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Senior wide receiver Xavier Griffin has six receptions in 2017. Four of those have gone for touchdowns. Photo by Kevin L. Dorsey
Courtesy: NC A&T Sports Information

Aggies Return to The Field, Face NSU On Saturday

Courtesy: NC A&T Sports Information
          Release: 11/02/2017
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*No. 7/9 North Carolina A&T (8-0, 5-0 MEAC) vs. Norfolk State (3-5, 3-2 MEAC) 
*FCS Coaches Poll/STATS Media Poll
Date: Nov. 4, 2017    
Time: 1 p.m.
Facility: William “Dick” Price Stadium (30,000)  
Series: A&T leads, 30-11      
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., needs one TD catch to tie the school’s single-season record); LT Brandon Parker (6-7, 309, R-Sr., will play in his 45th straight game as an Aggie); LG Joshua Mattocks (6-3, 331, R-Sr., he has played in 32 straight games); C Darriel Mack (6-2, 293, R-Sr., he has certainly played on an all-conference level); RG Daquan Blake (6-1, 290, Sr., did an excellent job as JUCO transfer to come in and start for two seasons); RT Marcus Pettiford (6-3, 274, R-So., Pettiford is the youngster on the line but he’s really good); TE Leroy Hill (6-3, 249, R-Jr., Hill is just one of many weapons on a team where 14 different people have caught passes); WR Xavier Griffin (6-1, 202, R-Sr., has six catches and 4 TD receptions); WR Khris Gardin (5-7, 185, Sr., has been a dangerous kickoff returner this season along with his punt returning duties); QB Lamar Raynard (6-4, 200, R-Jr., Raynard needs 237 yards to break the Aggies single-season passing record); RB Marquell Cartwright (5-8, 201, R-Jr., Cartwright needs 211 yards for a 1,000-yard season).  

DEFENSIVE STARTERS FROM LAST GAME: DE Sam Blue (6-1, 247, R-Jr., nine tackles for loss and five sacks is not a bad season); NG Jermaine Williams (6-1, 301, R-So., Williams earned valuable experience this season replacing the injured Julian McKnight); DT Kadarius Kendrick (6-4, 277, Jr., had a tackle for loss vs. Bethune-Cookman); DE Darryl Johnson (6-5, 226, R-So., added another three tackles loss to his season total two weeks ago); LB Deion Jones (5-11, 202, R-Jr., had 10 tackles and a crucial INT vs. BCU); LB Kiaundric Richardson (6-0, 214, R-Jr., has developed into an excellent leader on the Aggies defense); LB Marcus Albert (5-10, 205, R-Sr., the Aggies outside linebackers cover so much ground in short amount of time, Albert included); FS Jamaal Darden (5-9, 188, Sr., if he stays healthy the rest of the way, the Aggies defense will benefit greatly); CB Mac McCain (5-11, 174, R-Fr., he is now on the Jerry Rice Award Watch List for FCS freshman of the year); ROV Jeremy Taylor (5-11, 190, R-Sr., you can’t appraise is worth in total tackles … he can do it all); CB Timadre Abram (5-10, 168, R-Jr., Abram gets tested a lot by QB’s and often passes).  

The Game: The N.C. A&T Aggies after their fourth straight nine-win season on Saturday as they head to Norfolk, Va., to face the Norfolk State Spartans. The Aggies are not sure what NSU team they are going to get. Two weeks ago, the Spartans ended North Carolina Central’s 18-game conference winning streak by beating the Eagles, the three-time defending MEAC champions, 28-21 in Durham. The Spartans followed that by losing their homecoming to previously winless Savannah State 27-9. The Aggies will try to keep a talented NSU offense stifled again. The Spartans have not scored a touchdown against the Aggies in 13 quarters. The Aggies kept the Spartans touchdown-less in 2014, ‘15 and ‘16. The Spartans did score a TD against the Aggies in a 14-10 win in 2011.  

N.C. A&T is coming off a bye week following a 24-20 triumph over Bethune-Cookman at home on Oct. 28. It was the Aggies eighth straight win at home and they improved to 31-5 overall and 24-3 in the MEAC at home under head coach Rod Broadway. Junior quarterback Lamar Raynard was 11-for-25 passing for 177 yards and three touchdowns. It marked just the second time in 14 games Raynard failed to complete 60 percent of his passes. It was the first time in 16 games, Raynard failed to complete 50 percent of his passes. The Aggies defense turned the game in the Aggies favor. Junior linebacker Deion Jones had 10 tackles and a third-quarter interception. N.C. A&T, the fifth-ranked defense in the nation, held the Wildcats to 73 yards of offense in the second half.

News & Notes

  • Lamar Raynard has a chance at three single-season records on Saturday. If Raynard throws two touchdown passes, he will break Alan Hooker’s single-season TD pass record. If throws for 237 yards, he will break Maseo Bolin’s single-season passing record. If he completes 33 passes, he will break Hooker’s single-season record for completions.
  • Rod Broadway tied Hornsby Howell and Bert Piggott for second on the Aggies all-time coaching wins. Broadway move ahead of both with a win on Saturday. Broadway won 50 games faster than any other coach in school history, getting there in 72 games. He also has the best winning percentage (.714) in school history ahead of Bill Hayes’ .624. Hayes has the most coaching wins in N.C. A&T history with a 106.
  • The Aggies have won four straight against the Spartans. The Aggies are 10-6 against the Spartans since the Spartans joined the MEAC in 1998. N.C. A&T is 4-5 at William “Dick” Price Stadium.   
  • The Aggies are 4-2 immediately following a bye week during the seven-year tenure of Rod Broadway.  

 Opposing Point of View
“They are better than advertised. I’m not sure they have a weakness on defense. Their defensive line is talented enough to get pressure with a four-man rush. I think they have one of the better secondary’s that we’ve seen in a while in our conference, and their linebackers are as athletic as the day is long. When you look at them offensively, they have the ability to run the ball anyway they want. Not many teams run power iso these days, but you can do it if you are better than people and so that’s what those guys do because they’re good upfront.”  

 Norfolk State head coach Latrell Scott on playing N.C. A&T

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