BCU Thumps Morgan 49-23

Last Saturday’s 49-23 Homecoming thumping of Morgan State was a near perfect microcosm of The Fighting Wildcats 2011 football season. 

 Much like the first half of this season, the first 2 quarters of Saturday’s contest were filled with both explosive plays 174 yards of total offense and 2 defensive turnovers and untimely penalties 6 for 54 yards– for the Wildcats.  BCU looked vulnerable as a result and clung to a 14-10 halftime lead.

 The Wildcats seemed to sure up a few things in the halftime locker room and looked completely dominant and playoff worthy in the second half; outscoring MSU 35-13 in the process.

Isidore Jackson had another solid afternoon rushing for 94 yards (1 TD) on 20 carries and catching 2 passes for 22 yards. Senior fullback Johnathan Moment enjoyed his best statistical game of the season accounting for 106 yards of total offense (78 rushing; 28 receiving) and two touchdowns in the contest. 

Jackie Wilson

Sophomore quarterback Jackie Wilson continues to play well.  Wilson completed 67 percent of his passes (10/15 for 186) and rushed for 74 yards and 3 touchdowns on the afternoon.  “The game is starting to slow down to me,” Wilson said after the contest. 

 Although Wilson’s insertion into the starting lineup has seemed to stabilize the Wildcat offense, Coach Brian Jenkins states that there will continue to be an open competition for the starting quarterback spot.  Jenkins went on to state that David Blackwell almost received the starting nod this week instead of Wilson.

 The Wildcat starting defense held the Morgan State offense to 173 yards of total offense and 10 points through 3 quarters.  Senior linebacker Ryan Lewis led the way with 7 tackles including 1.5 tackles for loss.  The Bear offense accumulated 137 yards of offense and 13 points in the final quarter mostly against BCU’s second and third teamers.  Even still, Coach Jenkins was none-too-happy about how his defense finished the contest; and he was particularly upset about yielding a 44-yard touchdown run to Travis Davidson with 58 seconds remaining in the contest.  “No matter the score, I want my guys to execute.”  “We had one guy out of position and a few others who didn’t make the play that was to be made” Jenkins stated.  Davidson finished the afternoon with 133 yards rushing on 17 carries for the Bears.

Bethune hosts upstart Savannah State next Saturday in Daytona Beach at 4:00 p.m.

Wildcats keep MEAC hopes alive in 14-6 defeat of #24 Norfolk State

Eddie Poole extends his consecutive games reception streak to 19 against Norfolk State--Photo Courtesy of The Virginian Pilot

The 24th ranked and conference unbeaten Norfolk State Spartans entered Thursday night’s nationally televised contest  boasting the conference’s top offense, number 1 scoring defense, and the conference’s best offensive player through the midpoint of the season in QB Chris Walley. But it was the Wildcats who dominated both sides of the ball and exited Dick Price Stadium with a convincing 14-6 victory.

For the second consecutive week, Junior running back Isidore Jackson set a single game career high with 206 yards rushing on 34 carries.  Jackson’s determined running along with a dominant performance by the Bethune Cookman offensive line helped the Wildcats outgained  Norfolk State on the ground 245 yards to 97.

Jackie Wilson got the start at quarterback for the Wildcats.  Wilson passed for a modest 88 yards on 8 of 16 attempts including a 7 yard touchdown completion to KJ Stroud with 11:56 remaining in the 3rd quarter.  It was the Rutger’s transfer first td reception in a BCU uniform.  Wilson played the entire game with his throwing hand heavily wrapped.  The nature and severity of Wilson’s injury is unknown but is a reason for concern.  Last week’s starter, David Blackwell, dislocated the thumb on his throwing hand in the contest against Fort Valley State and it is believed that Jamarr Robinson has an undisclosed leg injury which has limited his play and/or availability.

Brian Jenkins and the coaching staff deserve a ton of praise for developing a winning gameplan that protected the Wildcat quarterback given the current injury situation at the position.

The Wildcat’s two touchdowns on the evening came on their opening possession of the game and the opening possession of the second half.  It was all of the scoring the Cats needed on the evening as the Wildcat defense prevented the Spartans from getting into the endzone only yielding two long field goals in the contest.

The Wildcat defensive front-7 dominated the Spartans offense all night.  Defensive End Ryan Davis was quite simply the best player on the field and registered as good of a defensive performance as you will ever witness.  Davis accounted for 3.5 sacks, 11 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 1 forced fumble, and 1 fumble recovery on the evening.  Davis and the Wildcats limited NSU to less than 250 yards of total offense and produced 3 turnovers.  The last of which was a game sealing Dion Hanks interception in the endzone with :50 seconds remaining in the contest.

With the victory on Thursday night, the Wildcats keep their slim hopes alive of winning a share of the 2011 MEAC crown.  BCU will take the field again next Saturday in Durham, NC against upstart North Carolina Central. 

 

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTER

COOK

NORF

  TD 04:08 Anthony Jordan 2 Yd Run (Sven Hurd Kick)

7

0

SECOND QUARTER

COOK

NORF

  FG 02:18 Everett Goldberg 50 Yd

7

3

THIRD QUARTER

COOK

NORF

  TD 11:56 Keith Stroud 7 Yd Pass From Jackie Wilson (Sven Hurd Kick)

14

3

  FG 07:27 Everett Goldberg 47 Yd

14

6

Team Stat Comparison

  Bethune-Cook. Norfolk St
1st Downs

19

16

3rd down efficiency

6-15

5-15

4th down efficiency

0-0

0-0

Total Yards

333

249

Passing

88

152

Comp-Att

8-16

17-28

Yards per pass

5.5

5.4

Rushing

245

97

Rushing Attempts

54

36

Yards per rush

4.5

2.7

Penalties

8-59

6-31

Turnovers

2

3

Fumbles lost

0

2

Interceptions thrown

2

1

Possession

31:40

28:20

Bethune-Cookman Passing
 

C/ATT

YDS

AVG

TD

INT

J. Wilson

8/16

88

5.5

1

2

Team

8/16

88

5.5

1

2

                 

 

Norfolk State Passing
 

C/ATT

YDS

AVG

TD

INT

C. Walley

14/24

88

3.7

0

1

N. Flores

3/4

64

16.0

0

0

Team

17/28

152

5.4

0

1

Bethune-Cookman Rushing
 

CAR

YDS

AVG

TD

LG

I. Jackson

34

206

6.1

0

49

R. Scott

8

34

4.3

0

15

J. Wilson

7

14

2.0

0

15

A. Jordan

2

1

0.5

1

2

-. Team

3

-10

-3.3

0

0

Team

54

245

4.5

1

49

                     

 

Norfolk State Rushing
 

CAR

YDS

AVG

TD

LG

T. Hedgeman

16

54

3.4

0

13

K. Lewis

4

44

11.0

0

17

N. Flores

7

16

2.3

0

4

R. Maynes

1

-1

-1.0

0

0

C. Walley

8

-16

-2.0

0

3

Team

36

97

2.7

0

17

Bethune-Cookman Receiving
 

REC

YDS

AVG

TD

LG

M. Francois

3

56

18.7

0

29

E. Poole

2

20

10.0

0

14

K. Stroud

1

7

7.0

1

7

P. Harris

1

7

7.0

0

7

R. Scott

1

-2

-2.0

0

0

Team

8

88

11.0

1

29

                     

 

Norfolk State Receiving
 

REC

YDS

AVG

TD

LG

X. Boyce

6

76

12.7

0

45

R. Garrett

4

36

9.0

0

14

V. Hairston

4

35

8.8

0

14

K. Johnson

1

3

3.0

0

3

K. Lewis

2

2

1.0

0

2

Team

17

152

8.9

0

45

Bethune-Cookman Interceptions
 

INT

YDS

TD

D. Hanks

1

12

0

Team

1

12

0

                 

 

Norfolk State Interceptions
 

INT

YDS

TD

R. Volcin

1

0

0

D. Reynolds

1

0

0

Team

2

0

0

Bethune-Cookman Kick Returns
 

NO

YDS

AVG

LG

C. Keith

2

39

19.5

26

J. Moss

1

4

4.0

4

Team

3

43

14.3

26

               

 

Norfolk State Kick Returns
 

NO

YDS

AVG

LG

V. Hairston

2

41

20.5

23

M. Cooperwood

1

19

19.0

19

Team

3

60

20.0

23

Bethune-Cookman Punt Returns
 

NO

YDS

AVG

LG

P. Cleckley

1

14

14.0

14

C. Wilson

1

0

0.0

0

Team

2

14

7.0

14

 

Norfolk State Punt Returns
 

NO

YDS

AVG

LG

M. Cooperwood

2

14

7.0

7

V. Hairston

1

6

6.0

6

Team

3

20

6.7

7

Bethune-Cookman Kicking
 

FG

PCT

LONG

XP

PTS

S. Hurd

0/1

0.0

2/2

2

Team

0/1

0.0

2/2

2

                   

 

Norfolk State Kicking
 

FG

PCT

LONG

XP

PTS

E. Goldberg

2/2

100.0

50

0/0

6

Team

2/2

100.0

50

0/0

6

Bethune-Cookman Punting
 

TOT

YDS

AVG

TB

-20

LG

K. Kowalski

7

256

36.6

0

3

58

Team

7

256

36.6

0

3

58

                       

 

Norfolk State Punting
 

TOT

YDS

AVG

TB

-20

LG

T. Muenzer

7

260

37.1

0

2

51

Team

7

260

37.1

0

2

51

 

Cats and Dogs

Frazier versus Ali; that’s the way Coach Brian Jenkins described this weekend’s conference showdown with powerhouse South Carolina State. The two squads enter the contest as the #1 and #2 ranked teams in the Sheridan Broadcasting Network’s Black College Football Poll. The winner of this heavyweight matchup will emerge as the clear frontrunner to this year’s MEAC crown. The loser will find themselves “scoreboard watching” and wishing for help over the weeks to come.

Brian Jenkins’ club ended SCSU’s 21-game conference win streak last year and was the first MEAC squad to blank the Bulldogs at home in over 30 years.

Previewing the Dogs

Buddy Pough’s Bulldogs have grown unaccustomed with losing over recent years. Take last week’s defeat against Central Michigan (CMU) as an example. SCSU lost by 15 points, on the road against an FBS opponent. Most FCS schools would consider that a good showing; but not Bulldog fans. Many members of the “Dog pound” believe South Carolina State was good enough to win that game and Brian Jenkins tends to agree. In his weekly teleconference, Coach Jenkins stated that SCSU was three makeable plays away from pulling off the upset against CMU.

SCSU boasts one of the best defenses in FCS football (2nd in total defense in 2010). The Bulldog defense held CMU to 256 yards of total offense and 21 points last week. By comparison, BCU’s offense produced nearly double the yardage output (500 yards) and triple the points scored (63) against Prairie View in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge. South Carolina State has at least one all-conference performer at all three levels of their defense (Patrick Washington-DL, Donovan Richard-LB, Dominique Ellis-DB). Washington is an extremely athletic, havoc causing defensive lineman. His style of play is very similar to that of BCU defensive end, Ryan Davis. The Wildcat offense must account for Washington in both the running and passing game. Donovan Richard is an above average linebacker who possess great range and speed. He recorded 10 tackles (1 tackle for a loss) in last week’s defeat at CMU.

SCSU QB Derrick Wiley

On the offensive side of the ball, Derrick Wiley is a mobile quarterback who struggled with his accuracy a week ago. Wiley and the Bulldogs are without the services of wide receiver Lennel Elmore who is ineligible due to grades. Elmore led the Bulldogs in receiving and was an All-MEAC performer a year ago. The Dogs will depend upon Asheton Jordan (RB) and the running game to carry the load until the passing game gets on track. Jordan is a physical runner with decent speed. He’ll lineup behind an offensive line that featured four new starters and struggled to establish the line of scrimmage last week against CMU.

Blake Erickson is the place kicker and he gives the Bulldogs a decided advantage in the kicking game.

A Closer Look at the Wildcats

In spite BCU’s 49 point victory to open the season, there is still much room for improvement. QB, Jamarr Robinson racked up 281 yards of offense (251 passing and 30 rushing) and earned MVP honors at last week’s MEAC/SWAC Challenge. However, Robinson appeared to miss on a few reads in the passing game and was errant on several throws. The Wildcats also committed far too many penalties last week (12 penalties for 132 yards).

On a positive note, BCU’s offensive and defensive fronts dominated the line of scrimmage. Particularly impressive was the play of defensive tackles Harold Love, Jameil Farrington, and Lavon McCoy. Another impressive sight from last week’s contest was the quality of depth displayed by the Wildcats. Coach Jenkins seemingly rotated 3 or 4 players on every play, yet there was no noticeable drop off in talent.

Fighting like Cats and Dogs

Bethune’s offense versus South Carolina State’s defense is strength against strength. The outcome of this game will likely depend upon the play of the other units. Can the Bulldog offense effectively run the ball and limit the possessions of BCU’s high-powered offense? Will the Wildcat’s opportunistic defense force turnovers (6 takeaways last week) and short field situations? Which squad will ascend as the top team in black college football? We’ll have our answers to these questions when this highly anticipated matchup kickoff at 4:00, Saturday, September 10th at Municipal Stadium.

Can’t Wait!!!!

___________________________________________________________

 Interesting Notes

  • BCU ranked 1st in Total Offense and Scoring Offense in the MEAC last year.
  • SCSU ranked 1st in Total Defense and Scoring Defense in the conference.

Last 10 contests in the series—

  • BCU and SCSU are 5-5 in their last 10 meetings.

Recent Memorable Matchups —

  • 2005—SCSU QB Cleveland McCoy led the Bulldogs on a game winning 17 play, 80 yard 4th quarter touchdown drive to defeat the Wildcats 27-24 in Jacksonville.
  • 2006—After trailing by 14 points, Coach Alvin Wyatt scrapped the Wyatt-Bone offense in favor of a 4 wide receiver set. BCU scored 45 unanswered points and defeated the Bulldogs 45-21. BCU QB, Jarrod Rucker threw 5 touchdowns in that contest.
  • 2010—BCU defeated 14-0 in Orangeburg ending the Bulldog’s 21-game conference winning streak.

Coach ’em up

Football Factoid #480—a good assistant coach can be as valuable to a team as an All-American quarterback.  After all, the assistant coaches provide the bulk of the daily instruction, technique corrections, real-time feedback, game planning, and in-game adjustments.  Coach Brian Jenkins deserves a ton of credit for quietly assembling a staff of outstanding assistants at Bethune. 

New Offensive Coordinator Rob Spence

Rob Spence replaces Marc Orlando as the Cats’ new offensive coordinator.  Spence has coordinator experience at both the FCS and FBS level.  Toledo, Hofstra, and Clemson enjoyed some of their most productive offensive seasons in school history under Spence’s guidance.  He inherits the second ranked FCS offense from a year ago, but the Cats still have much room for improvement.   The Wildcats averaged just 21 points against the MEAC’s top teams a year ago (14 vs. SCSU, 21 vs. NSU, 23 vs. Hampton, and 27 vs. FAMU).  That was 17 points lower than their season average of 38 points per game.  The Wildcats hope to increase their scoring output this year, specifically against upper echelon competition, under Spence’s leadership.

Autry Denson and Joe Dailey join Spence as new additions to the offensive coaching staff.  Denson, a former standout running back at Notre Dame and in the NFL, will coach the same position for the Wildcats.  Dailey, who started at quarterback for Nebraska before transferring to North Carolina, is listed as the new quarterbacks coach.  Allen Suber, Lawal McCray, and John Powers return as second year offensive assistants and will coach the wide receivers, tight ends, and offensive line respectively.

Earl Lane - BCU defensive line coach

New coaches on the defensive side of the ball include graduate assistant Buddy Collins and defensive line coach Earl Lane.  While Collins is a coaching neophyte, Lane brings with him a wealth of coaching experience and a proven record of accomplishment.  Lane served as defensive line coach for LSU during their 2007 BCS Championship season. He helped Glenn Dorsey win the Lombardi, Outland, and Nagurski awards in that same season.  The remaining defensive coaches are the same as last year: Yogi Jones—defensive coordinator and linebackers, Terry Sims—special teams’ coordinator and secondary, Terry Williams—defensive backs.

Old and young, sustained success and hot newcomers; the Wildcats’ coaching staff has it all.  Brian Jenkins will look to this diverse group of assistants to “coach up” his talented squad and hopefully deliver postseason success.

Early season schedules of MEAC’s elite add intrigue

‘Do you remember,
the 21st night of September.
Love was changing the minds of pretenders,
while chasing the clouds away.’

The funky lyrics from Earth, Wind, and Fire seem apropos for the four teams predicted to finish atop the MEAC football standings in 2011.  Most sports fans understand the correlation between momentum and confidence and  winning and losing.  They also understand that winning (and losing) can be as contagious as a funk band’s groovy beats.  South Carolina State, Bethune-Cookman, Florida A&M, and Hampton may find it  difficult to establish early season momentum as they all experience their toughest stretch of games at the kickoff of the 2011 campaign.  By the end of September, the league crown could be out of reach for one or more of these expected contenders.

bulldogsSouth Carolina State has the most difficult opening stretch of games.  The Bulldogs will be double-digit underdogs to FBS opponents Central Michigan (9/1) and Indiana (9/17).  Nestled between the two FBS contests is a matchup against Bethune-Cookman.  Buddy Pough’s Bulldogs are 29-1 vs. HBCU’s over the past three seasons.  The Wildcats handed the Bulldogs their lone HBCU defeat last year in Orangeburg.  SCSU conclude the month with a matchup versus new look and hopeful contender Delaware State.

The Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman opened last season with one-sided victories against undermanned Edward Waters and overmatched Savannah State.  This year’s early season competition is much tougher for Brian Jenkins’ squad.  The Wildcats will look to extend the MEAC’s 4-2 record in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge when they face SWAC power Prairie View A&M on the 4th. BCU finish their September schedule at home with contests against SCSU (9/10) and Hampton (9/22). 

pLike Bethune, Hampton kickoff their 2011 campaign versus a SWAC Opponent.  Hampton and Alabama A&M square off on September 3rd in the Chicago Football Classic.  The Pirates next three opponents,  FAMU (9/8), Old Dominion (9/17), and BCU (9/24), were 3-0 versus Donovan Rose’s team in 2010. 

fFlorida A&M face perhaps the easiest opening schedule of the top four teams from a year ago.  Division II Ft. Valley State visits Tallahassee on September 3rd.  FAMU will have a quick turnaround and play a Thursday night/ESPNU contest against Hampton on September 8th.  Big East title contender University of South Florida host Joe Taylor’s squad in Tampa on the 17th.  The Rattlers end the month against one of their old nemesis, Southern University (9/24).  FAMU should be favored over SU, but as the saying goes: “you can throw out all of the records in a rivalry game”. 

The top-heavy schedule of the MEAC’s elite may leave the door open for other squads looking to contend.  Morgan State can thank the schedule makers for leaving FAMU and SCSU off of their schedule.  Unlike the teams mentioned above, the Bears face their toughest stretch of games at the end of the season.  Norfolk State avoids FAMU this year and may have time to build confidence before facing South Carolina State, Delaware State, Hampton, and Bethune in the month of October.

The second full week of the season (the week ending Saturday, September 10th) may be the most pivotal in the race for conference supremacy.  Hampton host FAMU on Thursday (9/8) and SCSU travels to Daytona Beach to face BCU on Saturday (09/10).  These early season matchups will certainly cause a lot of “scoreboard watching” and should help quickly weed out the pretenders.  By the month’s end, some expected contenders may have their hopes dashed while others may be humming “ba-de-ya” and dancing in September.