No. 18/17 North Carolina A&T (2-1, 0-0 MEAC) vs. Delaware State (1-2, 0-1 MEAC)
Date: September 26, 2019
Time: 7:30 p.m.
City/Venue: Greensboro, N.C./BB&T Stadium (21,500)
Series: A&T leads, 24-22-1
TV/Stream: ESPNU (Tiffany Greene and Jay Walker)
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 begin conference play Thursday night against Delaware State in front of a nationally-televised audience on ESPNU at BB&T Stadium. N.C. A&T had last week off before taking down Charleston Southern 27-21 two weeks ago in Charleston, S.C. The Aggies overcame a 14-0 deficit to score 27 unanswered to close out the non-conference season 2-1.
The game was highlighted by Jah-Maine Martin’s 299 yards rushing and two touchdowns and Elijah Bell breaking the school’s receiving yards record. For Martin, it was the third-best single-game rushing performance in school history behind Maurice Hicks’ 437 rushing yards at Morgan State and Hicks’ 353 yards against S.C. State at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. Bell enters today’s game with 2,347 receiving yards which is more than any other player in school history. He needs only 10 receptions to become the school’s all-time leader in catches. The Aggies defense was great in the second half holding the Buccaneers to 101 yards of offense. The Bucs only had 48 yards rushing for the game.
Delaware State has already played a conference game, a 24-9 loss to Howard in Dover, Del. The Hornets will be desperate not to fall to 0-2 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). The Hornets bring to town a blitzing defense led by preseason MEAC defensive player of the year Brian Cavicante. He is second on the team in tackles with 20 (10 unassisted) tackles. He also has 4.0 tackles for loss and one sack. Jahad Niebauer leads the team with 21 tackles.
Tylik Bethea has been the main quarterback for the Hornets completing 47.4 percent of his passes for 441 yards and four touchdowns. Three Hornet running backs average better than 6.0 yards per carry in Mik Waters (6.2), Richard Harris (6.2) and Jared Lewis (6.9). Kwannah Kollie is the lead receiver for DSU with 16 grabs for 227 yards and three touchdowns.
News & Notes
- There 167 players from Division I-FCS schools made opening-week rosters in the NFL. Forty-three players made various practice squads (data courtesy Craig Haley of STATS). The Aggies had four of those players in Tarik Cohen of the Chicago Bears, Tony McRae of the Cincinnati Bengals, Brandon Parker of the Oakland Raiders and Darryl Johnson, Jr. of the Buffalo Bills.
- Jah-Maine Martin’s 299-yard rushing performance against Charleston Southern two weeks ago was the 20th 200-yard rushing performance in school history. More than half of those performances are because of two players – Tarik Cohen and Maurice Hicks. Cohen had seven 200-yard rushing performances while Hicks had five.
- The Aggies are after their fifth MEAC championship in six years. The last time a MEAC school won five championships over a six-year period was S.C. State from 1977-83.
- N.C. A&T head coach Sam Washington was honored by his alma mater during the Aggies bye week. Mississippi Valley State named Washington a Trailblazer at their Sept. 21 game against Bethune-Cookman. Washington was a star corner at MVSU who went on to play in the NFL. He was a teammate of Jerry Rice at MVSU.
- The last time the Aggies lost on the road to an FCS opponent was to Richmond in 2016. N.C. A&T has won 13 straight games away from home against FCS foes after their road win over CSU two weeks ago.
- N.C. A&T is one of 15 FCS schools who have yet to throw an interception this season. The Aggies and Norfolk State are the only two MEAC schools who have yet to throw an interception. Martin is third in the nation in yards per game (145.0) and fifth in yards per carry (7.7).
The Opposing Point of View
“They win football games through their offensive and defensive lines. It’s going to be very challenging for us, but our guys are up for the challenge. We are working on techniques that we think will help us be successful. Turning around and having to face them on Thursday is going to be a challenge but our guys are up for it.”
Delaware State head coach Rod Milstead