1- Bethune-Cookman shuts down FAMU in Florida Classic, blocks Rattlers’ shot at MEAC title
2- 99-yard TD run carries Bethune-Cookman to victory over Florida A&M
3- Bethune-Cookman scores twice in 4th, Beats FAMU 33-19
4- FAMU Collapses again in Florida Classic, lose 33-19 to BCU
5- FAMU drops disappointing verdict in Classic
6- Bethune-Cookman downs FAMU, 33-19
7- Super 8! BCU wins eighth straight Florida Classic behind big plays, late turnovers
8- Bethune-Cookman spoils FAMU celebration bowl berth with Florida Classic win
MEAC Outlines Football Tiebreaker Scenarios – Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
— Read on meacsports.com/news/2018/11/13/meac-outlines-football-tiebreaker-scenarios.aspx
Nebraska – Bethune-Cookman Postgame Quotes
For those of us who were raised in decent homes, you can quote at least half a dozen proverbs and wise-sayings you heard on a recurring basis. The purpose behind these truisms were to impart wisdom you could apply that would help you minimize your disappointments and frustrations in life. Unfortunately I violated one of these valuable axioms when I posed the question Who Are We just before the kickoff to the 2018 season.
You see my mama always told me “boy don’t ask a question you’re not prepared to hear the answer to!” Yet before the season I asked the question anyway…Who Are We?
I knew the answer before asking but I chose to close my eyes real tight and wish really hard that I would receive an answer different than the obvious. Then the season kicked off and after two-thirds of the way through, the answer is screaming at me louder than Jack Nicholas in ‘A Few Good Men’.
The truth is at this point of the 2018 season and at this point in head coach Terry Sims tenure, Bethune-Cookman is a middle of the road MEAC team. If you think differently, you are naïve, delusional and/or just plain wrong.
Don’t misquote me, the Wildcats are not a bad team. They still have enough talent on both sides of the ball to give anyone in this conference a headache. However, they certainly are not an elite team. They play the type of game that allow lower rung teams to hang around in contests until very late on and they sometimes get blown out of contests their talent level should cause them to be more competitive in. (Think Tennessee State and North Carolina A&T).
This is not a knee-jerk reaction and we are not jumping ship. Truth is a blessing. The truth is the HailWildcats.com team has attended nearly every game both home and away of the Sims era. After 3.67 seasons of observation, our conclusion is BCU is what their record say they are:
…good enough to finish around .500;
…good enough to pull off a victory over one of the teams near the top of the standings every now and then;
…not good enough to beat teams like Howard and North Carolina A&T with regularity;
…not good enough to be a late season contender for the MEAC crown.
Take Saturday’s 35-10 defeat to the Aggies as the measuring stick. The loss marked the 4th defeat in four years against A&T. Coach Sims was asked what needed to be done to narrow the chasm between the Wildcats and Aggies to which Sims replied “the gap is not that wide as far as I am concerned.” Sure the Wildcats woulda, coulda and shouda won the matchups in 2015, ’16 and ’17. The fact is they did not. North Carolina A&T made the plays that led to victory.
Last Saturday, they were two steps ahead of Bethune in every phase of the game. It shows the distance A&T have created between themselves and BCU since 2015. NCA&T have a multitude of quality wins in that timeframe including wins over 3 FBS schools (Kent State, Eastern Carolina and Charlotte) as well as a host of FCS foes including Top 25 teams like Jacksonville State and Grambling St. During that same timeframe, the Wildcats have one quality win over a good Grambling State in 2015…two if you count the win over 6-5 SE Louisiana last season but that is a stretch.
The point is last week’s contest against NCA&T was a reminder of the power shift in the MEAC but it was also a measuring stick of who BCU were, who they are and who they would like to become again.
I hope it happens.
I want the MEAC crown to return to Daytona and flow through ‘Da Beach’ each season.
The players and coaches are not afforded the luxury of hope though. They are measured by performance and perform they must in the last third of the season. Not because a championship is on the line but simply to save the season. It is not out of the realm of possibility that the Wildcats could fail to reach .500 this year; or dare I say, fall in the Florida Classic. That’s sacrilegious I know but the Wildcats currently sit at 4-4 and they only have 3 winnable games remaining. 7-5 is attainable and still respectable. Anything less than that is a disappointment in my opinion.
Reaching 7-5 will be no easy feat when you consider the Wildcats will not have a bye week this season due to the late addition of Nebraska. To compound matters, starting quarterback Arkevious Williams has been the engine that makes the Wildcats go offensively. He suffered a leg injury in Saturday’s contest and we have yet to hear an official diagnosis on the injury.
Here’s to a speedy recover to Arkevious and strong finish for the Wildcats.
The cascading colors of fall foliage are just starting to approach their crowning in the Mid-Eastern United States. Concurrently, the true contenders for the Mid-Eastern Athletic crown are just starting to approach the point of the season where they must show their true colors or risk falling by the wayside.
A quick glance at the MEAC standings through Week Six shockingly reveals Florida A&M as the lone unblemished team in conference play. Six teams, including Bethune-Cookman, find themselves adorned with 1-1 records and tied for second.
BCU is 3-3 overall at the midpoint but the road is still wide open for Terry Sims and his squad to reach their goal of securing a berth in the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl on Saturday, December 15th at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The Wildcats face 5 of the conference’s top 7 teams between now and the end of the season beginning with this weekend’s matchup against South Carolina State in Orangeburg.
And since we are at the midpoint, we may as well hand out a few grades and highlight a few noteworthy items we have witnessed through the first six weeks.
The Good– Cookman boasts the MEAC’s top scoring offense (36.8 ppg) and second leading total offense (393.3 ypg). The offense was expected to struggle early but they have been a refreshing revelation in the first half of the season. Junior quarterback Arkevious Williams has been as good as any QB in the league sporting a MEAC best 155.2 passing efficiency. The 6’2” signal caller from Madison, Florida, who is enjoying his first season as the full time starter, has had plenty of help leading the Cats offense.
Keavon Mitchell is living up to expectations and heads a very good group of receivers. Mitchell has proven his mettle as both a reliable target man and a playmaker. Malique Jackson, Jonathon Thomas, and Jimmie Robinson are also regular contributors in the passing game.
The Not So Good— We fully understand stats can sometimes be misleading but if we use them as a justification for praise, they should also be used a barometer of what needs to be addressed. The BCU rushing attack has improved as the season progressed but an honest assessment of the ground game yields unspectacular ratings. We have yet to see the ground game dominate or even product a 100 yard rusher this season. The offensive line is improving but to this point, they are better pass blockers than run blockers and still a work in progress.
Quarterback keepers on broken plays have proven to be the most effective part of the run attack. Offensive coordinator Allen Suber must find a way to get more consistency out of the rushing attack in October and November if the Cats are to find their way to Atlanta.
The Good— Marques Ford (DE), Marquis Hendrix (LB), Elliott Miller (CB) and Kennedy N’Dukwe (S) have all been outstanding on defense. Ford leads the team in sacks (6) and tackles for loss (7.5) while Hendrix is the team leader in total tackles (43) and interceptions (2). Elliott and N’Dukwe patrol the backend of the defense and have come up with one big play after another through the first six game.
Although the Cats have enjoyed very good individual performances from these and other defensive stars, like Todney Evans against Mississippi Valley, they remain in the middle of the pack in most defensive categories. Most significantly, BCU is giving up over 31 points a game and three of the team’s six opponents were Virginia-Lynchburg, Savannah State and Mississippi Valley State.
HBCU pundits and the Wildcat coaching staff alike predicted the Wildcat D would need to carry the team until the offense gained its footing. Things have proven to be just the opposite. There is no doubt BCU is loaded with talent on the defensive side of the ball; now it is time the production catches up.
Special Teams: B+
With special thanks to Flagler Palm Coast products, Jimmie Robinson and Que’shaun Byrd, the Wildcats have 3 kickoff return touchdowns this season. To give you some perspective of how big of a deal that is, prior to Byrd’s 88 yard KR against Virginia-Lynchburg and Robinson’s 94 and 99 yard kick returns against Howard, BCU’s last kickoff return for a touchdown was taken to the house by Eddie Poole in 2010. Usher’s “There Go My Baby” was the #1 song in the land in 2010.
I said “Ur-sher” baby!
The kicking game has also been good for the Wildcats. The one area you would like to see BCU improve on special teams is in their kickoff coverage. The Cats still yield more yards than you would like on kickoff coverage.
After six games, the team sits at 3-3. There has been some good coaching (see the special teams blurb above), some alright coaching and some forgettable moments for Sims and his staff. Tennessee State was very much a forgettable moment. The Tigers outplayed and outcoached the Wildcats in every facet of the game in the season opener. BCU is a completely different team now but someone has to own the team’s lack of performance against TSU.
We credit the coaching staff for not losing the team after the disastrous 34-3 shellacking on opening weekend.
Allen Suber and the offensive coaches deserve credit for the offensive production through this juncture of the season. We also think fans are well within their rights to expect more from Yogi Jones and the defensive coaches for that side of the ball not playing up to expectations or their overall talent level.
Overall the coaching has been average. The on the field product has been good enough to yield a respectable result against a quality FBS opponent but not good enough to dominate a lowly SWAC opponent. That’s pretty average.
There are six games remaining and Atlanta is still in view. We are hoping our end of the season grades are better than the midterm. More importantly, we are hoping the Wildcats will be celebrating their first conference title since 2015.
The good news for Terry Sims and his men is they do not have to hope. They get to control the narrative and their destiny through their performance on the field.
Saturday’s kickoff against South Carolina is at 2:00PM and can be streamed live on ESPN3.
Attention HAILWILDCAT Nation!
Please join us for food, fun, and football at our Hailwildcats.com 2k18 Homecoming Tailgate Party Zone Spot 77 (Homeside) 3rd row from the Lake at Municipal Stadium on Saturday October 6th, 2018 starting at 1 pm.
HailWildcats.com is a network of passionate alumni, students, and friends of the Great Bethune-Cookman University. It is also a huge gathering place for the BCU faithful and is intended to provide Wildcat supporters with a vein through which we can fellowship, network, keep informed, and stay involved. We are glad that you visited. We encourage you to come by our Tailgate zone and meet the staff and cheer on your Cats.
For A DONATION of $8.00, (click on the link below to donate) you can dine on the wonderful items listed below.
Menu includes: Fish, Barbeque Chicken, numerous sides, and desserts!
and be entered into our Hail Wildcats~ Bethune-Cookman Football Fan Forum…Florida Classic Ticket Giveaway. Thats right, Hailwildcats.com will be raffling off 1 ticket ($52.00 value) to the 2018 Florida Classic on Saturday November 17th.
Winner will be announced on Hailwildcats.com on October 14th, 2018
We look forward to seeing you at Homecoming!
BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) — Devin Singletary stormed in for a school record five rushing touchdowns in the first half as Florida Atlantic jumped out to an early lead and coasted to a 49-28 victory over Bethune-Cookman on Saturday.
Singletary had 50 yards rushing in the first half and got the call every time the Owls were near the goal line, with his longest scoring run coming from the 18, as Florida Atlantic (2-1) led 29-0 in the first quarter. They were up 36-14 at the half.
Singletary, who has had a rushing touchdown in 16 straight games, now owns the C-USA record for consecutive games with a rushing TD. Louisiana Tech’s Kenneth Dixon held the old mark.
Chris Robinson hit Jovon Durante with a 10-yard TD pass early in the third quarter for FAU’s first score that did not involve Singletary.
Akevious Williams threw for 201 yards and three touchdowns for Bethune-Cookman (1-2).
There is a gentlemen by the name of Dr. K. Jackson who has a thriving pediatric dentistry practice in the Great Atlanta Area. I know you don’t really care about that, unless of course your Little Johnny has a gator-sized overbite in which case you may want to rush out to one of Dr. Jackson’s offices IMMEDIATELY, but humor me if you will.
When we were both seven years old, some older kids in the neighborhood provoked me to start a fight with Dr. J. I had a pretty good history up to that point of holding my own against kids at my level so what the heck. Let’s do this!
Let’s just say things did not go the way I anticipated that day.
Dr. Jackson’s 7 year old self kicked my 7 year self’s butt. It was awful. I cried real tears y’all. I am not exaggerating. He beat me up and sent me home crying real tears. The most frustrating thing is I felt like I had no answers. I just remember thinking whatever the 7 year old version of ‘somebody throw in the dang towel already’ while I was eating a plate full of future dentist fists.
He outthought me, outmaneuvered me, out-classed, out-witted, out-manned, outperformed…I was just…well ‘out’ that day. It was a completely one sided affair.
For those of you who witnessed Bethune-Cookman’s contest against Tennessee State this weekend, it was pretty much the same; only BCU was me and TnST was Dr. Jackson. The Tigers “out-everything” Bethune last Saturday. They outrushed (201-66), out passed (324-178), out-executed, outcoached and of course outscored (34-3) Cookman.
Fortunately for 7 year old me, it all worked out in the end. I live a pretty good life now and Dr. Jackson and I are best of friends to this day. It was also the last fight I loss so I have that to hang my hat on too.
The Wildcats are looking for a similar story line. A lopsided defeat early in the season does not have to define this team and it can mostly be erased from the memory banks if they can course-correct. Objective number one if they are to steer this ship back towards the Celebration Bowl is to fix the offensive line woes. That’s easily spoken but not easily resolved.
Now granted, the offensive line is young and Tennessee State is not exactly the defense you want to break in the new tires against. The Tigers threw a myriad of pressures at the young Wildcat front and frankly BCU simply were not good enough to handle it. Even though the OLine failed their first test, they must rebound if this team wishes to finish the season at or near the top of the conference standings.
Surely the Wildcats will look to set the tone and build much needed confidence in the offense and throughout the entire team when Virginia University of Lynchburg roll into Daytona Beach this Saturday.
The Dragons are a gift from Ms. Mary McLeod to her beloved Wildcats in Week Two of the College Football Season. Virginia Lynchburg are not members of the NCAA, instead, they compete in the lower and less competitive NCCAA or National Christian College Athletic Association. Yet it’s still an official contest against other grown men and after last week’s drubbing, you could not find a better place on the schedule for it. The Wildcats need to not only win this contest but they need to play the role the big bruiser in this fight and get that swagger back that comes not just from winning but dominating your opponent. Doing so would pump a gulp of fresh air into Wildcat nation. I am sure it would also make 7 year old Dr. Jackson really proud.
Kickoff is scheduled for 4:00pm.
Hey y’all; it’s game week and the kickoff of the 2018 MEAC football season is here. (That felt so good I will say it again).
Hey y’all; it’s game week and the kickoff of the 2018 MEAC football season is here. Our beloved Wildcats travel to Nashville to take on the Tigers of Tennessee State this Saturday, September 1st at 7:00pm in the John Merritt Classic. Bethune will look to capture its first MEAC crown since 2015 and finish the season in Atlanta in the Celebration Bowl.
But it’s not just the Wildcats who will fight to position themselves at the top of the MEAC standings come season end. Aggies, Eagles, Bison and Bulldogs will all attempt to claw their way to the catbird seat and represent the conference in Atlanta in December.
Our MEACFANSZone friend, durhamgsoaggie, put together a list of things to watch for this season in the MEAC that will likely have major impacts on 2018 and beyond. Enjoy!
1. A Tale of Two Willies In Tally.
2018 will mark the first time that the two D1 universities in Florida’s capital will both have black head football coaches (and under the age of 45). In fact, the ADs, men’s basketball coaches and head football coaches of both FAMU and FSU are all black males.
Slick Willie (Taggart) and Fast Willie (Simmons) are great young football minds who have the potential to change the game at their prospective levels. In addition to winning, the question is whether they can produce a synergy within the city of Tallahassee that hasn’t been there to lift both sides to dominance? And will FAMU’s recruitment of Kayvon Thibodeaux, one of the nation’s highest rated players, have an effect on this if successful?
2. The evolution of Akevious Williams and the Circle City Debate
Most media outlets have Howard picked as the consensus #2 behind A&T because of the Caylin Newton/Mike London effect. But an argument can be made that the most talented roster in the MEAC from top-to-bottom is down in Daytona. With Larry Brihm now departed to the CFL, will Williams make the leap this year as the unquestioned leader at QB under the tutelage of Allen Suber? Or will he fall back into a timeshare with a player like Jabari Dunham? Given BCU’s home games against A&T & NCCU and a bevy of talented RBs to go with an aggressive defense… the answer to this question could have championship ramifications for the MEAC.
BCU also elected to give up its home game vs. Howard for the Circle City Classic. If BCU wins, this is a moot issue. However… if Howard wins on the neutral site, the questions will linger whether it was a wise move to give up home-field advantage for the $$$ and visibility for Circle City. This game is definitely one to watch.
3. NCCU – The QB Collectors
NCCU started 2017 with former Southern/JUCO transfer Micah Zanders at QB. Due to injury, freshman Chauncey Caldwell took over the reins for the Eagles with sophomore Naill Ramadan mixed in. In the offseason, NCCU signed Zanders’ brother Marvin, a grad transfer QB from Missouri. In addition, freshman Dominique Shoffner redshirted. Crowded QB rooms are nothing new in a D1 football program. But with a squad replacing 8 starters on defense, continuity and efficiency on offense will be key early in the season. Coach Granville Eastman is a defensive guy who will have his defense fully functional by mid-season. RBs are abundant with the return of Isaiah Totten and arrival of hometown star Jamal Elliott. But the QB room in Durham is a carousel to watch early in the season.
4. The Ticking Clock in Norfolk
3 seasons and no progress in Norfolk for Coach Latrell Scott. Solid recruiting classes, a solid returning starter at QB in Juwan Carter, a big win down in Durham vs. NCCU… but no real traction so far. Tragedy struck the Norfolk program in a major way last season. But this is a new season and the natives in the talent-rich Tidewater region are on the warpath. Can Scott’s staff produce the synergy needed to produce a winning season? Can an offensive line emerge to control the clock, keep an opportunistic defense fresh and keep the talented Carter upright to make plays? Or will Scott’s tenure end with a grave in the Tidewater wetlands? One thing is for sure… Virginia State and Reggie Barlow are coming on September 1st. Could Scott be playing against his potential replacement? Time will tell.
5. End of an era in Orangeburg and Savannah.
Rumors have been swirling that 2018 will be the last for SCSU Coach Oliver “Buddy” Pough. 2018 is also the last season for Savannah St as they move back to the SIAC in Division II. SCSU produced another high draft pick with Darius Leonard going in the 2nd round to the Colts. With SCSU losing LB Dashawn Taylor as well… will the massive OL/DLs down in Orangeburg be able to carry the load and give Buddy one last winning season out the door? And can Coach Erik Raeburn continue to build a viable program given concurrent defections due to the pending move down for progress in 2018?
6. New faces, same problems in Delaware & Baltimore
Coaches Rod Milstead and Ernest Jones bring new energy & passion to their programs. But structural and regional issues still remain the same for both programs. Can the coaches recruit successfully enough in the same competitive recruiting regions? And are the staffs they assemble capable enough in the scheme/execution department to make a significant change in the quality of football we’ve seen from both schools? A competitive DSU/MSU combo makes this entire conference take a step up. We need it.
7. Golden Non-Conference Opportunities
Multiple schools have great opportunities for OOC wins, including Morgan St, NCCU, FAMU and BCU. Norfolk St has a major home game against FCS power James Madison. But the headliners are Howard & A&T.
Howard has FBS Ohio & Kent St while ending the season hosting FCS Bryant. A&T kicks off the season with FCS power Jacksonville St, then travels to FBS East Carolina, followed by hosting FCS Gardner Webb. The A&T/Jax St. game may be the biggest MEAC FCS game since the 1999 I-AA Playoffs in terms of competitive standing on the FCS stage. Howard’s win over UNLV and near-miss at Kent in 2017 put them on the map in the Mike London era. Continuing to win more of these games is critical to gaining a broader market audience for the MEAC. But tiebreakers may also come into play for A&T and Howard, since they will not play each other in 2018. So all of these matchups are key in 2018.
Thanks durhamgsoaggie for your input.