Bethune-Cookman tops Florida A&M 31-27 in 40th Florida Blue Florida Classic | Florida Citrus Sports

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— Read on floridacitrussports.com/2019/11/23/bethune-cookman-tops-florida-am-31-27-in-40th-florida-blue-florida-classic/

NINE LIVES: Bethune-Cookman extends ’Classic streak to 9 with 31-27 win over rival FAMU – Sports – Daytona Beach News-Journal Online – Daytona Beach, FL

NINE LIVES: Bethune-Cookman extends ’Classic streak to 9 with 31-27 win over rival FAMU – Sports – Daytona Beach News-Journal Online – Daytona Beach, FL
— Read on www.news-journalonline.com/sports/20191123/nine-lives-bethune-cookman-extends-rsquoclassic-streak-to-9-with-31-27-win-over-rival-famu

B-CU upset by Delaware State, fumbles chance to take MEAC lead – Sports – Daytona Beach News-Journal Online – Daytona Beach, FL

DOVER, Del. — A chance to take the Mid-Eastern Athetic Conference lead eluded Bethune-Cookman on Saturday as Delaware State upset the Wildcats, 16-13, at Alumni Stadium. Thomas Bertrand-Holland rushed for 133 yards and a touchdown as the Hornets (2-8 overall, 1-6 MEAC) kept the Wildcats (6-3,4-2) from taking over first place after North Carolina A&T was also upset, 22-16, by Morgan State. B-CU and North Carolina A&T face each other next week in Greensboro, N.C. Tydarius
— Read on www.news-journalonline.com/sports/20191109/b-cu-upset-by-delaware-state-fumbles-chance-to-take-meac-lead

Dang bro! We loss Homecoming 27-19

Wildcat fans, we loss homecoming. Freaking homecoming bro.

Everything was set up so perfectly. The old-heads were decked out in their best “short sets” and leopard print. The Greeks were strolling. The Henny was flowing. The #WHOE crowd left it all in streets of  Daytona; yet somehow our beloved Wildcats came up short in the actual game. That’s no way to treat Ms. Mary’s kids but here we stand.

Saturday’s 27-19 homecoming loss was the first since losing to Winston-Salem State in 2009. That was Coach Alvin “Shine” Wyatt’s last season in charge. If I had to give you one word to describe the loss it would be… frustrating… disappointing… head-scratching…soul-searching.

Yeah, I know that’s more than one word but let me have my moment.

Losing to a Buddy Pough coached squad is nothing to be ashamed of.  SCSU owns more MEAC championship crowns than any other school with 16 and Coach Pough is the winningest coach is Bulldog history. The frustration for Wildcat fans lie not in losing Saturday’s contest but in how the team performed.

The Cats entered the contest on a 5 game winning streak yet the air in the stadium was filled with frustration and head-scratching by game’s end.

Frustration that the team’s most dynamic player, All-American Jimmie Robinson, only had one offensive touch the entire contest. Frustration at surrendering 276 rushing yards while only rushing for 59. Head-scratching at yielding a first down and eventually a touchdown after allowing SCSU to convert a fake punt on 4th and 17.

There was the blocked field goal, missed extra point, missed tackles, dropped passes, questionable play calling,  failure to convert a 1st and goal into points….I’m exhausted thinking about all of the missed opportunities.

“We got out-coached and out-played”. Those aren’t my words. Blame that analysis on head coach Terry Sims speaking to the media after the defeat.

Perhaps the most disappointing and telling sign of how the night went was highlighted on the last drive. Trailing by a touchdown and 2 point conversion with less than 2 minutes to play, Bethune took over possession at their own 38 yardline.  That’s awesome right? We got 3 time MEAC player of the week Arkevious Williams at QB. We got the aforementioned Jimmie Robinson. We got the homecoming crowd cheering and Marching Wildcats playing.  Surely a comeback was in the cards right…NAH! Not this time.

After picking up an initial first down, the Wildcats’ potentially game tying drive ended with 3 sacks and a dropped pass. It was a sad exclamation point to a night filled with missed opportunities. A night in which BCU simply could not deliver in front of 12,204 homecoming fans who were looking for a reason to add to the festive weekend. It just wasn’t meant to be.

The bad news is the Wildcats no longer control their own fate to make the postseason. The good news is the Wildcats are still co-leaders  in the MEAC standings and very much in the championship hunt. Assuming Bethune does a little soul-searching, course correcting and win out against Delaware State, NCA&T and FAMU; they would only need South Carolina State to drop  one of their remaining contests to fulfill their quest of making their first ever Celebration Bowl appearance.

The scenario is not far-fetched  especially when considering fellow co-leaders SCSU and NCA&T square off in Orangeburg this weekend. An Aggies win would once again place BCU in control of their own postseason fate.

BCU has a bye this weekend giving them plenty of time to lick their paws. Heal up. Regroup. Refocus. Insert your favorite cliche here before taking on Delaware State in Dover in a couple of weeks.

Thank you FAMU

Back in the day when my crew and I were rocking Jeri Curls, Guess Jeans and Adidas with the fat boy shoelaces, Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen penned the famous line: “you can’t start a fire without a spark.” Today as I sit here with my baldhead, no name jeans and Dr. Scholl inserts, I am unashamedly thanking Florida A&M University for the fire that is currently blazing across the MEAC and HBCU landscape.

Yeah, you heard me correctly. On this 21st day of October, I am thanking Florida A&M University for setting the MEAC landscape on fire.

The spark that started the flames came on Sunday afternoon when the Rattlers defeated reigning Black College National Champions North Carolina A&T 34-31 in overtime.

Prior to Sunday’s rescheduled contest, there was a sense of apathy…inevitability…been-there-done-that permeating MEAC circles. There were no real surprises up to that point. All of the teams we thought would be good heading into the season were handling their business; none more so than the #9th ranked Aggies who seemed on course to win their 3rd straight MEAC crown.

But all of that changed when FAMU pulled off the first real shocker of the season. As a result, lethargy has been replaced with vigor around the conference. Trash talk is ramping up. Half of the league is playing the “what-if” game and reviewing all of the scenarios that would land their squad in the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl.

Buddy Pough and the resurgent South Carolina State Bulldogs now control their own destiny to get to the Celebration Bowl. NCA&T is still in control of their own fate to get to Atlanta. Florida A&M, who isn’t eligible for postseason play this year due to self-imposed sanctions, still control their own destiny as it relates to being named Black College Football National Champions. Rattler fans, who have watched their team defeat Southern, South Carolina State and now North Carolina A&T, are starting to feel real good about themselves. Many of them are already peeking ahead at the Florida Classic.

Speaking of the Florida Classic, let’s not forget about our favorite hBCU. Bethune-Cookman is 6-1 and sitting atop the MEAC standings but if you were not playing close attention you could have easily missed that fact. This is partly because the Wildcats have yet to have a signature win and partly because BCU’s schedule is heavily back loaded with games against SCSU, NCA&T and FAMU all upcoming.

The Bulldogs visit Daytona Beach this Saturday to face the Wildcats in a huge homecoming matchup. A SCSU win would throw the conference race into utter chaos. A win by BCU keeps them looking down at everyone else in the standings and on pace for the MEAC title and one of the most significant Florida Classic matchups in years.

Yeah, I know there is a ton of football left to be played between now and then but a guy can dream can’t he?

Everything is on the table. All of the team goals are still in front of the Wildcats. Let’s hope Terry Sims, his coaching staff and his team can pull it all together and keep the fire burning in the hearts of BCU fans. South Carolina State you’re on the clock. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:00pm this Saturday. Who will ascend to the top of the mountain!

 

September Review – Cats 3-1 with Everything to Play for

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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.

 

 

 

Arkevious Williams named MEAC Offensive Player of the Week

Photo credits: AJC

NORFOLK, Va. – Sept. 2, 2019 – Bethune-Cookman quarterback Akevious Williams was named the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Football Offensive of the Week, the conference announced today. North Carolina A&T State’s Jermaine McDaniel was selected as Defensive of the Week and South Carolina State freshman B.J. Davis was selected as Rookie of the Week. Earning Offensive Linemen of the Week honors was South Carolina State’s Alex Taylor and picking up Specialist of the Week honors was North Carolina A&T State’s Noel Ruiz.  
 
Williams (QB, 6-2, 188, Sr., Madison County, Fla.) was named Offensive MVP of the MEAC/SWAC Challenge after he led the Wildcats to a 36-15 win over Jackson State. Williams completed 16 of 29 passes with 144 yards passing with a touchdown. He also rushed for 53 yards on 11 carries and scored a touchdown. Bethune-Cookman score all 36 points in the second half, with 22 coming in the third quarter alone.
 OTHER TOP PERFORMERS
Freshmen defensive back Devuntry Hampton (B-CU) had four tackles and an interception for the Wildcats in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge.