HBCU Sports Aficionados, Bryan Harvey and Bradford Gillens, join Hail Wildcats to discuss BCU’s move to the SWAC. What should Wildcat/SWAC fans expect? What’s the future of the MEAC? How do BCU athletic teams stack up against SWAC foes? Tune in to find out.
As we prepare to look ahead at Bethune-Cookman’s Week 3 matchup with FBS opponent Florida Atlantic, let’s first reflect back on a few things that deserve an “All Hail” from the Wildcats’ impressive road win over Southland Conference foe Southeastern Louisiana.
ALL HAIL Larry Brihm and the passing offense! Brihm finished the evening 25/39 for 354 yards and 2 touchdowns through the air. Brihm also added a 1 yard rushing score which proved to be the game winner with 6:04 remaining in the 4th. The performance was good enough to earn the senior quarterback MEAC Co-Offensive Player of the Week honors. Senior wide out Jawill Davis and junior Keavon Mitchell both eclipsed the 100 yard receiving mark. Davis registered 7 receptions for 138 yards and 1 TD while Mitchell recorded 6 grabs for 125 including a 47 yarder on the Wildcats opening drive which set up a Brihm to Anthony Cruz 11 yard hook up for the game’s first score.
ALL HAIL the BCU secondary. Trevor Merritt, Diquan Richardson and Elliott Miller reinforced their “no fly zone” moniker by each picking off a pass in Saturday’s contest. The BCU secondary locked down the SLU receivers and permitted a pedestrian 93 passing yards on the evening.
Defense….Defense- It wasn’t just the secondary who impressed on the defensive side of the ball. The entire squad deserves an ALL HAIL Salute! The Wildcat D only surrendered one touchdown on the evening. The other SLU TD came on a 92 yard kickoff return (#fixthat). Yogi Jones unit came up with several huge stops including the 3 picks by Merritt, Richardson and Miller and by limiting the Lions to a field goal after turning the ball over on its own 9 yard line. The biggest defensive stand came in the final minutes of the contest when the Wildcat D kept the Lions out of the endzone with 1:27 remaining and preserved a 28-23 win. Familiarize yourself with the name Uriah Gilbert. The 6’3”, 325 pound freshman, hailing from Ocala’s Trinity Catholic High School, helped control Southeastern’s inside rushing attack. Gilbert finished the contest with 7 tackles (including 1 for a loss). Gilbert has a lot of the same qualities as did former Wildcat DT Demarcus Womack. Linebacker Alexander Morales paced BCU with 9 tackles.
ALL HAIL the Southeastern Louisiana fan base. Well, almost all of the fan base. There was that one shirtless dude walking around on the visitor’s side showing his drawers and picking fights but he was the outlier. The other SLU fans were amazing. There must have been a dozen SLU fans who congratulated me on the win after the contest. They were extremely complimentary of the guys in maroon and gold and they expressed genuine concerned about the looming arrival of Hurricane Irma in Florida. The Lion fan base wished us well in weathering the storm and in the remaining contests this season. #SouthernHospitality
Speaking of Southern Hospitality. Big ups…check that…ALL HAIL Southern University for allowing Terry Sims and his squad to use their facilities this week because of travel delays associated with Hurricane Irma. Thanks for the HBCU love and hospitality.
No ALL HAILS to the three turnovers committed by the offense or the 14 penalties for 132 yards collected by the squad. If the Wildcats can address the turnover and penalty issues adequately, an upset win over next week’s FBS opponent FAU is not out of the question. The contest gets underway at 6:30pm at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton. You can join us in supporting the Fighting Wildcats by hopping on the HailWildcats.com Fan Bus. Click here for more details.
Junior Defensive End LeBrandon Richardson, who led the Wildcats in sacks (8.5), tackles for loss (13), and quarterback hurries (7) last season, has been named to the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) Watch List for the 2013 season.
Richardson joins quarterback Brodrick Waters and tight end Justin Henderson as 2013 CFPA Award Watch Lists selectees.
According to their website, “the goal of College Football Performance Awards is to provide the most scientifically rigorous conferments in college football. Recipients are selected exclusively based upon objective scientific rankings of the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams.”
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We are roughly three months away from the start of the college football season. This is right about the time when your favorite bookstore’s magazine section become inundated with college and professional football preview publications (which don’t mean a whole lot in the grand scheme of things but they are awfully fun to look at and to fuss over…but I digress).
Lindy’s was the first to release their preseason FCS Top 25 Poll earlier this week and the Cats debuted at #14 in Lindy’s rankings. Two other HBCU’s joined BCU in Lindy’s Top 25 rankings; Grambling State at #23 and Jackson State at #25.
The Cats open up the 2012 season against Alabama State in Orlando in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge on Sunday, September 2nd.
There is an old adage in sports that states “defense wins championships”. Perhaps that’s true, but the last I checked the team that scores the most points wins the game. In this article we take a look at the units responsible for scoring touchdowns; the quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers.
Eddie Poole (Glades Central High School/Rutgers) is the most polished of BCU’s talented wide receivers. He has good size at 6-3, 190 pounds, he runs good routes, but most importantly, he consistently wins in one-on-one situations. Poole caught 33 passes for 550 yards and scored 9 touchdowns a year ago. Poole’s former Rutgers teammate, Keith Stroud, is a welcomed addition to the receiving unit. Stroud, a 4 star recruit (Fork Union Virginia Military Academy/Rutgers) provides the Cats with another big, athletic target (6-4, 206 pounds) on the outside. http://rivals.yahoo.com/footballrecruiting/football/recruiting/player-Keith-Stroud-72410
Maurice Francois and Courtney Keith are former Option quarterbacks who transitioned to wide receiver last season. Keith and Francois’ athleticism and football instincts allow them to make up for their inexperience at the position. They are dynamic playmakers who are electric with the ball in their hands. Both players should progress in their 2nd year as wide receivers. Randy James and speedster Preston Cleckly are also expected to see playing time at the position. Sophomore Jordan Murphy provides the Cats with a sure-handed target at the tight end position.
The depth and versatility of the receiving corp makes it the highest rated unit on the offensive side of the ball. Grade: B
Despite being a backup last year, Isidore Jackson led the squad with 11 touchdowns and only Matt Johnson rushed for more yards. The offseason signing of Ole Miss transfer, Rodney Scott, means Jackson will likely have to share carries again this season.
Rodney Scott is an agile runner who possesses the type of speed and vision that makes him a scoring threat from anywhere on the field. Andronicus Lovette and Jonathan Moment provide good depth at the position combining for 524 yards and 9 tds last year (Lovette 264 yards and 6 touchdowns, Moment 260 yards and 3 touchdowns). Last year’s unit was a servicable bunch but the Cats will need to get better production and more explosion from the running back position if they wish to duplicate last year’s success. Grade: C-
The success of Brian Jenkins’ second season as a head coach will depend heavily on his team’s quarterback play. Gone is the reigning MEAC Offensive Player of the Year Matt Johnson. Jackie Wilson, David Blackwell, and Quentin Williams will look to replace Johnson as the primary signal caller.
Jackie Wilson is the only one of the three that has taken a snap from center against FCS competition. Last year Wilson completed just 47 percent of his passes throwing 3 TDs and 2 INTs in the process. Blackwell played quarterback for Iowa Western Junior College in 2009 before redshirting at BCU in 2010. Although Blackwell and Wilson both took snaps with the first team during spring drills, Coach Jenkins has yet to reveal which player enters fall camp atop the depth chart.
True Freshman Quentin Williams, the 2010 Florida “Mr. Football” award recipient is already the most popular quarterback on campus. Williams is the state of Florida’s all-time leader in TD passes (109) and passing yards (10,384). Yet “major” FBS schools were slow to offer him a scholarship because of his height (6-0). Williams is extremely poised, he has a very strong and accurate arm and he is a threat in the running game. A source close to the Wildcat program has stated “Williams will have a chance to play quarterback on Sundays when his college career ends”. Quentin Williams is certainly the future of Wildcat football but the immediate question is ‘is he ready to contribute right away’? The Wildcat Quarterbacks are a talented but unproven bunch. Our preseason grade is a D+.
Even the staunchest Wildcat fan has to admit that our logo leaves something to be desired. I mean how hard is it really to modernize a school logo? We did it with our mascot, Dr. Wyle D Cat. Anyone remembers the first version of Dr. Wyle D Cat? I believe the phrase my pre-adolescent daughter would use would be “hot mess”. Today’s version of Dr. Wyle D Cat is among the best mascots in all of FCS.
Well it’s about time to update that dull sketch we call a logo. Apparently someone else agrees with me and is attempting to lead the charge. Check out the logo below. Now that’s a Wild looking Cat!