EAST GREENSBORO – North Carolina A&T dominated the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) football weekly honors after cruising to a 64-6 win over Howard last Saturday.
Freshman Jacob Roberts (6-0, 218, linebacker, Charlotte, N.C.) also picked up a national honor for his 15-tackle, six tackles for loss and three-sack performance against the Bison.
The MEAC named Roberts their rookie and defensive player of the week. FCS STATS named Roberts national freshman of the week. The MEAC also named junior Jah-Maine Martin (5-10, 214, running back, Conway, S.C.) offensive player of the week and Marcus Pettiford (6-4, 286, left tackle, Durham, N.C.) was named offensive lineman of the week.
Roberts is the second Aggie to earn national honors from FCS STATS this season after Martin picked up the honor after rushing for 299 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Charleston Southern on Sept. 14. Noel Ruiz was named honorable mention special teams player of the week after his four field-goal performance against Charleston Southern.
As a true freshman, Roberts is third on the team in tackles with 45. N.C. A&T head coach Sam Washington said Roberts is only one of two true freshmen to play for him since he has been at N.C. A&T with Marcus Albert being the other when he was the defensive coordinator.
Martin had another stellar day where he rushed for 138 yards and three touchdowns on only seven carries. Martin is only 49 yards away from a 1,000-yard season. It would mark the ninth time in 10 seasons the Aggies produced a 1,000-yard runner. Martin also earned a helmet sticker from the ESPN College Football Show after his showing against Howard.
Nationally, Martin leads the nation in yards per carry at 8.72. He is second in the nation in rushing yards, rushing touchdowns (15) and scoring (12.9 points per game). Martin is third in the country in total touchdowns.
Pettiford picked up his third offensive lineman of the week honor and the fourth overall lineman of the week honor for N.C. A&T. The Aggies had another big day on the ground with 321 yards and averaged 8.0 yards per carry. N.C. A&T was only sacked once. Pettiford graded out at 91 percent and was credited with two domination blocks.
The Aggies (5-2, 3-1 MEAC) lead the conference in rushing yards per game and rank ninth nationally. They have only allowed 1.14 sacks per game, which is 15th-best in the nation.
N.C. A&T will try to keep their Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl hopes alive this weekend when they travel to Orangeburg, S.C. to face the S.C. State Bulldogs (5-2, 3-1 MEAC) 1:30 p.m., Saturday at Oliver C. Dawson Stadium.