What we learned from BCU’s Week 9 victory over NCCU

Courtesy of BCU Athletics

1.  BCU can run the ball

This past Saturday’s matchup pitted Bethune-Cookman’s #1 ranked rushing offense, against North Carolina Central’s #1 ranked rushing defense.  In the end, the Wildcats simply overwhelmed the Eagles on the ground rushing for 274 yards and 5 touchdowns.

On BCU’s 1st drive of the second half, the Wildcats drove the ball 63 yards on 5 plays to pull ahead 21-17.  All 5 plays were runs.  That drive shifted momentum and highlighted BCU’s physicality advantage over the Eagles.  The Cats seized control of the game at that point and never looked back.  Junior running back Isidore Jackson carried the ball 14 times for 158 yards and 2 touchdowns in the contest.  The performance was good enough to earn Jackson College Football Performance Awards National Running Back of the Week recognition.  Speaking of Jackson, we learned that …

2.  Ike is fast enough

During BCU’s preseason media day event, Jackson stated that he had decent but not great speed.  However, Jackson’s speed was good enough to help him record the 4th longest touchdown run in BCU history.  Jackson took a pitch off the left side of the line, broke a tackle, made a few guys miss, and raced 93 yards to give BCU a 28-17 lead.

3.  Marching Wildcats do yo’ thang

In the last three home games, The Pride’s halftime ballads were: ‘In my Bed’ – Dru Hill; ‘If I Had My Way’ – Chrisette Michelle; and ‘Stairway to Heaven’ – The O’Jays.  All three pieces were simply amazing.  The band could have scrambled on to the field, played those ballads and walked off and I would have been perfectly fine with their performance.  They really did sound that good.  Hail Wildcats and Hail Pride! 

(Okay, now back to football.)

4.  Coach Jenkins really does have a rotating quarterback system

Heading into last week’s game, it seemed that Quentin Williams had gained sole ownership of the starting quarterback position.  Williams started the three prior games during which he threw 4 touchdowns, 0 interceptions and completed nearly 70% of his passes. 

Coach Jenkins stated that Quentin did not take care of some of his responsibilities off the field and that Brodrick Waters had a better week of practice on the field.  As a result, it was Waters who started the contest for BCU.  Waters led BCU on their first scoring drive and rushed for 53 yards on the afternoon. 

Although not the starter, Williams saw significant action during Saturday’s game.  Included in Williams’ highlights was a 76 yard touchdown pass thrown to Preston Cleckley in the 2nd quarter.

Courtesy of BCU Athletics

5.  De-fense, De-fense

Here is a number for you; “9”.  That’s the number of snaps, NCCU took inside the BCU 10 yard line on their first possession of the second half.  The Eagles got the ball as close as the 1 yard line, but an illegal procedure penalty backed NCCU up to the 6 yard line. 

A Bethune-Cookman player said ‘Hut,’ and that’s why we jumped offside,” Frazier said. “It wasn’t our quarterback, I’ll just say that”.  BCU safety, D.J. Howard, and linebacker, Dawud Lane, claimed ignorance to the coaches claim during postgame interviews.

The Wildcats limited the Eagles to a field goal on that possession and those would be Central’s last points of the contest.  BCU’s defense has now surrendered 7, 0, 0, 16, 3, 0, and 3 points in the second half of games against FCS opponents this season.  That equates to 4.1 points per game in the second half.  Not bad…not bad at all!

Advertisements

BCU ranked in FCS Coaches Poll Top 25

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Previously unranked Bethune-Cookman (No.24)  entered this week’s Top 25 Coaches Poll after picking up a win over North Carolina Central on Saturday.   

Georgia Southern moved to No. 1  this week after claiming a 39-31 triple-overtime win at Chattanooga Saturday.  The Eagles received 17 first-place votes and tallied 635 total points.

Georgia Southern forced overtime with a fourth-quarter field goal and the Eagles’ defense came up with a stop on fourth-down in the third overtime to hold off Chattanooga.

North Dakota State received five first-place votes (619 points) and rose one spot to No.2 after defeating Southern Illinois, 23-17. Montana State and Sam Houston State each climbed one spot to No.3 and No.4, respectively, as well. Sam Houston State also received two first-place votes. Old Dominion moved up two spots to No.5, while Lehigh, which was idle last week, received one first-place vote and maintained their No.6 ranking.

Wofford rose one spot to No.7 after defeating The Citadel (24-21).  Last week’s No.1, Eastern Washington, dropped to No.8 after falling to unranked Southern Utah. Stony Brook (No.9) and James Madison (No.10) maintain their rankings from last week and round out the top ten.

Eleven conferences are represented in the poll. The Colonial Athletic Association has the most teams in the top-25 with five. The Big Sky and Missouri Valley are represented by four teams each, while the Southern Conference has three teams in this week’s poll. The Ohio Valley and Southland conferences are represented by two teams, and the Big South, Ivy League, Mid-Eastern Athletic, Northeast, and Patriot League have one team in the top-25.

The FCS Coaches Poll is based exclusively on a voting panel of head coaches in the FCS under the cooperation of the Collegiate Commissioners Association (CCA) and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and is administered by the Southern Conference.

Week Nine Poll – October 29, 2012

Team (No. 1 Votes) 2012 Record Points Previous Ranking
1. Georgia Southern (17) 7-1 635 2
2. North Dakota State (5) 7-1 619 3
3. Montana State 7-1 586 4
4. Sam Houston State (2) 6-2 561 5
5. Old Dominion 7-1 528 7
6. Lehigh (1) 8-0 517 6
7. Wofford 7-1 486 8
8. Eastern Washington (1) 6-2 471 1
9. Stony Brook 8-1 450 9
10. James Madison 6-2 429 10
11. New Hampshire 7-2 396 12
12. Northern Arizona 7-1 363 13
13. Central Arkansas 7-2 326 14
14. Appalachian State 6-3 275 15
15. Illinois State 7-2 264 17
16. Cal Poly 7-1 256 11
17. Indiana State 7-2 249 T-18
18. Albany 7-1 188 20
19. Tennessee State 8-1 173 T-21
20. Delaware 5-3 122 16
21. Harvard 6-1 96 24
22. Towson 4-4 87 25
23. Eastern Kentucky 6-3 68 T-18
24. Bethune-Cookman 6-2 54 NR
25. South Dakota State 6-2 51 NR

Others Receiving Votes: Sacramento State (44), Richmond (27), Villanova (27), UT Martin (26), McNeese State (23), Jacksonville State (16), Youngstown State (10), Eastern Illinois (8), The Citadel (5), Samford (5), Southern Illinois (4), Northern Iowa (4), Alabama A&M (1).

MEAC Football Week 9 Recap–Cats on Top

MEAC SATURDAY NIGHT FINAL
Bethune-Cookman takes over sole possession of first place; Howard’s loss allows Delaware State to leap into second place tie with NCCU
 

Alvin Hollins Jr.

By ALVIN HOLLINS JR.
Rockstat7376@aol.com

OCTOBER 27 – The Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (5-0, 6-2) flexed their muscles against upstart North Carolina Central Saturday, subduing the visiting Eagles, 42-17 to seize the high ground in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference football standings with three regular season weeks left.

The loss dropped the visiting Eagles (4-1, 5-3) into a second place tie with Delaware State (4-1, 5-3), which won 28-23 on Thursday night against Morgan State (2-3, 3-5).

Delaware State had their path to second cleared by South Carolina State (3-3, 4-5), which bashed Howard University (4-2, 5-3), 41-23 at Orangeburg Saturday afternoon.

In the other afternoon games, North Carolina A&T (2-3, 4-4) rebounded from a shutout loss at Delaware State a week ago, with a 30-9 home win over Norfolk State (0-6, 2-7) at Greensboro, N.C., keeping the Spartans winless in MEAC play; Hampton (2-3, 2-5) rallied to edge past visiting Savannah State (0-5, 1-7), 21-13 at Hampton, Va.

Enjoying a bye Saturday was Florida A&M (3-2, 3-5).

The New Pecking Order…
Bethune-Cookman (5-0)
is in sole possession of the top spot in the league, followed now by Delaware State (4-1) and North Carolina Central (4-1) tied for second, with Howard (4-2), in fourth, and Florida A&M (3-2), still on the fringe, in fifth.

Next Weekend’s Schedule
Next Saturday’s schedule features a full slate of conference games headlined by first place Bethune-Cookman at Morgan State (1:00), and Delaware State at North Carolina Central (2:00), with the winner to lay claim to sole possession of second place.

Hampton is at Howard (1:00), with the Bison now in desperation mode to stay alive for the title; Florida A&M, whose faint title hopes are flickering, are at North Carolina A&T (1:30), while Savannah State visits Norfolk State (2:00), in a battle of the two remaining MEAC squads without a conference win.

South Carolina State (3-3, 4-5) will have a bye, Nov. 3

The Contenders’ Update:
@ Bethune-Cookman (5-0, 6-2) * rolled past North Carolina Central, 42-17 Saturday, to seize sole possession of the high ground in the MEAC… The Wildcats get their next two games on the road: at Morgan State (Nov. 3) and Savannah State (Nov. 10), before closing the regular season against FAMU, November 17.

@ North Carolina Central (4-1, 5-3) had its’ four-game winning streak snapped at Bethune-Cookman Saturday, but will have a shot at staying in the mix next weekend when they host Delaware State (2:00)…. Their remaining games feature a road tilt at FAMU (Nov. 10), and a home game against rival North Carolina A&T (Nov. 17) to close the season.

@ Delaware State (4-1, 5-3), has won four straight games to barge their way into the 2012 MEAC title conversation…. Their 28-23 win Thursday at Morgan State, on the heels of their impressive 24-0 shutout of North Carolina A&T last Saturday, has earned them the third spot in the standings into the last three weeks of the regular season…. The surging Hornets will close with two of their final three games on the road: at NCCU (Nov. 3) and Howard (Nov. 17), with a home game against Hampton (Nov. 10) in between.

On The Outside Looking In:
@ Howard (4-2, 5-3)
[/b] saw its’ title hopes take a serious blow with Saturday’s road loss at SCSU, and its’ NCAA at-large hopes probably evaporated as well…. IF THE BISON FINISH 6-2 (8-3) AND BEAT GEORGIA SOUTHERN (Nov. 10), IT COULD KEEP THEM IN POSTSEASON CONVERSATION… In November, HU has Hampton (this week) and DSU at home (Nov. 17), with Georgia Southern (Nov. 10) on the road.

@ FAMU (3-2, 3-5)must WIN OUT and hope for a lot of help.. The Rattlers will have a much-needed bye weekend October 27, then close at North Carolina A&T, host NCCU for Homecoming, then tangle with B-CU in Orlando…

MEAC Random Shots
@ Defending champion Norfolk State (0-6) was 5-1 a year ago en route to their first-ever MEAC crown, but things have gone badly for the Spartans, who close at home with Savannah State (Saturday) and Morgan State (Nov. 10)….

@ Bethune-Cookman (5-0) can win their second MEAC title in three years if they can close out their final three games at Morgan State and at Savannah State, followed by that regular season finale in Orlando against archrival FAMU… The Wildcats are tops in the MEAC in the Sagarin Ratings (51.59 at #154), and also have four (4) points for their win against Alabama State in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge in the Out of Conference tiebreaker points chase.

@ With Howard (4-2) losing at South Carolina State, only Delaware State (4-1) could pose a possible co-championship threat to Bethune-Cookman, should the Wildcats drop one of their final three games, and both squads finish 7-1 in the league, since the two teams do not play this season.

@ The Game of the Week next weekend will be the Delaware State-North Carolina Central showdown in Durham (2:00), as the second place co-holders duel to remain on deck in case B-CU slips up…

@ Howard University (4-2, 5-3) has to win two of its’ final three games to clinch its’ first winning season since 2002, when they finished 6-5… They face Hampton, Georgia Southern and Delaware State in their final three games.

@ Florida A&M (3-2, 3-5) has a tough final three games facing them too, beginning next Saturday at North Carolina A&T (2-3), followed by a homecoming clash against North Carolina Central (4-1, Nov. 10) and the Florida Classic finale against first place Bethune-Cookman (5-0, Nov. 17)… The Rattlers would need a clean sweep and a whole lot of divine intervention to lay claim to even a share of the 2012 title.

MEAC FOOTBALL STANDINGS
Thru Saturday, October 27, 2012

School ………………………….. Conference / Overall
Bethune-Cookman ……….……… 5-0 1.000 / 6-2 .750
Delaware State ……………………. 4-1 .800 / 5-3 .625
North Carolina Central …………. 4-1 .800 / 5-3 .625
Howard University ………………… 4-2 .667 / 5-3 .625
Florida A&M …………………..……… 3-2 .600 / 3-5 .375
South Carolina State ………….… 3-3 .500 / 4-5 .444
^North Carolina A&T ……..……… 2-3 .400 / 4-4 .500
Morgan State ………………………… 2-3 .400 / 3-5 .375
^Hampton ………………..………….. 2-3 .400 / 2-5 .285
Norfolk State ………….……..……… 0-6 .000 / 2-7 .222
Savannah State ………..…………… 0-5 .000 / 1-7 .125
^-Ineligible for 2012 title

This Week’s Schedule
Game of Thursday, October 25

*Delaware State 28, Morgan State 23
(*)-Conference Games

Games of October 27
*Bethune-Cookman 42, North Carolina Central 17
*South Carolina State 41, Howard 23
*North Carolina A&T 30, Norfolk State 9
*Hampton 21, Savannah State 13
BYE: Florida A&M
(*)-Conference Games

Remaining Regular Season Schedule
Games of November 3
*Hampton at Howard, 1:00
*Bethune-Cookman at Morgan State, 1:00
*Florida A&M at North Carolina A&T, 1:30
*Delaware State at North Carolina Central, 2:00
*Savannah State at Norfolk State, 2:00
BYE: South Carolina State
(*)-Conference Games

Games of November 10
*Hampton at Delaware State, 1:00
*Morgan State at Norfolk State, 1:00
*South Carolina State at North Carolina A&T, 1:30
#Howard at Georgia Southern, 2:00
*North Carolina Central at Florida A&M, 3:00
*Bethune-Cookman at Savannah State, 5:00
(*)-Conference Games

Games of November 17
*Hampton at Morgan State, 1:00
*Delaware State at Howard, 1:00
*Savannah State at South Carolina State, 1:30
*North Carolina A&T at North Carolina Central, 2:00
*Bethune-Cookman vs. Florida A&M (Orlando), 2:30 (ESPN Classic)
BYE: Norfolk State
(*)-Conference Games

BCU Ground Eagles

Photo Courtesy BCU Athletics

The North Carolina Central Eagles entered Saturday’s contest with a perfect record in MEAC play and looked to shock the HBCU football world by upsetting conference power Bethune-Cookman.  The Eagles played BCU evenly for two and a half quarters and grabbed their first lead (17-14) of the afternoon on an Oleg Parent 23 yard field goal with just over 7 minutes left in the 3rd quarter.  But the Wildcats scored 28 unanswered points from that point forward and emerged from Saturday’s ‘Battle of conference unbeatens’ with a 42-17 victory and sole possession of first place in the conference.

The Wildcats opened the game’s scoring on Andronicus Lovette’s 1 yard plunge into the endzone in the first quarter.  The scoring drive was kept alive after quarterback Brock Waters hit KJ Stroud on an 11 yard reception to move the sticks on 4th and long.

The Eagles went three and out on their next possession, but BCU return man, Courtney Keith, fumbled the ensuing punt and set NCCU up inside the red zone.  Central drew even 2 plays later when Jordan Reid connected with Detwan Robinson on a 15 yard touchdown pass.

BCU extended the lead to 14-7 when Quentin Williams and Preston Cleckley hooked up for a 76 yard TD reception.  Cleckley ran a stop and go route and was wide open on the play. “Sometimes you get anxious on balls like that (when you’re so wide open) and those can be the hardest passes to catch” Cleckley stated after the contest.

Central tied the score at 14 on another Jordan Reid touchdown throw.  This time a 28 yard TD reception to Decona Roberts.  

NCCU’s first lead of the contest came after Oleg Parent kicked a 23 yard field goal midway through the 3rd quarter.

From that point forward, it was all BCU.  The Wildcats rattled off 28 unanswered points to end the contest.  Included amongst those scores was a 93 yard touchdown run by Isidore Jackson.  Jackson ended the contest with 158 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns.  BCU rushed for 274 yards on the afternoon and racked up over 200 more yards of total offense than NCCU (443-234).

Quentin Williams did not start the contest, but lead the team in passing going 6-15 for126 yards (1 touchdown, 1 interception).

Jarkevis Fields and Dawud Lane each had 10 tackles on defense while DJ Howard and Rashad Payne both added interceptions.  The BCU defense now has at least one interception in each of the past 15 games.

The Wildcats now have sole-possession of the first place in the conference.  BCU faces Morgan State next week in Baltimore, Maryland at 1:00 P.M.

BCU vs NCCU Preview

A quick show of hands, how many of you thought North Carolina Central would be in a battle for conference supremacy nine weeks into the season? 

If you raised your hand you can put it down now.  You can also consider yourself among the few that actually saw this coming.  NCCU finished 4-7 in 2008 and 2009; in 2010 they finished 3-8 and Head Coach Mose Rison was fired midway through the season; and last season NC Central finished with a 2-9 overall record.  The Eagles were predicted to finish in the bottom third of the conference in the MEAC’s preseason poll.  Yet, the Eagles find themselves tied atop the conference standings and playing for sole possession of first place at the end of October.  Go figure!

The uninformed may classify the Eagles’ 2012 campaign as the “F” word (i.e. fluke), but that would be disingenuous to Head Coach Henry Frazier, his staff, and the North Carolina Central football team. 

At 5-2, the Eagles have already accumulated their highest win total (5) since 2007.  NCCU is ranked:  

*1st in the MEAC in Scoring Offense (33.0 points per game),
*1st in the MEAC in Run Defense (109 yards per game),
*1st in the MEAC and 2nd in the nation is punt return average (23.5 yards per return), and
*1st in the nation and MEAC in special teams touchdowns (3 punt return TDs and 1 kickoff return TD).
Also (as SOAR from MEACFans Zone pointed out), in comparisons to BCU, NCCU has a greater margin of victory against common opponents this season:

NCCU 40 vs SCSU 10   (NCCU +30)
BCU 27 vs SCSU 14    (BCU  +13)

NCCU 37 vs Hampton 20  (NCCU +17)
BCU 36 vs Hampton 26   (BCU  +10).

The bottom line is North Carolina Central is a legitimate contender for the conference crown and they have earned their success this year.

“I am not surprised by (NCCU’s) success” coach Brian Jenkins stated.  “I knew a change would take place”.  “No disrespect to anyone else but look at Coach Frazier’s prior record.  He is proven by the results that he got at Prairie View”.

No Easy Win

Henry Frazier’s team will need to put on their best performance of the year if they hope to pull off the upset in Daytona Beach.  Bethune-Cookman enters the contest riding a league best 9 game conference win streak.  The last time the two teams met, BCU racked up 525 yards of offense in a 34-6 thumping of the Eagles.

The Wildcats have seemed to stabilize their offense under the guidance of redshirt freshman quarterback Quentin Williams.  Williams has started the past three games for BCU and has yet to throw an interception this season.  Last week Williams threw for a career high 157 yards passing completing 9 of 11 attempts with 2 touchdowns in the process.  Fellow quarterback, Brock Waters, finished the contest with a team high 103 yards rushing.  It was Waters second time eclipsing the 100 yard rushing mark this season.  Waters also hooked up with Jhomo Gordon on a 13 yard touchdown strike. 

The Wildcat defense will look to slow down the conference’s #1 ranked scoring offense in NC Central.  Yogi Jones’ defensive unit looked dominant in their performance last week against Norfolk State forcing the Spartans into 3 turnovers and limiting them to just 3 points.  

BCU’s special teams, particularly the kickoff and punt coverage units, will need to pay close attention to detail in this contest.  NCCU’s Arthur Goforth and Geovoine Irvine are two of the best return men in the country.  The Eagles have returned 3 punts and 1 kickoff return for a touchdown this season.  NCCU is also averaging over 23 yards per punt return.  YIKES!

Hurricane Sandy   

Kickoff is still slated for a 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27 at Municipal Stadium. The latest projections have the storm moving out of the region by late Friday night, leading into the early hours of Saturday morning. 

“The university has been in contact with the emergency management agencies in Volusia County and continues to monitor the track of Hurricane Sandy,” said Lynn Thompson, B-CU Director of Athletics. “At present, our plans remain firm to kick off our regularly scheduled football game against North Carolina Central University tomorrow at 4 p.m. at Municipal Stadium. The reports indicate that weather conditions will be suitable for us to play the game at its stated time.”
 
Live video will be available through the CatEye Network on BCUathletics.com.

An Ode to Rev. Williams

Weather permitting and in my best BCU public address announcer, Rev. Isidore Williams’ voice, 

“In a few short hours the question will be answered;
who will ascend to the top of the mountain.
Will it be the Eagles of North Carolina Central University of Durham North Carolina?
Or will it be the Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman University of Daytona Beach Florida”?

Wildcats continue their dominance over Norfolk State in Daytona Beach

Ike Jackson runs pass NSU defenders

Coach Pete Adrian and his Norfolk State Spartans came to Municipal Stadium looking for their first ever victory over Bethune-Cookman in Daytona Beach.  The Spartans left the World Most Famous Beach on Saturday evening on the wrong end of a 48-3 woodshed beating. 

The 48 points was Bethune’s highest scoring output of the season and the most points the Wildcats have scored since defeating Savannah State 59-3 in November last season.

Redshirt freshman quarterback, Quentin Williams, finished the afternoon with a career high 157 yards passing completing 9 of 11 attempts with 2 touchdowns.  Fellow quarterback, Brock Waters, finished the contest with a team high 103 yards rushing.  Waters also hooked up with Jhomo Gordon on a 13 yard touchdown strike midway through the 4th quarter.

The Wildcats raced out to an early 7-0 lead after taking the opening possession 75 yards on 16 plays.  The drive culminated with a 5 yard Quentin Williams to Eddie Poole touchdown reception.  Poole out-leaped defensive back Natturner Harris in the corner of the endzone to secure the catch. 

“I give credit to KJ (Stroud) for that touchdown reception” Poole stated.  “KJ set the play up when he saw the coverage and he actually switched sides with me.  I just told Quentin to lob the ball up and I would go and get it.  I definitely feel that anytime there is one-on-one coverage, I should and I will win that match-up”.

KJ Stroud’s generosity was rewarded early in the second quarter when Williams hit the senior receiver on a 28 yard leaping touchdown reception.

The two passing touchdowns sandwiched a 69 yard DJ Howard fumble return for a touchdown. Isidore Jackson added two rushing touchdowns in the 2nd quarter to stretch BCU’s lead to 34-0.    Everett Goldberg put Norfolk State on the board with a 33 yard field goal late in the second quarter. 

Brodrick Waters scored on an 8 yard run with 6:54 remaining in the 3rd quarter and hooked up with Jhomo Gordon on a 13 yard pass with 6:58 left in the contest.

Coming into the contest, NSU boasted the 3rd ranked defense in the nation yielding just 270 yards per game.  The Wildcats surpassed the 270 yard mark by halftime outgaining the Spartans 271 yards to 72 yards through the first two quarters and 435 yards to 239 yards in the game.

The Wildcat defense stretched their consecutive game with an interception streak to 14.  The defense forced 3 Norfolk State turnovers in total. Donald Smith led Wildcat defenders with 6 tackles including 1 tackle-for-loss.

“It was a tremendous team victory” coach Jenkins remarked.  “It is difficult to keep your momentum and focus after a bye-week and our players should be commended”.   “We had some miscues that we need to address but this was the most complete game of the season for us”.  Coach Jenkins ended his postgame press conference stating that his heart goes out to Norfolk State Head Coach and former BCU defensive coordinator Pete Adrian.  Coach Jenkins would not elaborate on the specifics but he did state that the veteran coach was faced with some things that are very tough right now and that his prayers are with him.

Bethune’s victory sets-up a huge battle for first place next week with North Carolina Central.  BCU and NCCU are the only remaining unbeatens in conference play.  Kickoff is scheduled for 4:00 in Daytona Beach.

Team Stat Comparison

  NORF COOK
1st Downs 16 21
Total Yards 239 435
Passing 164 171
Rushing 75 264
Penalties 6-65 7-55
3rd Down Conversions 3-11 11-17
4th Down Conversions 0-1 1-2
Turnovers 3 1
Possession 24:37 35:23

Passing Leaders

 
Norfolk State C/ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Basmagian 12/24 119 5.0 0 1
 
Bethune-Cookman C/ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Williams 9/11 157 14.3 2 0

Rushing Leaders

 
Norfolk State CAR YDS AVG TD LG
Hedgeman 5 29 5.8 0 11
Riddick 7 18 2.6 0 7
 
Bethune-Cookman CAR YDS AVG TD LG
Waters 9 103 11.4 1 19
Jackson 11 57 5.2 2 33

Receiving Leaders

 
Norfolk State REC YDS AVG TD LG
Demps 4 67 16.8 0 37
Boyce 6 60 10.0 0 13
 
Bethune-Cookman REC YDS AVG TD LG
Gordon 2 62 31.0 1 49
Stroud 4 60 15.0 1 28

Scoring SummaryFIRST QUARTER NORF COOK

 TD 08:20 Eddie Poole 5 Yd Pass From Quentin Williams (Sven Hurd Kick)  0 7

 TD 03:41 D.J. Howard 69 Yd Fumble Return (Sven Hurd Kick)  0 14

SECOND QUARTER NORF COOK

 TD 12:37 KJ Stroud 28 Yd Pass From Quentin Williams (Sven Hurd Kick)  0 21

 TD 08:26 Isidore Jackson 33 Yd Run (Pat Failed)  0 27

 TD 01:13 Isidore Jackson 1 Yd Run (Sven Hurd Kick)  0 34

 FG 00:05 Everett Goldberg 33 Yd  3 34

THIRD QUARTER NORF COOK

 TD 06:54 Brodrick Waters 8 Yd Run (Sven Hurd Kick)  3 41

FOURTH QUARTER NORF COOK

 TD 06:58 Jhomo Gordon 13 Yd Pass From Brodrick Waters (Sven Hurd Kick)  3 48

BCU game against Norfolk will be Streamed Live (video)

Brock Waters

I really hope that all who wish to attend Saturday’s matchup against Norfolk State in Daytona Beach can make it.  For those of you who can not attend Saturday’s contest, you’ll be happy to know that the game will be streamed live on the CatEye Network.  The cost of the broadcast will run you about the cost of a Whopper Combo Meal ($7.95).

Viewers can be assured that the broadcast is of high quality.  If you have concerns about the quality of the feed and/or the content, I suggest that you watch the replay of the Homecoming contest against NC A&T also on the CatEye Network.  That broadcast is free and available here: http://www.bcuathletics.com/mediaPortal/player.dbml?catid=48432&id=1068896

The official announcement regarding the live stream can be found on BCU’s Athletics website.  http://www.bcuathletics.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_LANG=C&ATCLID=205716126&DB_OEM_ID=23910

Think Pink this Saturday

Courtesy of BCU Athletics

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – It was announced Wednesday that Bethune-Cookman University Football will join the nation in spreading the message about breast cancer awareness this weekend when the Wildcats host Norfolk State to Municipal Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 4 p.m.

Already billed as the Second Annual Biker Classic, the game will also serve as the Wildcats’ contest to show support continuing research for breast cancer.

Head football coach Brian Jenkins and his team will host an auction for a limited edition pink Bethune-Cookman football helmet through BCUathletics.com, as well as at the stadium throughout the first half of the game. Bids for the helmet will begin Thursday at 9 a.m. In addition, donations will be collected throughout Saturday’s game from fans in attendance.

The Wildcats football team will also wear pink towels and wristbands during the game.

All proceeds from the auction and donations will go towards supporting breast cancer awareness and research.

At the request of Coach Jenkins, breast cancer survivors will lead the Legacy Walk.

Limited edition Bethune-Cookman Football breast cancer awareness shirts are on sale at the B-CU Box Office for just $5. Fans may also purchase a combo pack with a shirt and a ticket with admittance to the game in the Cat Zone for just $10. Order your shirt and tickets now by clicking here, or by calling (386) 481-2465.

For all the latest information on the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats, follow the official Twitter feed, @BCUathletics, or “Like Us” on Facebook at Bethune-Cookman Athletics.

-www.BCUathletics.com-

Midseason interview with Coach Brian Jenkins

For those of us who have had the opportunity to speak with  BCU’s head football coach, Brian Jenkins, you know the experience is very much akin to attending a Sunday morning church service in the black community.  At some point in the engagement you are likely to laugh, you will certainly feel the intensity of the moment, some may even ask for repentance; but almost everyone is assured of feeling better about the experience afterwards.

Such was the case for me yesterday when Coach Jenkins graciously agreed to sit down with Bradford Gillens of the Orlando Examiner and myself for a thorough conversation.  The third year head coach touched on topics such as his team’s performance in the first half of the season, the success of some of the MEAC’s newest coaches, his wife’s assertions that he has mental problems, and his affinity for the world renown Marching Wildcats (more affectionately known as The Pride). 

Enjoy!

If you would coach, assess your team’s performance in the first half of the season.

I am a perfectionist so I am pleased but never satisfied.  We didn’t play a complete football game until the A&T game.  In the other games we had so many miscues, and different assignment errors as well as a lot of dumb penalties.  Our operation was not very good at times, but in some cases it was good enough to get us the victory.

On the positive side, one thing that I have felt good about all year is the conditioning of our team.  Another thing is the fight of our team.  I think that they have exemplified that from the first play of the first game so I do know that is there.  What has decreased our grade to a C or C+ is all of those other things that I previously mentioned.  If we can clean up and continue to improve, we can definitely get to an A ”.

Your team is positioned atop the conference standings and you are in complete control of your destiny.  Are there any areas of concerns that you feel need to be addressed in the 2nd half of the season to ensure this team fully meets the expectations that you have for them going forward? 

We need to continue to execute well.  That’s always an area that you have to be sound and solid.  We have to tackle well.  The game is won with good tackling and good blocking.  We just have to continue to improve and develop as a whole”.

I have a few numbers for you coach: 7, 0, 0, 16, and 3; that’s the number of points your defense has surrendered in the 2nd half of games against FCS competition this year.  It seems that once they settle in they have been lights out.

That’s a good thing. It shows you that down the stretch we’re conditioned and we’re mentally focused to continue to execute at a high level and finish things out.  But if you look on the flip side at the points given up in the first two quarters, it demonstrates why we need to execute better.  If we can have that same urge, effort and execution in the first half of games then automatically we become a better football team”. 

There are a host of young players on the defensive side of the ball.  Do you feel this unit is ready to take the leap from being very good in the second half of games to being dominant throughout the entire contest?

“I don’t like to get caught up in the ‘we’re  young argument’.  These guys have been playing football since they were 8 years old and it’s the same game.  You put your helmet on, you put your shoulder pads on and you go out there and you have to tackle, execute, and stop your opponent.  I think what comes with being young is that sometimes our guys don’t execute within the scheme.  But when we settle down and they start operating in the scheme they are able to see what we can do.  I think if we continue to execute within the scheme then we are ready to propel forward and start being a dominant defense”.

Through the first half of the season, your Wildcats have the #1 rushing offense in the conference and the 2nd to last passing offense, a stark contrast to your inaugural season when your offense was coined the “Speedway O.”  Is it more of a situation where you are letting the talent you have dictate how you run the offense, or has it just been a concerted effort to become a primarily run first team?

“You have to do what’s necessary to win.  We’re letting our talent take over and that’s a plus to any football team.  I don’t get caught up in being #1 in passing or #1 in running.  The main thing that we have to do is be consistent in execution in order to win. People know we can throw the ball  and we have proven that.  We will continue to do whatever is necessary to win”.

Coach there are many overlooked aspects of a quality football team.  For instance, I am sure that both Jackie Wilson and Brock Waters would prefer to be on the field receiving snaps from Center; however, you can see those guys on the sidelines giving pointers to Quentin Williams and they have both seemed to willingly take up a mentor position with your young quarterback.  Is this part of that developing men and developing character aspect of your job that you hold so dearly?

“Absolutely!  100%!  I want two things from my players: (1) I want players who are trying to find a way in and not trying to find a way out; and (2) I want players that are all in. 

If you don’t have those two characteristics then you cannot play for me.  Right now, those guys are finding a way into the game and that’s by helping each other.  When Jackie was on the field it was Q and Brodrick.  When Brodrick was on the field it was Jackie and Q being his eyes and ears.  They are all in it together.  They all train together and they receive the same amount of reps in practice.  They are all focus and they are finding a way to contribute to the team.  That is all a part of developing men and developing character and it is very much a part of our program”.

 And what about the play of Quentin Williams, last week he was named as the MEAC Offensive POTW.  He seems to really be growing right before our eyes?

“Quentin is definitely growing just like Matt (Johnson) grew when he was here and Jackie grew last year when he had his time.  I always tell our guys that before growth takes place, you have to humble yourself and realize who you are.   Once you do that you open yourself up to being developed.   That’s what Quentin has done.  He came in with all of these accolades but I told him that he had to strip himself of being “Q” the big time high school quarterback and just be Quentin and develop Quentin as a person.  That will make Q the quarterback that you want to be.

Let me tell you about Quentin.  Everybody was telling him how well he played on Saturday (against NCA&T).  He had our video guy make cutups of all of his bad plays and he was evaluating those bad plays on Sunday much more intently then what he did well.  When we had our questions and answers session on Sunday and asked him what could you do to improve yourself, he said coach I made 8 bad plays and I have 8 coaching points that I need to correct.  That goes to show you how he’s open to development and correction and it shows you the type of leadership that we’re getting from Quentin and all of our quarterbacks”.

For the second time in 3 years, your team leads the nation in turnover differential.  That doesn’t just happen by accident does it?

“I learned from Greg Schiano that trained behavior becomes instinct.  We train our guys 7 days a week all year long on security and security of the program. They have taken to it and the results have shown.   It’s something that we drill every day.  I can’t tell you everything that we do because I would be giving parts of my program away and I can’t do that.  I will tell you that we do some mental drills and exercises.  Our coaching staff believes in the drills and philosophies even though some of them tell me that I am a different type of guy and kind of out there but the philosophies work and produce results.  So it’s not just the players that are making this happen.  My coaching staff has also bought in and they are teaching the things that I asked of them. It’s a total program effort”.

You have been singing the praises of Coach Harrell at Howard, Coach Broadway at North Carolina A&T, and Coach Frazier at North Carolina Central to anyone who would listen.  I guess it is not a surprise to you to see their teams sitting near the top of the conference standings huh?

“No It’s not.  I knew when those men were hired a change would take place.  No disrespect to anyone else but those are true men.  Coach Kerm at Delaware State is another one.  These men are true competitors who have a drive to master their craft and prepare a high level football team so it doesn’t surprise me at all.

Look at Coach Frazier’s record at Prairie View.  He is proven by the results that he got at Prairie View.   Coach Flea has been prepared by some very good coaches.  He called me and asked me for some advice when he first got the job and we spoke at length.  He doesn’t have an ego and he understands his role and he takes it very seriously.  Coach Broadway is a vet and he’s been through this before.  He’s been through challenging times but he’s long lasting and he has always come out on top.  Coach Kerm is another solid individual.  He took his success from Winston-Salem to Delaware State.  He implemented his system and he has been patient.  All of these guys are good ball coaches and good men and no one should be surprise that they are having the success that they are having”.

Are you surprised to see perennial power SCSU and last year’s champ NSU struggle to the degree that they have?

“There is so much parity in the league I wouldn’t say that they are struggling.  Norfolk loss one ball game off of a flag.  Right now, their records don’t match their coaching and for whatever reason, they haven’t caught their rhythm or hit their stride.  There is not a coach in the league who works to finish second.  Everyone wants to finish first but someone has to lose.  Those are still good football teams but their records just don’t show it”.

Interestingly enough, you kind of called this whole thing back in July.  At the MEAC Press Luncheon you were quoted as saying, in regards to NSU being selected to repeat as conference champions, If all that mattered, just give out the trophy now to who they picked first and why play the games? I don’t pay any attention to that and it doesn’t really matter to me.”   Should we expect to see you on ESPN College Gameday alongside Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit once your coaching days are done?

“We will see.  I am going to be honest, that is something that I am interested in and a lot of people have asked me about that.   It is something that draws and interests me and we’ll see many years from now if God pushes me that way.  When I made that statement though, it wasn’t because Norfolk was picked to win.  You still have to get in the ring, put on the gloves and fight.  That is just a strong belief that was instilled in me by my dad.  I also said that because when I looked around that room, I saw a good group of coaches who were looking forward to competing.  It was nothing against Norfolk State, but you have to play the game”.

Now I know it’s early and there’s a lot of football left to be played but, as I’m sure you know, Tennessee State is 7-0 and looks poised for a playoff run if they continue their string of success.  Considering you make no bones about the fact that you hate to lose, how special would it be for you to meet the Tigers again in the FCS Playoffs?

Coach Rod Reed is doing an exceptional job at Tennessee State.  Everybody counted him out and was ready to push him out of the door.  He’s a quiet assassin and his mind is always working.   They came up here and kicked our tails.  They have proven that they are one of the best teams in the nation.  Hopefully they don’t get slighted like some other teams have been slighted in the past.  If that road comes to show, that means that we were able to stay focus and be in that position (to make the playoffs). I am sure that it will be good and it will be challenging”.

I watched a Youtube clip of the Marching Wildcats at South Carolina State and somewhere near the end of the clip I saw a figure that looked a lot like you grooving in front of the band.  I know sometimes you can’t remember last week’s game, but does that ring a bell at all?

“(Guilty Laugh) Yeah it does. We have a closeness with our band that is tremendous.  Donovan Wells and his staff does a tremendous job with the band.  Our band gives a valiant effort to do the things to get us going.  I feel like our football team is a part of the band and the band is a part of our team.  I go down and do things like that with the band to show them that I appreciate their professionalism, their high productivity, their consistency, their detail, I appreciate all of that.  There are times that I go over and just watch their practices and see how in to it they are and how focus they are to put on a good show and represent us.  So in return we have to make sure that we do the necessary things to represent them because they deserve to be represented at a high level.  So yes you did.  I went down there and cut loose for about 15 seconds, but that was just to show the band my appreciation for all that they do for our team and our university.

And let me say this, people can talk all they want about Bethune-Cookman football, but we know the lead ship here at Bethune-Cookman is the Bethune-Cookman Band.  And I have no problem with that because it give me an opportunity to have my program a part of greatness and our band is greatness.  I really look forward to having a chance to interact with them and I thank Mr. Wells for opening up the door and allowing our team to have that type of interaction with the band.  

There is a mutual respect between me and Donovan Wells and I tell people this all of the time.  Donovan Wells is Coach Jenkins in charge of the band and Coach Jenkins is Donovan Wells in charge of the football team because we’re one and the same.  We’re very aggressive, we’re very detailed, we’re very serious about our craft, and we’re very demanding.  Sometimes I go and watch this guy in practice and preparation and I say this guy should be a football coach.  I have a very high level of respect for him because of the way he shows up every day and do his job. 

He knows that I honor him and I honor the band and he supports and honor our team.  We’re two men who have a very high level or respect for one another.  If Donovan sees one of my guys out of line he jumps right in them and I do the same thing to the band members”.

Coach do you want to give us any hints on what you’ll be performing (with the band) after the game this Saturday?

“(Laughs) I wish I knew.  I don’t even know what I am going to do when I hang up this phone today.

 I heard the other day and I was trying to figure out if that was me.  But I heard that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  My wife keeps telling me that I have mental problems.  I have been trying to deny it but I don’t know (anymore).  She tells me you do the same thing seven days a week and she says that you have a plan for Monday through Sunday of what you will eat, from the time that you will eat, you have everything scheduled.  Yet you expect different results out of me when it comes to cooking.  That just lets you know what I deal with every day.  I guess that means that I am insane.  Hey but if it works for me then I guess I am okay with being insane”.