No. 18/18 North Carolina A&T (4-2, 2-1 MEAC) vs. Howard (1-6, 1-2 MEAC)
Date: October 26, 2019
Time: 1 p.m.
City/Venue: Greensboro, N.C./BB&T Stadium (21,500)
Series: A&T leads, 27-18-3
TV/Stream: ESPN 3 (Spencer Tucker and Stan Lewter)
ESPN Triad Radio: Donal Ware (play-by-play); Al Swann (analyst)
1320 AM/93.7 FM Greensboro
1230 AM/104.9 FM High Point
920 AM/104.5 FM Burlington
The Matchup: The Aggies return home for the Greatest Homecoming on Earth, which might be what they need after sustaining their first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference loss in six games last Sunday when Florid A&M came away with a 34-31 overtime win over N.C. A&T in Tallahassee.
The Aggies head into Homecoming after a short week. They will be playing a Howard team coming off a bye week after losing at home to Norfolk State 49-21. The Bison have lost their last two games by 20-plus points after losing to Harvard 62-17. Howard has surrendered 47.3 points per game this season. Opponents are also averaging 476.9 yards per game against the Bison.
Howard’s offense has been productive this season. They are led by quarterback Quinton Williams, a freshman who has thrown for 577 yards and three touchdowns while completing 59 percent of his passes. Williams also has six touchdown passes and three interceptions on the season. Howard started the season with Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference preseason player of the year Caylin Newton at quarterback but has since decided to transfer.
The Aggies are still intent on heading to their third straight Celebration Bowl. In order for that to happen, the Aggies must win their remaining games. The Aggies have the talent to get it done. Despite the loss to FAMU, the Aggies had a productive offensive outing. Graduate quarterback Kylil Carter threw for a career-high 251 yards on 21-for-31 passing. He did throw his first interception in 237 attempts after one of his passes was tipped.
His favorite target last Sunday was junior Zachary Leslie. Leslie recorded career highs in receptions (11) and receiving yards (136). The Aggies also have one of the best running backs in the nation in Jah-Maine Martin. Martin had 71 yards rushing and a touchdown against the Rattlers. His 12 rushing touchdowns rank fourth in the country.
It puts him seven rushing touchdowns shy of breaking the school’s and the conference’s single-season record held by Tarik Cohen. Defensively, the Aggies look to get back on track after surrendering 30-plus points to a conference opponent for the first time in three years. Sophomore Kyin Howard leads the Aggies in tackles with 48 to go along with six tackles for loss. The Aggies have the No. 1 defense in the MEAC and the No. 4 rush defense in the nation.
News & Notes
- Elijah Bell was held without a reception last Sunday against Florida A&M after being disqualified in the second half. It marked the first time in the senior’s career that he failed to make a reception in a game he played in. Bell is the Aggies all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.
- N.C. A&T will be seeking their ninth straight homecoming win on Saturday. The last time the Aggies lost a homecoming game was Oct. 9, 2010, when Morgan State defeated the Aggies 27-14.
- The last time Howard came to Greensboro for the Greatest Homecoming on Earth, the Aggies defeated the Bison 65-14 in 2015. The Bison come into Saturday’s game with the eighth-ranked defense in the MEAC.
- With the unbalanced schedule in the MEAC the past few seasons, this will be the first meeting between N.C. A&T and Howard since 2016. With Hampton in the Big South and Savannah State now playing as a Division II program, the MEAC schedule is balanced again, putting the two old rivals in combat again. The teams had played every year since 1971 prior to not playing in 2017.