BCU vs SCSU Preview

BCU Mascot

BCU Mascot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When Bethune-Cookman squares off against South Carolina State tomorrow night at 6:00, it could very well be a showdown of the two best teams in all of HBCU football.  Both teams enter the contest coming off of impressive victories.  The Bulldogs defeated Georgia State of the formidable CAA conference convincingly on the road.  The Dogs racked up 488 yards of offense on their way to a 33-6 victory over GSU.  Quarterback Richard Cue led SCSU with 300 yards passing and three touchdowns. Wide Receivers Caleb Davis and Lennel Elmore both eclipsed the 100 yard receiving mark in the contest.

The Wildcats started slowly in their Week 1 matchup and fell behind 21-0 against Alabama State.  But the Beach Cats found their form in the 2nd quarter and steamrolled to a 38-28 win in last week’s MEAC/SWAC Challenge.  Senior quarterback Brock Waters replaced Jackie Wilson midway through the second quarter and was responsible for three BCU touchdowns (2 passing and 1 rushing) in the contest.  Waters (100 yds) joined running backs Isidore Jackson (123 yds) and Rodney Scott (103 yds) as 100 yard rushers in last week’s contest.  BCU tallied 551 total yards of offense on the afternoon and will hope to carry that momentum into Oliver C Dawson Stadium where they have experienced a good deal of success recently.  In fact, the Wildcats have won 4 of their last 5 meetings on the Bulldog’s home field; the last of which was 14-0 shutout in 2010. 

The Wildcats and Bulldogs are eerily similar in terms of overall talent, team speed, and size but the similarities do not just stop there.

  • SCSU head coach Buddy Pough has never finished worse than 2nd in the MEAC’s final standings; but neither has BCU coach Brian Jenkins.
  • Bethune returns 9 starters on offense from 2011; and so do the Bulldogs. 
  • SCSU loss 7 starters from last season’s defense; BCU loss 6 starters from their 2011 defense.
  •  Both teams have dual threat quarterbacks (SCSU-Richard Cue; BCU-Brock Waters/Jackie Wilson) and a host of talented wide receivers.  The teams also have very experienced offensive lines and a plethora of new but talented starters on defense.
  • The teams are 8-7 in their last 15 head-to-head matchups with BCU holding the 1 game advantage during that span.
  • Bethune has won 4 of the last 5 games played in Orangeburg, while South Carolina State has won 3 straight in Daytona Beach.


  • South Carolina State appears to have an advantage in special teams with dangerous return men, Lennel Elmore and Darius Drummond fielding punts and kickoffs.
  • Bethune seems to have a clear advantage in the rushing attack in running backs Isidore Jackson and Rodney Scott.  And if last week’s performance is any indication, Brock Waters is as valuable in the running game as any other player on BCU’s roster.

 3 keys to victory for BCU

1. Know who to block—BCU has a very experienced offensive line.  That experience will be put to the test against SCSU’s heavy blitzing, 3-4 defensive scheme.  BCU enjoyed a great deal of success running the ball right at the Bulldog defense last year. The Wildcats should have success running the ball again this year.  In the passing game, BCU’s offensive line and quarterback(s) must account for all rushers.  If that happens, BCU’s offense could have a huge night.

2. Connect in the passing game when called upon—The Wildcats boasted one of the best rushing attacks in the country in 2011.  They carried that trend into Week 1 where they racked up 367 yards on the ground.  The Cats will need to connect on enough throws in the passing game to keep the Bulldog defense from committing too many players to stop the run.  If/when SCSU commit those extra bodies against the run, the Wildcats will need to take advantage of the single coverage and connect on plays down the field in the passing game.

3. Don’t give up too much on special teams—Coach Jenkins cited Darius Drummond’s two punt returns that ended inside the 20 yard line as the key factors in his team’s 26-18 defeat to SCSU last season.  BCU cannot afford to have history repeat itself again this season if they hope to win.

Our prediction:

BCU wins impressively 34-17.

The game can be viewed live (6:00 P.M.) on WatchESPN or on ESPNU on tape delay beginning at 10:30 P.M.

BCU rushes pass ‘Bama State

2012 MEAC/SWAC Challenge

Seventeen minutes into Sunday’s matchup against Alabama State, Bethune-Cookman fans were left gazing at the scoreboard and wondering if they would wind up on the wrong end of a one-sided MEAC/SWAC Challenge.

The Hornets opened the contest with a 12 play, 75 yard drive which ended with a 5 yard Greg Jenkins touchdown run.   ASU’s second and third scores were aided by a BCU fumble on a punt return and a missed field goal respectively.  With 13:45 remaining in the 2nd Quarter, ASU was defending a 21-0 lead and looking to run away with the contest. 

As dominant as ASU appeared over the first seventeen minutes, BCU was equally dominant over the final forty-three minutes of the contest.  Like ASU, BCU’s first scoring drive consumed 12 plays, 75 yards and ended with a rushing touchdown (Andronicus Lovette, 2 yards).  Sven Hurd added a 20 yard field goal just before halftime to bring the deficit to 21-10.

The Wildcat offense started to steamroll in the second half scoring touchdowns on their second (24 yd pass from Brock Waters to Jhomo Gordon), third (6 yd run by Waters), and fourth (47 yd pass from Waters to Eddie Poole) possessions after the half.  Both teams tacked on an additional touchdown before the final whistle.

Coach Brian Jenkins was quick to sing the praises of his squad.  “Alabama State is a championship caliber team; don’t let the score fool you”.  “We knew they had a high octane offense but there was no doubt in our mind that we would end up victorious.  You saw a team today that believes in the philosophy that we’re teaching (stay in the moment and play every play).  It’s just a tremendous thing to see the fight that our guys showed today”.

Thank God for the backup quarterback

Coach Jenkins revealed in his postgame interview that quarterback Jackie Wilson was unable to continue in Sunday’s contest because of conditioning/heat related issues.  Louisiana Tech transfer Brodrick Waters (who prefers to go by Brock) relieved Wilson midway through the 2nd quarter.  Waters inherited a 21-7 deficit, but led the Wildcats to 31 unanswered points.  Waters ended the afternoon with 100 yards rushing on 11 attempts (1 rushing td) and 6 of 9 passing for 110 yards with 2 touchdowns.  The second of Water’s TD passes was a beautiful 47 yard hookup on a post route to Eddie Poole on 3rd and 21.   The result of the play pushed BCU to a comfortable 31-21 lead.

Waters, who played with the message ‘RIP’— ‘TD 22’ written on his eye black, combined with Isidore Jackson (123 yards) and Rodney Scott (103, 1 td) to make BCU history as the first trio of rushers to eclipse the 100 yard rushing mark in the same game.  When asked about the significance of his Tebowesque eye black message, Waters explained that he was honoring his former La Tech teammate Tyrone Duplessis.  The 21-year old Duplessis died in his sleep in February of this year.  “He was someone that I looked up to” Waters stated.  “I decided to dedicate this game to him as well as my first touchdown.  They told me that I almost got one (touchdown) called back (for excessive celebration) because I showed some emotion towards him and that probably wasn’t the best thing to do”.

BCU finished the game with 383 yards rushing on 60 attempts for a 6.1 yard average.  Eddie Poole (102 yards, 1 td) eclipsed the 100 yard receiving mark on the afternoon and pushed his consecutive games with a catch streak to 24.  In total, the Wildcat offense racked 551 yards of offense.

Jarkevis Fields led the defensive charge with 10 tackles, 1 sack and 2 tackles for loss.  The Wildcat “D” held ASU running back Isaiah Crowell to 18 yards rushing on 9 attempts.  Crowell (formerly of the University of Georgia) is the 2011 SEC Offensive Freshmen of the Year recipient.

The Wildcats travel to Orangeburg next Saturday for an early season showdown with MEAC powerhouse South Carolina State.  Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00 P.M..

Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs 22 25
Total Yards 351 551
Passing 253 184
Rushing 98 367
Penalties 3-30 15-111
3rd Down Conversions 8-15 8-16
4th Down Conversions 0-1 1-1
Turnovers 2 1
Possession 25:05 34:55

Passing Leaders

Alabama State C/ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Jenkins 19/29 196 6.8 0 1
Bethune-Cookman C/ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Waters 6/9 110 12.2 2 0

Rushing Leaders

Alabama State CAR YDS AVG TD LG
Jenkins 15 39 2.6 2 17
Crowell 9 18 2.0 1 11
Bethune-Cookman CAR YDS AVG TD LG
Jackson 21 123 5.9 0 25
Scott 13 103 7.9 1 38

Receiving Leaders

Alabama State REC YDS AVG TD LG
McWilliams 6 89 14.8 1 39
Neely 5 64 12.8 0 34
Bethune-Cookman REC YDS AVG TD LG
Poole 3 102 34.0 1 54
Stroud 4 39 9.8 0 15

Qtr Time Scoring Play

1st 11:06 ALST – Jenkins, Greg 5 yd run (Wenzig, Bobby kick), 12-75 3:54 7 – 0
04:28 ALST – Crowell, Isaiah 2 yd run, 2-20 0:43 14 – 0
2nd 13:45 ALST – Jenkins, Greg 3 yd run (Wenzig, Bobby kick), 8-72 2:15 21 – 0
09:18 BCU -LOVETTE,Andronicus 2 yd run , 12-75 4:21 21 -7
00:01 BCU – HURD,Sven 20 yd field goal, 12-77 3:02 21 – 10
3rd 05:53 BCU – GORDON,Jhomo 24 yd pass from WATERS,Brodrick (HURD,Sven kick), 5-70 3:04 21 – 17
04:28 BCU – WATERS,Brodrick 6 yd run (HURD,Sven kick), 4-20 1:19 21 – 24
4th 10:39 BCU – POOLE,Eddie 47 yd pass from WATERS,Brodrick, 11-91 5:36 21 – 31
06:59 BCU – SCOTT,Rodney 38 yd run, 2-39 0:53 21 – 38
03:53 ALST – McWilliams, T.C 39 yd pass from Duhart, Daniel (Wenzig, Bobby kick), 9-79 2:59 28 – 38