BCU Relishes chance against Miami

MIAMI — Bethune-Cookman will get everything it wants this weekend. A check for appearing. A chance to gather thousands of alumni in one place. Another opportunity to play on national television.

And best of all, a shot against one of college football’s big-time programs.

Only 86 years after starting its football program, Bethune-Cookman – a relatively small, historically black university in Daytona Beach, Fla. – is finally going to play one of football’s top brands. The Wildcats visit Miami on Saturday afternoon, marking the first time the team from the division formerly known as I-AA will line up against a team with ties to the Bowl Championship Series.

 Suffice to say, there’s going to be no shortage of alumni from the visiting school entering Sun Life Stadium this weekend.

“It happens to be the biggest game this week for us,” Wildcats athletic director Lynn Thompson said. “But I have to give credence to the fact that it’s an opportunity for the university to be seen on a national platform. It’s an infomercial on B-CU. For 3½ hours, we’ll have the nation’s undivided attention. We’re hoping to utilize this opportunity to penetrate some recruiting circles and maybe tell potential donors and sponsors something about Bethune-Cookman.”

Bethune-Cookman (2-1) is a perennial contender in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, where it plays alongside the likes of Florida A&M, Howard, Hampton and South Carolina State. Miami (1-2) is using this as another tuneup for its return to the Atlantic Coast Conference season next week, with road games looming at Virginia Tech and North Carolina.

 The Hurricanes are quite clear on what this opportunity means to Bethune-Cookman, which expects “thousands” of graduates to attend.

 “It’s their Super Bowl,” Miami quarterback Jacory Harris said. “We understand they’re going to come out here playing their hardest. They’re going to give us their best game. We’re going to give them our best game.”

 For the Bethune-Cookman players and coaches, it means as much as any rivalry game would. Maybe even more, when considering that it’s a homecoming for Wildcats coach Brian Jenkins. Like about two dozen of his current players, Jenkins grew up in South Florida, maybe a 20-minute drive from the stadium the Hurricanes call home. He rooted for them. He wanted to be them.

Come Saturday, he’ll try to beat them.

Click here to read more: http://www.news4jax.com/sports/29340402/detail.html.

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Hurricanes have respect for Bethune-Cookman

If Miami running back Lamar Miller’s left shoulder injury is bearable, he will play against Bethune-Cookman University at Sun Life Stadium on Saturday.

It became evident late Sunday afternoon that Miami coach Al Golden in no way intends to peek past Bethune Cookman to plan toward 11th-ranked Virginia Tech — the Canes’ Atlantic Coast Conference road opponent on Oct. 8.

Not after UM’s 28-24 loss to Kansas State in which the defense allowed 265 yards rushing and couldn’t come up with a turnover after four Wildcats’ fumbles.

And not after the Hurricanes offense couldn’t score the winning touchdown after four chances from within 2 yards.

“All respect,’’ Golden said Sunday during his Kansas State recap teleconference, “we’re trying to win the game. That’s all we’re trying to do. … We’re not there right now.

“We’re playing too many young guys and we’re trying to settle into being a good team ourselves. We’re just trying to fix the things that we’re not doing well.

“For all the things we didn’t do well, we had a chance to win that game. That’s ultimately on my shoulders, and that’s something I’ve got to get fixed. Our kids are fighting back. They’re competing. They’re giving themselves an opportunity to win, and we’ve got to make sure we do that. But we don’t have time to move forward right now on anything else but Bethune.’’
Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/09/26/2425115/miami-hurricanes-have-respect.html#ixzz1ZIV4Lqtk 

Hurricane Running Back Lamar Miller

Commissioner Thomas issues statement on BCU/HU football game

Photo courtesy of MEAC Media Relations

NORFOLK, Va., September 27, 2011 – Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Commissioner Dennis Thomas has issued a statement regarding the final play of the Bethune-Cookman University vs. Hampton University football game played on Thursday, September 22, 2011 in Daytona Beach, Fla. The game was televised live on ESPNU.

“In addition to reviewing the video with the MEAC’s Coordinator of Football Officials Rosie Amato, I felt the need to procure external analysis of the play in question and requested three seasoned and nationally respected officials including Rogers Redding, CFO National Coordinator of Football Officials and NCAA Football Rules Committee Secretary-Rules Editor, Doug Rhoads, Coordinator of Football Officials for the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), and Dr. Gerald Austin, Coordinator of Football Officials of Conference USA, to independently review the play in question. Upon their review it was concluded unanimously that the ruling to reverse the on field call to an incomplete catch was accurate therefore invalidating the final Hampton touchdown.

The analysis of the video evidence concluded that the airborne receiver did not maintain control of the ball after hitting the ground, and by rule did not fulfill all the elements of the process of completing the catch. The rule support for this reversal is Approved Ruling 7-3-6-XII and 7-3-6-XIII found on page FI-35 of the 2011-12 NCAA Football Rules and Interpretations manual.”

After Further Review

BCU Fans looking for a short-term investment opportunity this week may want to consider the following: 7-3-6. According to the Florida Lottery’s website, Cash 3 players short-term investors using these numbers have a 1:1000 chance of winning the daily grand prize. For those that receive no return on their investment, consider yours 1 of the more than $22 billion donated to education; or perhaps you should consider your investment an honorarium on behalf of NCAA Approving Rule (A.R.) 7-3-6, that is to say NCAA football Rule 7, Section 3, Article 6, subsections IX, XII, XIII.

A.R. 7-3-6 is the Rule that was cited and allowed replay officials to overturn Hampton receiver Isiah Thomas’ apparent game-winning touchdown catch as time expired. BCU survived with a 35-31 victory over Hampton. Wildcat fans can take consolation in the fact that the game officials got the call right. The rule (specifically subsections IX, XII, and XIII) states that an airborne receiver must maintain control of the ball while going to the ground, when he hits the ground, and after hitting the ground. http://www.ncaapublications.com/productdownloads/FR12.pdf (page 164). Here’s an excerpt:

IX. “Airborne receiver A85 grasps a forward pass and in the process of going to the ground, first contacts the ground with his left foot as he falls to the ground inbounds. Immediately upon A85 hitting the ground, the ball comes loose and touches the ground. RULING: Incomplete pass. An airborne receiver must maintain control of the ball while going to the ground in the process of completing a catch”.

XII. “Receiver A85 stretches out at the Team B two-yard line and grasps a forward pass and is going to the ground on his own as he is attempting to complete the catch. As A85 falls to the ground in the end zone, the ball immediately comes loose and falls to the ground. RULING: Incomplete pass. Any receiver going to the ground on his own in the process of making a catch must maintain control of the ball when he hits the ground”.

XIII. “Receiver A85 is airborne in the end zone and grasps a forward pass, but while airborne he is hit by a defender, which causes A85 to fall to the ground. Immediately upon A85 hitting the ground, the ball comes loose and strikes the ground. RULING: Incomplete pass. An airborne receiver contacted before completing all the requirements of a catch must still maintain control of the ball after hitting the ground”.

The video evidence clearly shows that the Hampton receiver was airborne and that he did not maintain possession after hitting the ground. The ruling of incomplete pass was absolutely correct. It is a tough way to lose if you are a Pirate fan, but kudos to the officials for getting the call right.

Sweet Relief

Jackie Wilson replaced Jamarr Robinson at quarterback with just over 3:00 remaining in the 3rd quarter. He ended the night completing 5 of his 6 pass attempts with 2 touchdowns. Eddie Poole –who muscled the ball away from Hampton corner back Kambrell McGee in the corner of the endzone- was the recipient of Wilson’s 2nd td toss. The play capped an 80-yard touchdown drive that proved to be the game winner. The Wildcat offense outscored Hampton’s offense 21-0 in the second half.

Rodney Scott had his best statistical game as a BCU football player. Scott racked up 176 yards of total offense (126 rushing and 30 receiving) including a spectacular 33 yard td catch and run in which he broke three tackles in route to the endzone.

Other Memorable finishes at Municipal Stadium

  • 1998- BCU set an NCAA record defeating Virginia State (VSU) 63-57 in the 8th overtime session. The most memorable moment in that game occurred in the 7th overtime when Wildcat defensive tackle Damion Cook returned a blocked field goal attempt 60 plus yards for a certain game winning touchdown. However, Cook’s attempted celebratory dive in to the endzone fell just short. Cook landed at the VSU 1 yard line and earned the nickname “Big-Dive” as a result of the play. Cook went on to enjoy 5 seasons as an NFL player.
  • 2001- A controversial clipping call on a Rashean Mathis 4th quarter punt return  touchdown negated a Wildcat go ahead score against eventual MEAC champion NC A&T. The homecoming jubilation of 16,725 Wildcat fans was spoiled as the Aggies went on to win the contest 16-14.

Team Stat Comparison

  Hampton Bethune-Cook.
1st Downs

19

21

3rd down efficiency

7-18

6-12

4th down efficiency

2-3

1-2

Total Yards

417

414

Passing

225

154

Comp-Att

14-29

13-21

Yards per pass

7.8

7.3

Rushing

192

260

Rushing Attempts

46

48

Yards per rush

4.2

5.4

Penalties

12-107

10-69

Turnovers

0

3

Fumbles lost

0

2

Interceptions thrown

0

1

Possession

28:36

31:24

 

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTER

HAMP

COOK

  TD 09:27 David Allen 8 Yd Run (Sven Hurd Kick)

0

7

 p FG 05:38 Taurean Durham 20 Yd

3

7

  TD 04:59 David Allen 1 Yd Run (Sven Hurd Kick)

3

14

 p TD 01:50 Isaiah Thomas 50 Yd Pass From David Legree (Taurean Durham Kick)

10

14

SECOND QUARTER

HAMP

COOK

 p TD 03:47 David Legree 3 Yd Run (Taurean Durham Kick)

17

14

 p TD 01:26 David Legree 37 Yd Run (Taurean Durham Kick)

24

14

THIRD QUARTER

HAMP

COOK

  TD 11:28 Eddie Poole 6 Yd Pass From David Allen (Sven Hurd Kick)

24

21

  TD 00:37 Rodney Scott 33 Yd Pass From Jackie Wilson (Sven Hurd Kick)

24

28

FOURTH QUARTER

HAMP

COOK

 p TD 09:15 Jeremy Jermin 20 Yd Interception Return (Taurean Durham Kick)

31

28

  TD 02:50 Eddie Poole 13 Yd Pass From Jackie Wilson (Sven Hurd Kick)

31

35

 

 

 

 

A must win for BCU

Blackout Part 2--Thursday Sept. 22nd vs Hampton--Photo courtesy of BCU Athletics

Shortly after his team’s 26-18 setback to South Carolina State (on Sept. 10th), Brian Jenkins was asked how the defeat altered his outlook on the season. The second year head coach quickly and emphatically replied: “it doesn’t; we’re still going for it all”.

Coach Jenkins’ competitive nature and on-the-field success has helped re-energize the BCU fanbase and raise expectations in Wildcatland. However, if the second year head coach hopes to have any realistic chance of qualifying for this year’s FCS playoffs, his Fighting Wildcats (1-1) must win Thursday nights’ (Sept. 22nd) contest against the Hampton Pirates (2-1).

The Pirates are a formidable team who will not easily relinquish to defeat. Hampton (HU), boast the MEAC’s leader in Total Offense in quarterback David Legree (273.3 ypg); the MEAC’s leading rusher in Antwon Chisholm (81 ypg); as well as the conference’s leading tackler in Delbert Tyler (35 total, 11.7 per game). Legree played well in last week’s matchup against Old Dominion (ODU) accounting for over 320 yards of offense (260 passing, 1 TD; and 66 rushing 1 td); while Tyler (LB) was the defensive standout tallying 17 tackles in the defeat. The Pirates will look to rebound from the devastating 45-42 loss suffered at the hands of its Hampton Roads rival ODU. A 4th quarter blocked punt for a touchdown and two 4th quarter turnovers proved too much for Donovan Rose’s team to overcome. A Hampton victory over Bethune would give them the inside tract to the MEAC’s automatic playoff bid. Hampton, who already has a victory over MEAC foe FAMU and FCS opponent Alabama A&M, still controls its own destiny. The Pirates avoid South Carolina State (SCSU) this year thanks to the conference’s new unbalanced schedule. Based on the MEAC’s new tiebreaker system, HU (and not SCSU) would receive the conference’s automatic playoff bid if they both win out.

Uncharted waters

Thursday night’s game against Hampton is perhaps the most important game to date in Brian Jenkins’ young head coaching career. This will be the first time he has coach under any real distress. A win by BCU positions them nicely for a run at the MEAC crown and postseason play; while another conference loss all but certainly eliminates them from either. A defeat to Hampton would also start to raise some doubts and criticisms of Coach Jenkins. BCU is 1-3 in their last 4 overall matchups  and 0-2 in their last 2 conference games. The two defeats to end last season can be largely attributed to a compilation of injuries including a substantial one to the 2010-MEAC offensive player of the year, quarterback Matt Johnson. Conversely, the Wildcats were at full strength during last week’s defeat to the Bulldogs but uncharacteristically “played with a lack of discipline and detail” according to Coach Jenkins. Special teams miscues and untimely turnovers helped derail the Wildcats against SCSU. BCU will receive its first chance at redemption and hopes to prove that they are one of the best teams in all of FCS football when they faceoff with HU this Thursday night. The FCS world will be watching as the contest will be broadcast live to a national audience on ESPNU.  A good showing by the Wildcats could go a long way in helping them earn the “right to play for it all”.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Other Notes

  • Last year’s BCU vs. HU contest was also broadcasted on ESPNU. The Wildcats ruined the Pirates homecoming and narrowly escaped with a victory. HU defensive lineman Kenrick Ellis was nearly unblockable in that contest but the Wildcats clawed their way to a 23-18 victory. Ellis was selected by the NY Jets  in the 3rd round of the 2011 NFL draft.
  • BCU has won the last three meetings versus Hampton.
  • Remember to wear your black as Thursday night’s contest is a “Black Out” game. Tickets are available for as low as $5.00 (visitor’s side only). Also, you can receive a FREE TICKET (visitor’s side) if you purchase a BCU Football t-shirt for $10.00. Please contact the BCU Box office for ticket information (386) 481-2465. 

Week-3 MEAC News and Notes

By ALVIN HOLLINS JR.

Alvin Hollins Jr.-Contributor

SEPT. 18 – Just a few observations about the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s football title chase, which will heat up this week with four league games on tap, highlighted by two first place teams – Hampton and South Carolina State – in action.  Hampton (2-1, 1-0) kicks things off Thursday night with a visit to defending co-champion Bethune-Cookman (1-1, 0-1), in a nationally-televised game (ESPNU-7:30), while one of the other reigning co-champs, South Carolina State (1-2, 1-0) open their home schedule against Delaware State (2-1, 0-0), at 2:00 p.m. Saturday’s remaining conference games feature Morgan State (1-2, 0-0) and Howard (1-2, 0-0) in the Urban League Classic at Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. (4:00).  The league’s newest members, Savannah State (0-3, 0-0) and North Carolina Central (1-2, 0-0) will duel in Durham, N.C. (6:00). Non-conference action features Florida A&M (1-2) hoping to bounce back after two straight losses against Southern University (1-2) in the Bank of America Atlanta Football Classic in the Georgia Dome (3:30-Versus Network). Norfolk State (2-1) visits Charleston Southern (1:30), while North Carolina A&T (1-1) hosts Coastal Carolina (4:00), in Greensboro.

Tough day at the office for Deleware State--Photo captured by The News Journal

MEAC’s Bad Day At Black Rock??

This past weekend, only two of the nine MEAC clubs in action prevailed in their matchups.  Norfolk State bowled past Howard, 23-9 in the conference opener for both squads in Washington, D.C., while Morgan State won their first of the season, nipping Robert Morris (Pa.), 13-12 in Baltimore. South Carolina State’s 38-21 loss at Big Ten Indiana was more positive than negative, as the Bulldogs continued their trend of strong performances out of conference this year, which may serve them well if they make the postseason.

Several teams might call in grief counselors after heartbreaking losses Saturday, including North Carolina Central, whose two missed extra points and botched field goal attempt in the games closing moments resulted in a 23-22 home loss to Elon (N.C.) University.  Time ran out on BCU’s next opponent, the Hampton Pirates, who came ashore in nearby Norfolk and lost a 45-42 shootout with FCS darling ODU (Old Dominion University).

Three games were runaways with the biggest surprise coming in Tampa, where Florida A&M was crushed by South Florida, 70-17. Also suffering knockouts were Delaware State, a 45-0 shutout victim at the hands of Delaware, while Savannah State fell at Appalachian State, 41-6.

FAMU’s struggles continue

While the 2011 season is far from over just three weeks in, the perennial MEAC contenders in Tallahassee – Florida A&M – find themselves in a bit of a pickle. The Rattlers have already suffered a conference loss (Sept. 8th) to Hampton, putting them down a game on the standings.  And while the Rattlers have won four conference titles with one loss (1988, 2000, 2001, 2010), in each of those previous years, the conference losses came at midyear or later, not in the first conference game.   Also, this year’s club has struggled on offense, ranking last in the MEAC in rushing (40,0 ypg) and seventh (7th) in total offense (266.3 ypg).  Those offensive struggles haven’t helped an injury-riddled FAMU defense, which ranks at the bottom of the league in total defense (524.3 ypg) and pass defense (363.7), and seventh (7th) against the run (160.7). The Rattlers edged Fort Valley in the opener on a deflected pass for a 28-22 win in the final 39 seconds, but never got on-track in the nationally-televised loss at Hampton (23-17), Sept. 8. The margin of Saturday’s loss at South Florida (70-17) has the Rattler faithful a bit skittish; but FAMU’s opportunity for redemption begins this weekend in Atlanta against long-time rival Southern University (1-2).

Thursday Night Lights a big one

Hampton WR Dyrri McCain catches a pass against ODU--Photo Courtesy of The Virginia Pilot

Needless to say, this week’s Thursday Night Lights special between Hampton and Bethune-Cookman will be crucial for both squads.  Hampton will be out to hold onto a share of the early league lead, while Bethune-Cookman, which has been off since their Sept. 10 home setback to South Carolina State, 26-18, hopes to stay in contention with a victory.  A loss by the homestanding Wildcats would drop them to 0-2 in the league, severely damaging their 2011 MEAC title hopes, while a win by Hampton could position them nicely for a title run.

Howard’s losing streak continues Saturday’s 23-9 home loss to Norfolk State extended Howard University’s trail of tears in MEAC play, as the Bison losing skid in conference games stretched to 28 games, dating back to 2007… In that 2007 campaign, the Bison lost their final three conference games and have gone winless in the MEAC each of the past three seasons (2008, 2009, 2010).

Blackout part Deux???

Word on the street is BCU’s next game (Thursday, September 22nd against Hampton) will be another “Blackout” game.  Hopefully this time they leave the lights on. 

In other news; check out the News Journal’s articles highlighting Maurice Francois and Ryan Lewis.  Great reads! 

Maurice Francois – Photo captured by Daytona Beach News-Journal

Cats fall 26-18 to SCSU–Recap

SC State QB Derrick Wiley

Chances are you won’t notice Darius Dummond’s 45 and 33 yard punt returns if you’re reviewing the game’s box score.  But a frustrated Brian Jenkins revealed in his post-game press conference that the “two plays that won (South Carolina State) the game were (Drummond’s) two punt returns”. 

The Bulldogs scored their first touchdown of the season three plays after Drummond’s 45 yard punt return midway through the 3rd quarter.  Tyler McDonald caught an 8 yard touchdown pass from Richard Cue who replaced Derrick Wiley on the drive.  It was Cue’s first completion as a college quarterback.  Drummond’s final punt return of the day (for 33 yards) gave the Bulldogs 1st and goal from the Wildcat’s 5 yard line. SCSU capitalized on the outstanding field position and scored the go-ahead touchdown on a Derrick Wiley QB keeper with 4:46 remaining in the 4th quarter.

Dominique Ellis padded South Carolina State’s lead 46 seconds later when he returned Jamarr Robinson’s third interception of the contest 55 yards for a touchdown.  Bethune drove the ball 48 yards to the Bulldog 5 yard line but the possession stalled on downs.

Missed Opportunites

  • QB Jamarr Robinson threw 4 interceptions in the contest, 2 of which occurred in the redzone.  The Wildcats were 1 of 4 in redzone opportunites on the afternoon.  BCU turned the ball over 7 times in total (4 ints, 1 loss fumble, twice on downs).  The Cats also racked up 10 penalties for 100 yards. 
  •  BCU safety DJ Howard dropped a certain interception midway through the 3rd quarter.  A wall of blockers were setup in front of Howard, but what could have been a BCU pick 6 ended as a SCSU score.  Howard’s pass deflection bounced into the hands of Tyler McDonald resulting in a Bulldog touchdown.
  • Sven Hurd, who was 9-9 in extra point attempts coming into the contest, missed his first extra point attempt of the afternoon. 
  • BCU could not capitalize on a great showing by its defense.  The Wildcat defense held the Bulldogs to 54 yards passing, 211 total yards, and produced 5 turnovers.  Thanks to their Special Teams, SCSU’s offense scored 2 touchdowns covering 11 yards and 5 yards respectively.  The Bulldog defense accounted for an additional touchdown (Dominique Ellis’ 55 yard interception return) as well as a defensive safety. 

Click the following link to watch a replay of the game: http://espn.go.com/espn3/index?id=312532065

Team Stat Comparison

 
 

S Carolina St

 

Bethune-Cook.

1st Downs 12 24
Total Yards 211 397
Passing 54 245
Rushing 157 152
Penalties 10-103 10-100
3rd Down Conversions 6-15 5-15
4th Down Conversions 1-1 0-2
Turnovers 5 5
Possession 24:14 35:46
 

Passing Leaders

 
South Carolina State C/ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Wiley 7/19 46 2.4 0 2
 
Bethune-Cookman C/ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Robinson 25/45 245 5.4 2 4
 

Rushing Leaders

 
South Carolina State CAR YDS AVG TD LG
Wiley 19 121 6.4 1 45
Jordan 12 38 3.2 0 11
 
Bethune-Cookman CAR YDS AVG TD LG
Jackson 17 92 5.4 0 25
Scott 9 38 4.2 0 15
 

Receiving Leaders

 
South Carolina State REC YDS AVG TD LG
McDonald 2 23 11.5 1 15
Williams 2 14 7.0 0 10
 
Bethune-Cookman REC YDS AVG TD LG
Francois 7 121 17.3 0 40
Poole 9 74 8.2 1 44
 

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTER SCST COOK
  SF 11:50 Isidore Jackson Tackled By Ronell Ferguson In End Zone 2 0
  FG 10:12 Blake Erickson 48 Yd 5 0
  TD 07:53 Eddie Poole 44 Yd Pass From Jamarr Robinson (Pat Failed) 5 6
SECOND QUARTER SCST COOK
  SF 13:39 – Team Tackled By Eddie Poole In End Zone 5 8
THIRD QUARTER SCST COOK
  TD 07:20 Tyler McDonald 8 Yd Pass From Richard Cue (Blake Erickson Kick) 12 8
  TD 02:46 Jordan Murphy 12 Yd Pass From Jamarr Robinson (Sven Hurd Kick) 12 15
FOURTH QUARTER SCST COOK
  FG 10:51 Sven Hurd 41 Yd 12 18
  TD 04:46 Derrick Wiley 3 Yd Run (Blake Erickson Kick) 19 18
  TD 04:00 Dominique Ellis 55 Yd Interception Return (Blake Erickson Kick) 26 18