The senior playmaker has been more of a decoy this season, but that started to change last week against Howard.
College Football Hall of Famer Lou Holtz use to say something along the lines of ‘teams learn who they are in September, separate themselves in October and play for championships in November’. If Coach Holtz sentiments are true, here is what we learned about our beloved Bethune-Cookman Wildcats through the first month of the season.
Quarterback Arkevious Williams is back and he is pretty dang on good
If you were one of those wondering about the health and bounce back of quarterback Arkevious Williams after last year’s devastating injury… R-E-L-A-X. Williams seems fully healed and currently leads the team in rushing with 262 yards through 4 contests. He scored three rushing touchdowns in last Saturday’s 37-29 win over Howard University and would have had a 4th rushing TD from 74 yards out but a penalty nullified William’s spectacular run. The 2nd team All-MEAC performer also had his best game passing the ball this season against HU connecting on 69% of his passes for 199 yards. Williams has earned two MEAC Offensive Player of the Week honors and has led the Wildcats to a 3-1 record to start the season so yeah…we think Arkevious “Fat” Williams is just fine.
Stats lie (or at least they don’t tell the whole story)
BCU’s defense ranks in the middle of the MEAC in most significant defensive categories but the eye test suggests the Wildcat D is significantly better than the statistics show. You don’t have to do much excavating to determine the Miami contest is greatly skewing the defensive numbers. The defense is giving up an average of 28 points per contest which is nothing to share with grandma over biscuits. However, if you remove the Miami outlier, BCU’s defense is only yielding 16 points per contest. That’s a huge difference and a lot more indicative of what we expect from the defense since the remaining contests are against FCS opponents.
More consistency is needed in the passing game and offense as a whole
The Wildcat offense on the other hand have been a bit of a roller coaster ride. They labored through the first half against Jackson State, were blanked by “The U” and did enough to win against Mississippi Valley. We saw a significantly better performance in last week’s visit to the Nation’s Capital in which the offense amassed its highest point total (37), passing yards (199) and total yards (400) of the season. Is the offense heading in the right direction or did they enjoy one good week? Let’s pray to our lucky stars it is the latter. If not, the slow starts, the sputtering passing game and overall inconsistency could prove disastrous in upcoming games against the likes of North Carolina A&T, South Carolina State and North Carolina Central.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, the Wildcats host their first home game of the season when the Bears of Morgan State roll into Daytona Beach. Kickoff is slated for 4:00pm. As always, HailWildcats will be there bringing you the sights and sounds.
Is the Caylin Newton era over at Howard University? – HBCU Gameday
— Read on www.google.com/amp/s/hbcugameday.com/2019/09/27/newton-redshirt/amp/
Bethune-Cookman University Vice-President for Intercollegiate Athletics, Lynn W. Thompson has announced today (September 2, 2019) that the Bethune-Cookman University football game against the University of Southeastern Louisiana, scheduled for Saturday, September 7, 2019 at 4 p.m. at Daytona Stadium, has been canceled.
In accordance with university emergency management procedures, the campus was closed on Friday, August 30, 2019 and will remain closed until Sunday, September 8, 2019.
“With the threat of Hurricane Dorian bearing down on the entire east coast, and the danger and damage from this catastrophic and historic storm already being reported, the university is closed all week. In the best interest of public safety we felt the need to make this decision promptly so that our fans, supporters and the visitors from Southeastern Louisiana could also make the adjustments in their travel plans,” Thompson said. “After consultation with our public safety officials, we understand that the priority is on more important things in our community than a football game and we support that.”
The university leadership will provide updates of a rescheduled game if one is reached.
All university athletic events scheduled for this week have been canceled – including the inaugural Bash at the Beach Women’s Volleyball Tournament featuring teams from Georgia Southern, South Carolina Upstate, Texas Southern and BCU scheduled for Friday and Saturday, September 6-7, 2019.
Fans who purchased tickets for the game against Southeastern Louisiana, or who have season tickets have options from which to choose prior to a September 30, 2019 deadline.
1. Single game ticket holders may exchange their ticket for a different game, if tickets are still available for that game.
2. Season ticket holders may get credit towards a ticket to another 2019 BCU football game by contacting the BCU ticket office.
“We want to make sure our fans have every opportunity to utilize their tickets to see the Wildcats in action in 2019,” Thompson said. “Our ticket staff stands ready to assist them.”
Please feel free to contact the ticket office by calling (386) 481-2465, or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Please understand that due to the unforeseen weather conditions, the university may experience power outages which may delay response time to requests for service and/or information. A ticket office staff member will respond to requests as soon as they are able upon return to campus.
Each week, Hail Wildcats will venture behind enemy lines and bring you insights from fans of Bethune-Cookman’s opponents.
This week, we hear from a Jackson State fan who is affectionately known as NastyD. Before you ask, the answer is “no”, we did not ask what the D stands for. The interesting moniker notwithstanding, NastyD is a passionate JSU fan, graduate and supporter who was kind enough to provide us with his insights on the Tiger program and this weekend’s matchup against our beloved Wildcats.
HW Question 1. Jackson State sported one of the nation’s top defenses (24.5 ppg) in 2018 but suffered through a less than stellar offensive campaign (16.5 ppg). Have there been any signs coming out of Fall camp that point to the defense maintaining their high standard and the offense improving?
“The defense will definitely maintain its dominance. We (JSU) finished 2nd in the SWAC in total defense with an offense that finished 9th overall. Just think how much better we would be as a football team when (not if) we start sustaining drives on offense. Regarding the offense, there have been many signs from Fall camp that suggest they should be much improved. The RBs were the strength of the team the past few years but now we finally guys at QB who (passed the ball) effectively throughout camp.
In addition to 4 star transfer QB Jalon Jones, we brought in two 4 star receivers, DD Bowie and Daniel Crowell, who both had strong camps. Not only that, we will run a RPO offense which better suits our personnel. We also upgraded our offensive coaching staff with additions like Ron Dickerson Jr (OC), TC Taylor (QB coach) and Otis Ridley (offensive line coach).”
HW Question 2. The University of Florida 4 star transfer, Jalon Jones, has a lot of hype surrounding him at the quarterback position. However, Derrick Ponder is the only guy at the position to start a college football game and Matt Little, Western Michigan transfer, is fighting for playing time as well. Two questions: (a) who is likely to be the primary signal caller come Sunday against Bethune; and (b) what do you anticipate from the quarterback position overall?
“Matt Little is no longer in the equation. However, JSU brought in a 3 star QB from the Memphis area named Quinn Casey who’s pushing both Ponder and Jalon for playing time. My thoughts are Ponder will start because he has more collegiate experience and a better grasp of the offense since he went through spring training, summer workouts, and fall camp but Ponder will be given a very short leash. Jalon will be the starter (in due time). Our offensive line is much improved which should benefit the quarterbacks. The QB position has been one of the reasons we have been unsuccessful the past few years. I feel (that position has been) addressed and it will be a strength this season.”
HW Question 3. Is there a player or perhaps a position on the field you expect to have a breakout year in 2019?
“I expect wide receivers Warren Newman and DD Bowie (Ole Miss transfer) to have breakout seasons. Jalon Jones will be newcomer of the year. On defense, 4 star recruit Demetrice Vance Jr will have a monster season at safety. And I expect mid year transfer Vincent McIntosh to have a breakout season at DT.”
HW Question 4. We all know sophomore Keonte Hampton is a stud at linebacker. For those MEAC and BCU fans who have only read about him, how good is Keonte and how high is his ceiling? Are there any other players on the defensive side of the ball you expect to shine and perform at a really high level?
Keonte Hampton is a gem. We are talking about a guy who completely balled out as a freshman last year and led the team in tackles. He has a knack for sniffing out the football and blowing up plays. He is a student of the game. We brought in a new strength and conditioning coach this season who has been absolutely phenomenal for the program. Keonte has put on more muscle so I’m excited to see how he wreaks havoc this season. Other guys to look out for on defense are Khalil Johnson and CJ Anderson on the defensive line and Ryan Theyard and CJ Holmes in the secondary.
HW Question 5. Answer the following, Jackson State will defeat Bethune-Cookman if …
Jackson State will beat BCU if the offense shows signs of improvement from last year. If we are able to get first downs (which I believe we will) and give the defense recovery time, there is no doubt we will win this game. People forget we beat teams like FAMU and Prairie View last season whom most thought were very dynamic offensively.
Cookman doesn’t perform well against teams with good defenses so my prediction is JSU 27 BCU 13.
A special thanks to NastyD for taking the time to provide his insights.
At the end of an early training camp practice, Bethune-Cookman Head Football Coach Terry Sims emphasized that he was looking for leadership and it didn’t necessary
— Read on bcuathletics.com/news/2019/8/21/football-laguerres-ready-to-lead-bcugridiron-dbs.aspx
To all of the ‘armchair quarterbacks’, ‘expert second-guessers’ and ‘guys who think they know more about football than those who actually get paid for it’; I have excellent news for you. Our busy season is upon us. By this time next week, we get to fuss, yell and rave over our first 2019 results and I cannot wait.
Before we look ahead at the season to come, let’s first look back at some of Bethune’s best moments under now fifth year head coach Terry Sims. Here are the Wildcats’ Top 5 Victories under Terry Sims as ranked by the staff at HailWildcats.com.
- Wildcats Weather Storm to Beat Southeastern Louisiana University on the Road (2017)
The Bethune-Cookman football team stepped into Strawberry Stadium in Hammond, Louisiana with their hearts filled pending the looming threat of Hurricane Irma bearing down on their loved ones back home in Florida. By night’s end, BCU weathered a different kind of storm overcoming 3 turnovers, a rash of penalties and a 4th quarter deficit to defeat Southland Conference foe Southeastern Louisiana 28-23.
The Wildcats racked up 482 yards of total offense in the contest including 354 yards passing from Larry Brihm. Despite the offensive explosion and the defense limiting SELA to under 300 yards of total offense, Sims men entered the 4th quarter trailing 16-14. Brihm connected with Jawill Davis for a 2 yard touchdown reception at the 11:00 mark and ran for a 1 yard touchdown with 4:34 left on the clock to push BCU ahead for good 28-26.
Defensive backs Trevor Merritt, Diquan Richardson and Elliott Miller all snagged interceptions in the contest with Miller’s coming via the one handed variety. The Wildcat defense sealed the contest by turning over SELA on downs with 1:27 left on the game clock.
It was a great win, against a quality opponent, under adverse circumstances.
- Oh Hail Mary…Oh Hail Yeah (2017)
The 2017 matchup against North Carolina Central was an ugly game for 59 minutes and 57 seconds. The game was sloppy, the score at halftime was 0-0 and our beloved Wildcats only amassed 178 yards of total offense while racking up 8 penalties for 100 yards. That’s bad…but like so many of the recent BCU vs NCCU contests, the final seconds were filled with drama. Central scored its first touchdown of the evening with 16 seconds remaining giving them what seemed to be a certain victory. However, on the game’s final play from scrimmage, quarterback Larry Brihm rolled to his left, fired up a 48 yard Hail Mary and had his prayer answered in the hands of Keavon Mitchell.
The Wildcats escaped another visit to Durham with a last second 13-10 dramatic win.
- FAMU’s Title Hope’s Crushed as BCU Secures 8th Straight Florida Classic Win (2018)
So here is the scene: the Mighty Rattlers from the Highest of Seven Hills entered the 2018 Florida Blue Florida Classic with a shot to earn a share of the MEAC crown and punch their first ever ticket to the Celebration Bowl. All that stood in between them and Atlanta was 11 yards of contested field, 52,142 screaming fans and a Bethune-Cookman team that had defeated them seven straight years.
This was a dream scenario for FAMU. This is why we love sports. These are the moments athletes dream about night after night, year after year, practice after practice. Unfortunately, for FAMU, some dreams do not come true and turn into the nightmares instead.
Trailing by 7 points, the FAMU offense drove to the BCU 11 yard line with 17 seconds remaining in the game. FAMU quarterback Ryan Stanley was forced outside of the pocket by BCU’s Marcus Ford and tossed a pass into the flat. The Wildcat’s Tydarius Peters had a beat on the quarterback, stepped in front of Stanley’s pass and returned it 90 yards untouched to secure the Wildcat’s 8th straight victory in the contest.
All Florida Classic victories are special but this was a little more so considering the dramatic ending and all that was on the line.
- NCCU Blocked…Well First there was a Goal line Stand and then BLOCKED (2015)
Like the #5 game on this list, this was another contest impacted by a fast approaching hurricane. The threat of inclement weather forced the 2015 matchup against North Carolina Central to be moved up a few hours. The soggy conditions led to a sloppy first half with BCU carrying a 7-6 lead into intermission.
Thankfully both teams grew into the game and the second half came to life with a six touchdown explosion . NCCU scored the first 3 touchdowns of the 3rd quarter while BCU ended the contest with the final 3 touchdowns. Quentin Williams hooked up with Jawill Davis for two 29 yard touchdowns but it was Michael Jones’ 6 yard run that put the Cats ahead 28-26.
Central had one last opportunity to overcome Bethune’s rally and drove the ball as deep as the 1 yard line on their final drive. The Central ball carrier’s helmet crossed the goal line but the Wildcats kept the ball from breaking the plane. The Eagles lined up for a go-ahead field goal that was shorter than an extra point. Easy right! Game over…’Not so fast my friend’ as Lee Corso would say.
Elliot Miller came off the edge and BLOCKED Central’s 16 yard field goal try.
So to recap, we had a change in game time, a 19-point deficit overturned, a goal line stand and a blocked chip shot field goal for the win. I think that is enough to qualify this as a great win.
- Never as Good as the First Time (2015)
Terry Sims first win as a head coach came on the hallowed grounds of Eddie Robinson Memorial Stadium, included 1047 yards of combined offense, 109 total points and a 56-53 win over Grambling State University. We are not exactly sure how Coach Sims dreamed up his first win but we are pretty sure it wasn’t like this.
Quarterbacks Quentin Williams (244) and Larry Brihm (219) combined to pass for 463 yards and six touchdowns. Meanwhile, Jawill Davis finished the contest with 8 receptions for 199 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Williams started the game under center but an ineffective start and a hot GSU offense forced Coach Sims into a quarterback change in attempts of sparking his team. Brihm entered in relief and did just that.
The Wildcats and Tigers entered halftime tied 14-14 but that is when the real fun began. The G-Men wrestled back the momentum in the contest and pushed their second half advantage to 39-28. The Tigers strong play in the third quarter forced Sims to boldly but correctly switch quarterbacks again and Williams re-entered the game and quickly led the Wildcats on an eight play scoring drive. Less than two minutes later, Williams engineered another scoring drive giving BCU its first second half lead 41-39.
Bethune and Grambling exchanged leads for the remainder of the contest and combined for 81 points after intermission. Fortunately, for the visitors from Daytona, time expired while BCU was still leading 56-53.
The win helped propel Sims to his best ever record (9-2) and his only share of the MEAC title.
Sims and his men will look to secure another early season win over a SWAC opponent when they face off against Jackson State next Sunday, September 1st at 3:00pm in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge. The Wildcats are 2-0 in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge claiming a 38-28 win over Alabama State in 2012 and a 63-14 victory over Prairie View A&M in 2011.
As always, HailWildcats.com will be there to bring you the best fan perspective of the 2019 football season.
Former Bethune-Cookman head football coach Brian Jenkins was arrested on Sunday on charges stemming from a domestic dispute, according to the Port Orange Police Department.Jenkins, 48, was the head coach at B-CU from 2010-2014 and is currently the running backs coach at North Carolina Central.He was booked on three separate charges, according to a police report, including tampering with a witness, battery and criminal mischief.The incident occurred Sunday afternoon in Port Orange. According to
— Read on www.news-journalonline.com/sports/20190730/former-bethune-cookman-head-football-coach-brian-jenkins-arrested-in-port-orange