The Jenkins led Bethune-Cookman Wildcats entered Brooks Stadium in search of their first ever playoff victory but a red-hot Coastal offense coupled with several offensive miscues derailed BCU’s chances of advancing to the round of 16.
Alex Ross tossed 4 touchdowns and directed Coastal to 473 yards of total offense.
After going 3 and out to open the game, Ross found a wide open Tyrell Blanks for a 19 yard touchdown in the back of the endzone on CCU’s second possession.
BCU drove the ball well on the ensuing possession but a bizarre play that was technically classified as a sack, fumble, and fumble return for a touchdown pushed CCU’s lead to 14-0.
“I tried to step up in the pocket as I was getting ready to throw. (The defender) hit my arm and I tried to find the ball as it popped into the air” quarterback Quentin Williams stated when questioned about the play. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, the ball landed softly in the hands of Coastal linebacker Mike McClure who returned the fumble 39 yards for a defensive score.
It was a huge momentum shift in the game and from that point on BCU found themselves chasing points.
The Wildcats penetrated the CCU redzone on their next possession but had to settle on a 23 yard Jonathan Cagle field goal.
All Big South performer Matt Hazel hauled in a 36 yard pass with :40 remaining in the 1st quarter for his first of two TD receptions on the afternoon.
BCU again responded this time going 8 plays and 72 yards and ending with a 4 yard Quentin Williams touchdown run.
Walter Payton Award Finalist, Lorenzo Taliaferro, ended the first half scoring on the strength of an 8 yard TD run and pushed CCU’s advantage to 27-10.
Bethune-Cookman had an opportunity to cut the deficit to 2 scores and build some momentum going into the half but a failed fake field goal attempt came up 2 yards shy of pay dirt. “I thought if we could punch it in there would have been a different mentality (for both teams heading into the half). If we could have came away with the seven points there and come out and scored on our first possession after half, we would have been right back in the ball game” Jenkins lamented. But it wasn’t meant to be.
John Isreal and Matt Hazel hauled in 23 and 21 yard TD receptions from Ross in the second half to widen Coastal’s margin to 41-10.
Senior quarterback Brodrick Waters tossed a 16 yard TD to Eddie Poole and followed that up with a 27 yard scoring run of his own in the 4th quarter.
BCU gained 460 yards of total offense on the afternoon. Eddie Poole hauled in 8 passes for a 120 yards with 1 score. Williams finished the day 16/29 for 202 yards.
Defensively Jarkevis Fields led the way with 11 tackles while LeBrandon Richardson and Marquis Drayton had 10 apiece.
Fields stated after the game ”we had a great season. To my 24 seniors that are leaving with me; we balled-out. I know that the underclassmen will be pushing harder for next season. (This program) just has to keep pushing forward and getting better.”
Jenkins went on to say “we didn’t get it done but we’re not going to hang our heads or feel bad.” “We are going to look at what we need to correct as a coaching staff; starting with me and then evaluate our program thoroughly. We’re going to strap it up with recruiting and then build another championship quality team to hopefully have a chance to line-up in the ring and have a chance in the playoffs next season.”
“(This loss) doesn’t take away anything that we have done or that this team has done.” We were one of the last 24 teams (remaining) and that’s something to feel good about; but we will find a way to get it done (in the playoffs) ….We will!”
2013 Record: 10-2, 4-1
Coach: Joe Moglia
Big Wins: 9/7 Furman (35-28), 9/14 at Eastern Kentucky (51-32)
Bad Losses: 11/9 at Charleston Southern (26-31), 11/23 at South Carolina (10-70)
Coastal Carolina is paced on offense by stud running back Lorenzo Taliaferro. The Walter Payton Award Finalist has gained just under 1,500 rushing this season while accounting for 23 touchdowns on the ground. As a unit, the Coastal ground attack averages 283 yards per contest and ranks 3rd nationally in that department.
Quarterback Alex Ross may not be as elusive as last year’s signal caller Aramis Hillary but he seems to be more accurate delivering the ball. Add in the formidable pass catching trio of Matt Hazel, Niccolo Mastromatteo, and DeMario Bennett and it is easy to see why the Chants are 3rd in the nation in scoring offense averaging just over 42 points per game.
Coastal’s defense has been less than stellar (at least statistically) for the duration of the season. CCU’s defense is allowing 435 yards per game to opponents including 210 yards on the ground. What’s difficult to determine is whether or not Coastal’s defensive statistics are an accurate reflection of the unit’s overall talent level or merely a consequence of their opponents having more opportunities considering the frequency at which the Chant offense scores.
Rushing: Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB, 1,487 yards
Passing: Alex Ross, QB, 2,450 yards
Receiving: Matt Hazel, WR, 817 yards
Tackles: Quinn Backus, LB, 111
Sacks: Colton Blackburn, LB, 3.0; Roderick Holder, DE, 3.0
Interceptions: Quinn Backus, LB, 3; Johnnie Houston, DB, 3
2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 283.9 (3rd in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 228.6 (47, 3)
Total Offense: 512.5 (8, 1)
Scoring Offense: 45.5 (3, 1)
Rushing Defense: 198.2 (88, 4)
Pass Defense: 219.8 (61, 5)
Total Defense: 418.0 (83, 4)
Scoring Defense: 25.5 (57, 4)
Turnover Margin: 0.7 (17, 3)
Sacks: 1.55 (94, 4)
Sacks Allowed: 1.36 (30, 4)
2013 Record: 10-2, 7-1
Coach: Brian Jenkins
Big Wins: 9/1 at Tennessee State (12-9), 9/14 Florida International (34-13), 10/26 South Carolina State (14-3)
Bad Losses: 9/21 at Florida State (6-54), 11/9 Norfolk State (24-27)
The Wildcats get things done through the efforts of a dominating defense and a physical running game. Only Florida State scored more than 27 points on the Wildcat defense this season. BCU has held their opponents to 10 points or fewer in seven of their 12 games. Defensive ends LeBrandon Richardson and Dyron Dye are strong against the run and pass. Linebacker Jarkevis Fields is a tackling machine and defensive backs Nick Addison and Tim Burke are ball-hawks.
The Wildcats rank in the top ten nationally in total defense, scoring defense, and rushing offense. Isidore Jackson is the team’s top rusher. Cary White and Anthony Jordan are more physical, downhill runners who both see a ton of action and quarterbacks Quentin Williams and Jackie Wilson are also capable of making plays with their feet.
BCU is the most heavily penalized team in the country averaging 10.50 penalties per contest. Possessions and hidden yards are precious in postseason play meaning the Wildcats will need to find a way to limit un-timely penalties while still maintaining their aggressive style of play if they are to move on in the tournament.
Bethune’s passing game has all of the pieces needed to be successful but the air attack has sputtered at times this season. BCU quarterbacks have thrown more interceptions (12) than touchdowns (9) this year and the Wildcats have finished four games with less than 100 yards gained through the air. Ironically, BCU is 4-0 in games in which they pass for under 100 yards.
Rushing: Isidore Jackson, RB, 793 yards
Passing: Quentin Williams, QB, 1,068 yards
Receiving: Eddie Poole, WR, 562 yards
Tackles: Jarkevis Fields, LB, 94
Sacks: Dyron Dye, DL, 6.0
Interceptions: Nick Addison, DB, 5
2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 255.4 (8th in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 144.4 (113, 9)
Total Offense: 399.7 (52, 1)
Scoring Offense: 30.2 (39, 2)
Rushing Defense: 99.4 (8, 3)
Pass Defense: 151.5 (3, 2)
Total Defense: 250.8 (2, 2)
Scoring Defense: 15.7 (4, 2)
Turnover Margin: 0.4 (34, 2)
Sacks: 2.36 (35, 4)
Sacks Allowed: 2.55 (84, 7)
Norfolk, VA – Fourth-year head coach Brian Jenkins of Bethune-Cookman was selected for his third Coach of the Year honor. Jenkins led the Wildcats to a 7-1 MEAC mark and a 10-2 overall record. The Wildcats defeated Florida A&M, 29-10, to clinch a share of the conference’s regular season title and secure the MEAC’s automatic berth to the NCAA Division I (FCS) Championships. The Wildcats are currently ranked 12th in both the Sports Network’s FCS and FCS Coaches Poll. He has led Bethune-Cookman to three MEAC titles in four years and fell just one game shy of back-to-back undefeated MEAC finishes.
Howard quarterback Greg McGhee was selected as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s (MEAC) Offensive Player of the Year and Joe Thomas of South Carolina State earned the Defensive Player of the Year honors, as voted on by the MEAC’s head football coaches and sports information directors.
North Carolina A&T’s Tarik Cohen earned the Rookie of the Year award and Tristan Bellamy, of S.C. State, was selected as Offensive Lineman of the Year.
Junior Greg McGhee led the MEAC in total offense (272.9 avg./g) and ranked second in passing yards per game (198.2 avg./g). He completed 228 passes on 385 attempts (59%) with 16 touchdowns in 12 games this season. He also finished the season ranked third in the MEAC in rushing with 896 yards (74.7 avg./g), on 157 attempts, and three touchdowns. McGhee ranks 19th in the nation in total offense and 31st in completions per game (19). He earned conference Offensive Player of the Week accolades twice this season. McGhee is the tenth Bison to earn the conference’s Offensive Player of the Year honor and first since Ted White in 1996.
Joe Thomas recorded 116 total tackles, 84 solo, with a conference-best 19 tackles for a loss during the 2013 campaign. Thomas collected 7.5 sacks, sixth in the MEAC, with one interception, five breakups, five hurries, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery to help the Bulldogs finish as the nation’s No. 1 rushing defense (80.5 avg./g) and No. 2 scoring defense (14.0 avg./g). Thomas earned Defensive Player of the Week honors once this season and is currently listed on the Sports Network’s Buck Buchannan Award watch list, which recognizes the nation’s top Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) defensive player. Thomas becomes the 13th Bulldog to earn the conference’s top defensive award, however he is only the second to have been selected in more than 10 years (David Erby 2010).
As a freshman, North Carolina A&T’s Tarik Cohen led the MEAC in rushing, averaging 104.4 yards per game (,) on 195 attempts with eight touchdowns. He earned the conference’s Offensive Player of the Week accolades three times and Rookie of the Week honors twice this season. A native of Bunn, North Carolina, Cohen became the first freshman in North Carolina A&T State history to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season. Cohen’s is currently listed on the Sports Network’s Jerry Rice Award watch list, which recognizes the nation’s top FCS freshman. Cohen is just the second Aggie to be named Rookie of the Year. He joins the school’s all-time rushing leader, Mike Mayhew, who earned the honor in 2009.
Tristan Bellamy aided a dominating Bulldog offense that accounted for 4,101 yards of total offense , including 2,000 yards on the ground. Behind Bellamy’s blocking S.C. State finished second in the MEAC in scoring offense (29.6 ppg), and third in total offense (341.1 avg./g). Bellamy earned the conference’s Offensive Lineman of the Week honor twice this season. Bellamy is the sixth Bulldog to earn Offensive Lineman of the Year accolades.
South Carolina State led all schools with 13 student-athletes recognized on the three MEAC post-season teams. The Bulldogs have five student-athletes earn first-team honors, in addition to two-of-four top awards.
Bethune-Cookman finished close behind with 12 student-athletes to earn post-season honors, in addition to five first-team selections.
Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) – 2013 Football All-Conference Teams
|QB||Greg McGhee||Jr.||Howard||Pittsburgh, Pa.|
|RB||Tarik Cohen||Fr.||North Carolina A&T||Bunn, N.C.|
|RB||Rolandan Finch||Grad.||Norfolk State||New Albany, Ind.|
|WR||Tyler McDonald||Sr.||South Carolina State||Summerville, S.C.|
|WR||Milton Williams III||Jr.||Delaware State||Upper Marlboro, Md.|
|TE||Joseph Hawkins||r-Sr.||Norfolk State||Chicago, Ill.|
|C||Andrew Edourad||Jr.||Bethune-Cookman||Philadelphia, Pa.|
|OL||Karim Barton||Sr.||Morgan State||Los Angeles, Calif.|
|OL||Alex Monroe||Sr.||Bethune-Cookman||Jacksonville, Fla.|
|OL||Domanic Wilson||r-So.||South Carolina State||Lake City, S.C.|
|OL||Rashard Brown||Sr.||Bethune-Cookman||Kissimmee, Fla.|
|DL||Miles Groom||So.||Hampton||Richmond, Va.|
|DL||Andrew Carter||r-Jr.||South Carolina State||Hamlet, N.C.|
|DL||Alex Glover||Jr.||South Carolina State||Charlotte, N.C.|
|DL||Rodney Gunter||Jr.||Delaware State||Haines, Fla.|
|LB||Lynden Trail||r-Jr.||Norfolk State||Miami, Fla.|
|LB||Jarkevis Fields||Sr.||Bethune-Cookman||Samford, Fla.|
|LB||Joe Thomas||r-Sr.||South Carolina State||Blackville, S.C.|
|DB||Nick Addison||Jr.||Bethune-Cookman||Tampa, Fla.|
|DB||Darrin Marrow||r-Jr.||Norfolk State||Virginia Beach, Va.|
|DB||Justin Blake||r-Sr.||Hampton||Piscataway, N.J.|
|DB||Ademola Olatunji||Jr.||Howard||Riverdale, Md.|
|P||Lawrence Forbes||r-Fr.||Morgan State||Upper Marlboro, Md.|
|PK||Anthony Prevost||Fr.||Hampton||Chesterfield, Va.|
|RS||Adrian Wilkins||r-So.||North Carolina Central||Forest City, N.C.|
|QB||Cory Murphy||Sr.||Delaware State||Sunnyvale, Calif.|
|RB||Isidore Jackson||Sr.||Bethune-Cookman||Mossy Head, Fla.|
|RB||Anthony Philyaw||Fr.||Howard||Redondo Beach, Calif.|
|WR||Eddie Poole||Grad.||Bethune-Cookman||Belle Glade, Fla.|
|WR||Simon Heyward||Sr.||Savannah State||Savannah, Ga.|
|TE||Kris Drummond||Jr.||Savannah State||Washington, D.C.|
|C||Tristan Bellamy||r-Sr.||South Carolina State||Johnston, S.C.|
|OL||William Robinson||r-Jr.||North Carolina A&T||Clinton, Md.|
|OL||Nathan Isles||Sr.||North Carolina A&T||Atlanta, Ga.|
|OL||Darren Pinnock||Jr.||Morgan State||Miami, Fla.|
|OL||Kory Alpichi||Jr.||Hampton||Winchester, Calif.|
|DL||Dyron Dye||Grad.||Bethune-Cookman||Sanford, Fla.|
|DL||Javon Hargrave||So.||South Carolina State||Salisbury, N.C.|
|DL||LeBrandon Richardson||Jr.||Bethune-Cookman||Miami, Fla.|
|DL||Deon King||So.||Norfolk State||Reston, Va.|
|LB||D’Vonte Grant||Sr.||North Carolina A&T||Charlotte, N.C.|
|LB||Delbert Tyler||Sr.||Hampton||Monroeville, Pa.|
|LB||Tazmon Foster||Sr.||North Carolina Central||Henderson, N.C.|
|DB||D’Vonte Graham||Sr.||North Carolina A&T||Tallahassee, Fla.|
|DB||Michael Jones||Fr.||North Carolina Central||Baltimore, Md.|
|DB||Kimario McFadden||Sr.||South Carolina State||Riverdale, Ga.|
|DB||Carvin Johnson||Sr.||Hampton||New Orleans, La.|
|P||Christian Faber-Kinney||r-Fr.||Hampton||Williamsburg, Va.|
|PK||Nick Belcher||r-Sr.||South Carolina State||Sumter, S.C.|
|RS*||Tubotein Taylor||Sr.||Morgan State||Anaheim, Calif.|
|RS*||D’Vonte Graham||Sr.||North Carolina A&T||Tallahassee, Fla.|
|QB||Richard Cue||r-Sr.||South Carolina State||Florence, S.C.|
|RB||Lamont Brown||r-Fr.||Morgan State||Suffolk, Va.|
|RB||Justin Taylor||r-Sr.||South Carolina State||Atlanta, Ga.|
|WR||Antwon Chisholm||Sr.||Hampton||Belle Glade, Fla.|
|WR*||Lenworth Lennon||r-Jr.||Florida A&M||Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.|
|WR*||Malik Golson||r-Fr.||Delaware State||Smyrna, Del.|
|TE||Termarrick Hemingway||r-So.||South Carolina State||Loris, S.C.|
|C||Joshua Matthews||Sr.||Howard||Bowman, S.C.|
|OL||Toree Boyd||Fr.||Howard||Miami, Fla.|
|OL||Deonta Allen-Wright||r-So.||Howard||Midolthian, Va.|
|OL||Blake Matthews||r-Sr.||Norfolk State||Manassas, Va.|
|OL||Anthony Kibler||Jr.||Bethune-Cookman||Belle Glade, Fla.|
|DL||Tyree Hearn||Sr.||North Carolina A&T||Durham, N.C.|
|DL||Damon Gresham Chisholm||So.||Howard||Covington, Ga.|
|DL||George Riddick||Jr.||Norfolk State||Suffolk, Va.|
|DL||Tevin Toney||Sr.||Bethune-Cookman||Sebring, Fla.|
|LB||Marquis Smith||So.||Savannah State||Prince Georges County, Md.|
|LB||Cody Acker||Jr.||Morgan State||Greenbelt, Md.|
|LB||Ernest Adjei||Sr.||Delaware State||Woodbridge, Ga.|
|DB||Terrick Colston||So.||Delaware State||Lakeland, Fla.|
|DB||Travis Crosby||Sr.||North Carolina A&T||Charlotte, N.C.|
|DB||John Wilson||Sr.||Savannah State||Athens, Ga.|
|DB*||Tim Burke||Sr.||Bethune-Cookman||Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.|
|DB*||Patrick Aiken||r-So.||Florida A&M||Miramar, Fla.|
|P||Oleg Parent||Jr.||North Carolina Central||Lake Forest, Calif.|
|PK||Cody Jones||Fr.||North Carolina A&T||Gastonia, N.C.|
|RS||Darius Drummond||Sr.||South Carolina State||Asheville, N.C.|
So we caught up with Randy from the CoastalFans.com blog/forum for a Q&A session on this weekend’s 1st round matchup between Bethune-Cookman and Coastal Carolina. A big thank you to Chanticleer super-fan Randy for his time and effort.
Q1) After securing the first playoff win in school history a season ago, how have expectations changed this season for Coastal Carolina? Would Chanticleer fans consider this year a disappointment if CCU did not win a playoff game?
A: Expectations were hopeful after last season, with many fans predicting CCU would finish somewhere in the neighborhood of 9-3 heading into the postseason. I don’t think it would be fair to the hard work & effort our players have put in this year to brand their entire season – a 10-2 effort which has set a ton of all-time program records – as a “disappointment” just because of one loss.
Q2) Head Coach Joe Moglia has hit the ground rolling in Conway leading CCU to back to back Big South titles and playoff appearances in his first two seasons. What has made Coach Moglia so successful so quickly? Is he not long for the office in Conway or do you expect him to stick around with the hopes of building CCU into a FCS powerhouse?
A: Coach Moglia has consistently said that it would take a “dream job”-type scenario to pull him away from Conway. Specifically, he says it would have to be a job where both CCU’s AD & President tell him that he has to take it. Moglia’s not going anywhere for the likes of Toledo, Buffalo or UConn. He will be here for the foreseeable future unless that “dream job” comes along. Personally, I’m more worried about us retaining OC Dave Patenaude if our offense continues to put up the numbers it has been putting up since he came on board.
Q3) Any concerns about the mood/health of the team after losing to SEC power South Carolina 70-10 in your last outing and 2 of the last 3 games overall?
A: There is absolutely no concern about the team’s health after playing South Carolina. We came out of that game with no new injuries to any of our players. As far as the “mood” of the team, I don’t think losing a game to a top-10 FBS team is really cause for much concern. Besides – if I recall correctly, Bethune-Cookman got blown out by ACC powerhouse Florida State by a score of 54-6 & went on to win their next five games by an average margin of 19.4 points.
The loss to CSU, a five point loss on the road against a top-20 FCS school, did indeed sting. But I think it refocused our players on their ultimate goal, which is to still be playing football in January.
Q4) Running back Lorenzo Taliaferro is a Walter Payton Award Finalist, linebacker Quinn Backus is a Buck Buchanan Finalist, Matt Hazel has had a stellar career there, but who are some of the lesser known guys who have made significant contributions this season?
A: Other players to look out for include RB DeAngelo ”Hop” Henderson, WR DeMario Bennett and KR Devin Brown. Hop has consistently shown himself to be our future starter at RB, rushing for 536 yds on the season. Bennet, a Senior transfer from South Carolina, has been our #2 receiver all year and is just as dangerous as Hazel. Brown, a RS Freshman, has been explosive on special teams for us this year. Brown set a program record with a 95 yd kickoff return for a touchdown against VMI.
Q5) Prediction on Saturday’s 1st round contest?
A: Bethune-Cookman is certainly no pushover, with one of the top defenses in the FCS. However, CCU has already squared off against several of the top-10 defenses at our level & done very well. We are winning games by an average of 22.6 PPG, and while BCU is only giving up an average of 12 PPG against FCS competition – I don’t think they’ve faced an offense quite like ours this season.
The Wildcats also consistently hurt themselves with penalties, having been flagged a total of 115 times for 944 penalty yards on the season. While the “energetic” coaching style of Brian Jenkins may indeed inspire his players, it unfortunately causes his team to make too many mistakes on which I think the Chanticleers will capitalize.
I do expect this to be a hard-fought game, and I do expect BCU to come out with a chip on their shoulder as they seem to feel they need to avenge their loss to the Chanticleers in last year’s FCS playoffs. The Wildcats obviously have a stellar defense, and it will be interesting to see how they contain RB Lorenzo Taliaferro (who has only lost 11 yards all season) and how they respond to our threats at WR. All that said – I think the Chants take this contest at home, 31-20.
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When the 2013 NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoff pairings were announced last Sunday on ESPNU, of the 24 teams selected, three of them (Bethune-Cookman, South Carolina State, Tennessee State) were from Historically Black Colleges and Universities. It was the first time three HBCU’s had been selected for the postseason since 1999 (FAMU, Hampton, Tenn. State). Bethune-Cookman won the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s automatic berth, while South Carolina State (MEAC) and Tennessee State (Ohio Valley) were selected as at-large participants.
During the regular season, those teams forge some of the most intense rivalries in FCS football but once the playoffs begin, it’s not uncommon to hear coaches from opposing teams rooting for their HBCU brethren to do well in the tournament.
For head coach Brian Jenkins of Bethune-Cookman, he was extremely excited to see all three schools make the field of 24.
“I think it would speak volumes about the direction of where HBCU football is headed, Jenkins said. We play football just like every other school and because of our establishment I don’t think that should be taken into any type of consideration when you look at the brand of football.”
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The Wildcats, who fell to the Chanticleers 24-14 in Daytona Beach last season, will travel to Brooks Stadium in Conway, S.C. for a 1:00 kickoff according to www.ncaa.com.
The BCU/CCU winner will travel cross-country for a matchup with Montana who received a first-round bye and the tournaments 8th seed.
Bethune-Cookman defeated their in-state rival Florida A&M 29-10 in this past Saturday’s Florida Blue Florida Classic. The 45,321 fans in attendance watched the Wildcat defense dominate the FAMU offense limiting the Rattlers to just 89 yards of total offense on the afternoon.
BCU is one of three HBCU teams headed to the FCS playoffs this season. MEAC Co-Champion, South Carolina State (9-3), and Ohio Valley 2nd place finisher, Tennessee State (9-3), join the Wildcats in the field of twenty-four.
South Carolina State will host their first ever FCS playoff game in a matchup against fellow Palmetto State foe Furman of the Southern Conference while Tennessee State will hit the road for a matchup against Butler (9-3) of the Pioneer League.
The Wildcats own victories over both SCSU and Tenn State this season. All three games involving HBCU squads kickoff on Saturday at 1:00 EST and can be seen on ESPN3.
Quentin Williams and Isidore Jakson rushed for two touchdowns each in Saturday’s Florida Classic but it was the Wildcat defense that paved the way for a comfortable 29-10 win for Bethune-Cookman over arch-rival Florida A&M.
The announced crowd of 45,321 watched BCU’s defense stymie the Rattlers and hold them to just 89 yards of total offense and forcing two turnovers on the afternoon.
Dyron Dye led the defensive charge and emerged from the contest with 7 total tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. 7 other Wildcat defenders finished the day with 4 or more tackles.
FAMU struck first in the contest on a 41 yard Chase Varnadore field goal with 9:58 remaining in the 1st.
BCU responded quickly going 79 yards on 7 plays on the ensuing drive. Williams hit Jontavious Carter on a 43 yard catch and run to set the Wildcats up in good field position. 6 plays later Williams walked into the endzone to provide BCU with a 7-3 lead.
After a FAMU 3 and out, BCU travelled 66 yards on 10 plays and eventually found the endzone on Williams’ second rushing touchdown of the game, this time from 17 yards out.
The Wildcats capped the 1st half scoring on a 3 yard Isidore Jackson touchdown run. Senior quarterback Brodrick Waters hit Brandon Bryant in the back of the endzone on the 2 point conversion attempt to push the halftime lead to 21-3.
Florida A&M’s only points of the second half came on a 45 yard fumble return by Jonathan Pillow midway through the 3rd quarter.
Isidore Jackson’s second 3 yard touchdown run of the afternoon followed by Waters 2 point conversion run wrapped up the scoring at 29-10.
With the win, BCU locked up their 3rd conference crown and playoff appearance in the past 4 years. The win also pushed BCU’s active win streak over FAMU to 3 games. Only one time prior, 2002, 2003, and 2004, had BCU won 3 straight games over Florida A&M.
The pairings for the 2013 FCS Playoffs will be announced Sunday morning at 11:30 A.M. on ESPNU.
The 34th installment of the Florida Blue Florida Classic between in-state rivals Bethune-Cookman and Florida A&M is upon us. The contest has grown into one of the premier HBCU showcases attracting over one and half million fans since its inception in 1978. The two teams have combined for twelve (12) conference titles during that same timeframe and have created many memorable moments in this annual showdown.
Players and coaches from both teams will look to create their own signature Florida Classic moment when the two teams square off Saturday at 2:00 p.m. in the Citrus Bowl.
Here is a look back at some of the more memorable games played in Florida Classic history.
Memorable Florida Classic Moments
1978 – Florida A&M trailed BCU 17-0 at halftime in the first ever Florida Classic played in Tampa Stadium. The Rattlers scored 27 unanswered points in the second half en route to a 27-17 victory. Rudy Hubbard’s squad went on to win the first 1-AA (now FCS) National Championship later that season. A year later (1979) BCU won their first Florida Classic 25-20.
1994 – BCU QB Tony Kerrin connected with Morris Nobles on a 2 yard TD reception in the corner of the endzone to give the Wildcats a 27-24 lead with :47 remaining in the contest. BCU went on to win by the same margin and Coach Cy McClairen earned his first victory over the Rattlers as a head coach.
2003 – Daytona Beach native and current Chicago Bear, Eric Weems, scored 3 touchdowns and helped the Wildcats rally from a 28-10 halftime deficit. The final touchdown was set up by a fake punt attempt on 4th and 17 with less than 2:00 remaining in the contest. A FAMU player was flagged for pass interference on the fake punt and BCU was awarded an automatic first down.
Later in the drive quarterback Allen Suber avoided a sack, rolled to his right, and hit Weems who beat triple coverage just beyond the pylon with 9 seconds remaining in the game. BCU prevailed 39-35 in front of the largest crowd (73,358) in Florida Classic history.
2004 – Florida Classic fans were treated to the first overtime in the history of the series. The Wildcats eventually prevailed 58-52.
FAMU’s Ben Dougherty (QB) and Roosevelt Kiser (WR) had career days in that contest. Midway through the third quarter, Dougherty connected with Kiser on a 66 yard TD reception and extended FAMU’s lead to 45-24.
Head coach Alvin Wyatt then made the decision to move eventual three-time All-Pro defensive back Nick Collins from safety to cornerback with the assignment of blanketing Kiser. The move proved to be very effective for the maroon and gold. The FAMU passing game was severely limited as a result of the coaching decision and the Wildcats outscored FAMU 34-7 from that point forward. Rodney Johnson’s 15 yard touchdown run in overtime sealed the victory for BCU.
Coach Wyatt, who was overcome with emotion after the win, fainted and had to be carted off the field by medical personnel. Wyatt was eventually treated for dehydration but was no worse for the wear.
Not only was the 2004 victory the first overtime fame in Florida Classic history, it was also the first time that BCU won three consecutive victories over the FAMU.
2005 – Like the year prior, this game was also decided in overtime; only this time FAMU would emerge as the victor. The Rattlers entered the contest as underdogs and quickly fell behind to the Wildcats 17-0. But A&M slowly climbed back into the contest and forced the game into overtime on the strength of a Wesley Taylor 43-yard field goal with less than 3 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter. Taylor’s 26-yarder in overtime vaulted the Rattlers to a 26-23 win.
2010 – BCU entered the 2010 FC (Brian Jenkins’ first year) with an unblemished 10-0 record. However, a 3rd quarter injury to eventual MEAC Offensive Player of the Year, quarterback Matt Johnson, derailed BCU’s high-octane “Speedway Offense.” FAMU capitalized on the opportunity and secured a 38-27 win in one of the biggest upsets in FC history. Phillip Sylvester scored 3 times for the Rattlers and rushed for 146 yards on 26 carries in the process.