No. 17/15 North Carolina A&T (1-1, 0-0 MEAC) vs. Charleston Southern (0-2, 0-0 Big South)
Date: September 14,2019
City/Venue: Charleston, S.C./Buccaneer Field (4,000)
Series: First Meeting
ESPN Triad Radio: Donal Ware (play-by-play); Al Swann (analyst)
600 AM/101.5 FM Winston-Salem
1320 AM/93.7 FM Greensboro
1230 AM/104.9 FM High Point
920 AM/104.5 FM Burlington
1200 AM/95.1 FM Burlington
The Matchup: The Aggies return to play on the Division I-Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level with a contest in Charleston, S.C., against the Charleston Southern Buccaneers. The Bucs were recently one of the stronger teams on the FCS level. They had five straight winning seasons from 2013-17. Within that span, they went to the playoffs twice including two playoff wins in 2015.
CSU also won the conference twice within those five years as they posted a 41-19 record. But the Bucs went 5-6 last season and they are off to an 0-2 start this season. Their 0-2 is a bit deceptive, however. Their first opponent was a nationally-ranked FCS team in Furman and their second opponent was the University of South Carolina out of the SEC. The Bucs offense is engineered by quarterback Jack Chambers who is dynamic with his legs and his arm. Chambers has completed 58 percent of his passes and he has carried the ball 17 times over the Bucs first two games. Despite the Bucs’ difficult competition, running back Ronnie Harris is averaging 5.8 yards per carry. Defensively, the Bucs have given up 9.7 yards per play and surrendered 56 first downs.
N.C. A&T will be trying to recover from its loss to the Duke Blue Devils last Saturday. The Aggies held the lead midway through the second quarter before the Blue Devils posted 21 points in three minutes. The Aggies came away from playing a level up mostly healthy. That is a major positive for a team who will have an off week after the CSU game and who starts conference play in two weeks.
The Aggies got Zach Leslie, their leading receiver from 2018, back last week against Duke. This week, All-American cornerback Mac McCain III is expected to return to the lineup after missing the team’s first two games. Aggies quarterback Kylil Carter has not thrown an interception this season. He has not thrown an interception in his last 153 passes. His last pick came in the 2015 Celebration Bowl.
News & Notes
- Bell is coming closer to setting two significant school records. He moved into second place all-time on the Aggies receiving yards list overcoming Wallace Miles last week. Bell now has 2,270 career receiving yards putting him only 32 yards behind Herbert Harbison for the school record. He still needs 16 more receptions to become the school’s all-time leader which would push him past Miles and Harbison who are tied at the top with 172 career receptions.
- A&T is 22-7 in non-conference play since the 2012 season. Some of the wins are against foes such as Appalachian State, who was making the transition to be an FBS program at the time (2013). Three wins were over FBS schools, and four wins were against ranked FCS opponents in Jacksonville State, Alcorn State, Elon and Grambling State.
- The Aggies gave up more than 30 points for the first time since 2017 when the Charlotte 49ers scored 31 points in the Aggies 35-31 win in Charlotte. The last time the Aggies gave up more than 30 points against an FCS opponent was against Richmond on Nov. 26, 2016.
- The last time the Aggies lost on the road to an FCS opponent was to Richmond in 2016. N.C. A&T has won 12 straight games away from home against FCS foes.
- N.C. A&T had four players earn double-figure tackles last Saturday at Duke. Sophomore linebacker Joseph Stuckey led the way with 15 followed by Antoine Wilder’s 14, Alex Fumbah’s 13 and Kyin Howard’s 11. The last time the Aggies had more than two players earn double-figure tackles was Oct. 19, 2013 when D’Vonte Grant, Brian Houston and Travis Crosby did it against Delaware State.