchdown was North Carolina A&T in 1993. The starting quarterback on that Mountaineers team was Scott Satterfield, who is the first-year head coach at ASU this season. ASU went more than a quarter without starting quarter without starting quarter Jamal Londry-Jackson, which may have hampered the offense. The Mountaineers will look to rebound against the Aggies. The Mountaineers are averaging 50 points per game in four previous contests against A&T at Kidd Brewer Stadium.
Potential Star: If the Aggies want to pull the upset on Saturday, it will start with the Aggies defense. Senior D’Vonte Grant has been a difference maker over the past two seasons. In 2012, he returned two interceptions for touchdowns. He will need to be a playmaker on Saturday for the Aggies to come away with their first-ever win at Kidd Brewer Stadium.
News & Notes:
The two schools could go another long period of time without playing one another after Saturday’s game because Appalachian State plans to move up to Division I-FBS.
A&T is looking for its first win over a non-HBCU since beating Elon 19-17 on Sept. 25, 2004.
Senior linebacker D’Vonte Grant and senior defensive end Tyree Hearn have started 22 straight games for the Aggies.
From the Coach
“Anytime you catch a team in transition – (Appalachian State) is moving up to Division I – I think they have 12 more scholarship than they did last year. Plus, you’re playing a program that has won seven out of the last eight conference championships. We’re looking forward to going up and competing.”
A&T head football coach Rod Broadway