Getting Over the Hump: "We couldn't over that hump. There were some situations that prevented us from taking that step." - N.C. A&T head coach Rod Broadway
The Aggies lost to MEAC Champion Norfolk State by just four points. During the game they gave a 9-yard touchdown drive after a bad punt, and they dropped two passes in the end zone in the final seconds. The Aggies played with just 30 scholarship players this season, and Broadway said that number will likely improve next year to a whopping 32.
"That's humbling isn't it?" Broadway said to a silenced media room after he mentioned the Aggies scholarship count for next season. "But that's the end we were dealt, and we're to have to get this thing done with the hand we're dealt.
Senior Day: The Aggies honored 11 seniors on Senior Day on Saturday. In addition to Miles, the Aggies also said farewell to wide receiver Derek Gould, linebacker Ben Binder, cornerback Justin Ferrell, fullback Allen Jones, long snapper James Weaks, center Brent Walker, right guard Alex Harper, wide receiver Julian Alford and defensive lineman Koron Nickelson.
Ferrell is an All-MEAC performer as defensive back and kick returner, while Walker and Harper were four-year starters along the Aggies offensive line. Binder made 89 career tackles and Gould caught 16 receptions during his career. Weaks was the Aggies long snapper for four years, and was nearly perfect in every snap.
The keys to the Aggies win:
- North Carolina A&T's defense held the Eagles to just nine yards rushing
- After committing 12 penalties in the first half, the Aggies had just three in the second half
- The Aggies did not commit a turnover for just the second time all season
Unsung: Lost in all the record breaking was another solid performance by redshirt freshman D'Vonte Grant. He finished with nine tackles to become just the second freshman in school history to lead the Aggies in tackles, joining Andre Thornton who did it in 2006. He also now owns the record for most tackles by a freshman.
Next season: Rod Broadway said he can't wait for Spring practice to begin. While he loses a great receiver in Miles and a great corner in Ferrell, he has some excellent parts returning, including star running back Mike Mayhew. Mayhew was a Walter Payton Award nominee this season, and there is reason to believe he will accelerate that next season by being a finalist.
Quarterback Lewis Kindle will have another year of maturity under his belt, and the Aggies will return 10 starters from a defense that led the MEAC in rush defense.
What did he say?: "We've got to get better at every position. One of things I think that needs to get better is that we've got to improve our kicking game. I don't know if we won the kicking game during any point in the season. So we have to spend a lot of time in the offseason fixing that part of it. We also have to go to work on our third down conversion. For the most part that wasn't very good. We need to improve every area of our football team, from head coach to equipment guy to trainers, everybody's got to get better because we can't stay the same. We've got to move forward if this program is going to move forward."