Howard (4-1, 3-0 MEAC) at North Carolina
A&T (2-3, 0-2 MEAC)
Date: October 13, 2012
Time: 1:30 p.m.
90.1 FM; Campus Radio Station: Spencer Gwynn (play-by-play), Al Swann (color);
Billy Covington (color), Mel Swann (halftime host).
Webstream: www.ncataggies.com; Walter
Johnson (play-by-play), Alan Hooker (color)
CHIT CHAT: A
win for North Carolina A&T could dramatically change what so far has been two
disappointed conference losses. Meanwhile, a win for Howard means it can
continue to march toward the school's first conference championship in 19 years.
The Aggies hope to shake up what so far has been an unlikely scenario in the
MEAC standings. S.C. State and Norfolk State are winless in the league, while
N.C. Central, Howard and Morgan State are surging. The Aggies fully remember
last season's heartbreaking 35-28 overtime loss to the Bison last season at
Greene Stadium. The Aggies had trouble containing Bison quarterback Greg McGhee
and running back Terrence Lefall. The two men combined for 338 yards of total
offense. The Bison also feature All-American linebacker Keith Pough. The Aggies
have a few offensive weapons of their own, including A&T all-time leading
rusher Mike Mayhew and wide receiver Marquis Gorham, who has led the Aggies in
receiving in each of their first five games. The Aggies also have an up and
coming defensive standout in strong safety Travis Crosby.
"Lock": Saturday's game should be a defensive
stalemate. Both teams are two of the best in the nation in tackling the
opponent behind the line of scrimmage. The Aggies are second in the nation in
tackles for loss with 17 different players on the roster recording tackles for
loss. The Bison are seventh in the nation in tackles for loss. A&T has the
second best defense in the nation and the best in the MEAC. The Bison is first
in the league in sacks with 3.0 per game.
Gameday Star power: North Carolina A&T: Junior
strong safety Travis Crosby has been tremendous this season. He has led the
Aggies in tackles in four of their five games this season. From his defensive
back position, he is tied for fifth in the league in tackles per game and
eighth in tackles for loss per game. At his current 9.8 tackles per game pace,
he could finish the season with more than 100 tackles. Howard: The Howard
running game will test the Aggies impressive defensive status. Lefall has only
played in two games this season, but he is averaging 113.0 yards in those
games. Aquaniu Freeman filled in for him
admirably for Lefall. He scored four touchdowns and averaged 67.0 yards per
The Magic Number For A&T: 1993: Nineteen years ago, Howard head
coach Gary Harrell was a wide receiver for the Bison. He assisted in putting
together one of the greatest games in Aggie Stadium history. In the end, Harrell's
quarterback Jay Walker scored on 25-yard quarterback sneak to defeat the Aggies
42-35 in overtime. A&T was ranked fifth in the nation at the time. Harrell
returns to Aggie Stadium on Saturday. A&T hopes to avenge the overtime loss
from 1993 and the overtime loss from last season.
League Pick: If this were a fantasy football league, a
solid guy to play would be freshman kicker Zach Cimaglia. He has struggled a bit
as of late, but he still has connected on eight field goals and he is due to
get back on the hot streak het set earlier in the season.
FROM THE NOTES
North Carolina A&T has been inside
the opponents' 20-yard line 23 times this season. The Aggies have come away
with a score 18 times, and they have scored a league-high 13 touchdowns. But
the problems have come in during conference play. Against MEAC competition, the
Aggies have entered the red zone eight times, but have come away with only
three touchdowns. The frustration comes in when it is considered how close the
Aggies' games have been. The Aggies lost by three to Morgan
State and were down by two to Bethune-Cookman
in the third quarter. In conference play, the Aggies have thrown an
interception, missed a field goal and turned the ball over on downs during red
zone opportunities. The Aggies are tied for fifth in the MEAC in red zone offense.
At Home On Broadway
North Carolina A&T head coach Rod Broadway
is tough to beat when he plays at home. In four years at N.C. Central, Broadway
was 18-5 at O'Kelly-Riddick Stadium. He was even better at Grambling, where he
went 15-0 at Grambling's Eddie Robinson Stadium. A year ago, Broadway is 6-2 at
Aggie Stadium since becoming A&T's head football coach. In total , Broadway
is 39-7 all-time when he plays at home as a head coach.
The 2014 Class
The one thing that concerns North
Carolina A&T head coach is the Aggies' 2014 class. That's because there isn't
one. In 2010, the Aggies were not able to pull together a recruiting class
NCAA sanctions due to a low APR score.
APR scores measure a program's graduation rate. The Aggies have put initiatives
in place in order to improve the score, but it will not change the fact the
Aggies will lack senior leadership in 2014. The upside is that in 2015, the
Aggies should have an impressive junior and senior class.