Updated: *12 seats left* $80 ROUNDTRIP on HAILWILDCATS.COM FAN BUS to NC CENTRAL Oct. 3rd, 2015

FUNTIME BUSGreetings BCU Fans!

You are cordially invited to hop onboard the HailWildcats.com ‘Road to the Celebration’ Fan Bus  as we support our guys in their quest to have a successful season under  the direction of Head Coach Terry Sims. Our Fighting Wildcats will travel to O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium in Durham, North Carolina on Saturday October 3rd, 2015 to take on the North Carolina Central Eagles, kickoff is at 2:00 p.m.

The low rate of $100.00 will guarantee you transportation to and from the game and a game ticket, if you already have your game ticket, you can secure your transportation to and from North Carolina Central for just $80.00.

The bus will pick up in three locations, Orlando 1:45 am, Daytona 2:45 am and Jacksonville 4:00 am, and will make a stop for lunch before arriving at O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium around 12:00 pm. We will depart for Florida approximately 1 hour after the game and will stop for dinner on the return trip.

Seats are available on a first come, first serve basis. No seats are guaranteed until final payment has been received. All sales are final!

We encourage the use of PayPal for a fast, safe, and convenient method of securing your seat. We have attached the PayPal links/options below for your convenience. You do NOT need a PayPal account to complete your transaction. If you prefer to pay with cash or with Credit/Debit card in person or over the phone, please coordinate with Jerry Bell or Darold Williams at the numbers below. Checks will NOT be accepted.

Seats are filling up quickly, ONLY 12 SEATS LEFT so be sure to lock yours in today.


ORLANDO, FL – Home Depot Lee Rd. – 1:45 AM  5351 Diplomat Cir, Orlando, FL 32810

DAYTONA BEACH, FL –Bethune-Cookman University -2:45 AM   Between the Facilities building and the Band Hall

JACKSONVILLE, FL – LaQuinta Inn- 4:00 AM  812 Dunn Ave, Jax, FL 32218

If you have any questions, please call or text Jerry Bell at 407-494-5302 in the Orlando Area or Darold Williams at 904-351-8381 in the Daytona Area.Pasengers 1
Iphon5S214 218

Hail Wildcats!

*CURRENT BCU STUDENTS (ID Verified) 1-Bus Seat & Game Ticket to BCU vs NC Central at O’Kelly Riddick Stadium – Durham, NC

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1-Bus Seat to BCU vs NC Central at O’Kelly Riddick Stadium – Durham, NC (Transportation Option only)
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3-Bus Seats to BCU vs NC Central at O’Kelly Riddick Stadium – Durham, NC(Transportation Only Option)
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4-Bus Seats to BCU vs NC Central at O’Kelly Riddick Stadium – Durham, NC (Transportation Only Option)
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 4-Bus Seats & Game Tickets to BCU vs NC Central at O’Kelly Riddick Stadium – Durham, NC
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MEAC Roundup 10/12/13 – Seperation Saturday ???

Alvin Hollins Jr.

Alvin Hollins Jr.

Alvinhollins833@yahoo.com – Most teams are at the halfway point of their seasons, and some things are becoming clear:

THE BEST OF THE BEST: Bethune-Cookman, South Carolina State. These two are headed for a classic Showcase Showdown: DOGS vs. CATS ON THE BEACH, October 26….

TEAMS ON THE RISE?: Parity has reared its head in this league with only two remaining unbeaten teams (See Best of the Best), leaving a nine-team mass of humanity in their wake…. Delaware State (2-1) seems to be the best of the crowd, although Norfolk State (2-1) is tied with them for third (DSU owns a head-to-head edge from Saturday’s 14-7 win over NSU)….

IMPOSTERS OR HOPEFULS: After that, there is a four-team pack of 1-1 teams who still have hopes to have a say in the conference race: North Carolina Central, FAMU, Morgan State and Hampton… Hampton pulled a huge upset of North Carolina A&T ending a winless streak,,, FAMU snapped a four-game slide with a win at Savannah State, ending for the moment a mystifying slump that had the Rattler faithful shaking their heads… NCCU was bombed at home Thursday by South Carolina State, raising questions about the program’s stability with the drama surrounding their deposed coach… Morgan State was off Saturday, but they too have been too inconsistent to be a contender…

FLAT OUT OF IT: North Carolina A&T (1-2) was riding the wave of a 3-0 start including two OOC wins, but back-to-back conference losses have all but eliminated them from the race, but perhaps the program is showing fatigue being shorthanded scholarship wise, and from some problematic issues with personnel…. Howard (0-3) is clearly a team of potential perhaps missing their head coach (on leave), but the Bison seem to be in fade mode now…. Savannah State (0-3) may be the most dangerous 0-3 team in the league with their Air Raid spread offense under first year coach Earnest Wilson, and may yet scratch out a win or two before the year ends…

NOTES: The league will hit the halfway point in conference play this week, and it appears that B-CU and SCSU (remember those preseason predictions??? Starting to look like Nostradumus those folks) are a cut above, but while SCSU seems to be on a mission to dominate and destroy, B-CU seems content to get the lead and protect it…. Should make for an interesting bout in two weeks…

What will be interesting will be how the other nine squads shake out…. Delaware State has just one team left on its’ schedule with a .500 overall record, this week at North Carolina A&T, so the pesky Hornets might still have a title shot if the frontrunners find an oil slick or two on the road ahead…. DSU arguably had the strongest schedule with #1 North Dakota State, #4 Towson, #16 Bethune-Cookman and Delaware…

Norfolk State has a rugged closing schedule with ODU (Oct. 26), then B-CU, SCSU and NCCU in the last three games in November…

Everyone else, we’ll just have to wait and see….


Through October 12
Team …………………… Conference …….. Overall
South Carolina State …. 3-0 1.000 ….. 5-2 .714
Bethune-Cookman ……. 2-0 1.000 ….. 5-1 .857
Delaware State …………2-1 .667 ….. 2-4 .333
Norfolk State ………….. 2-1 .667 ….. 2-4 .333
North Carolina Central .. 1-1 .500 ….. 3-3 .500
Florida A&M ……………. 1-1 .500 ….. 2-4 .333
Hampton …………………1-1 .500 ….. 1-5 .167
Morgan State ……………1-1 .500 ….. 1-5 .167
North Carolina A&T …… 1-2 .333 ….. 3-2 .600
Howard …………………. 0-3 .000 ….. 1-6 .142
Savannah State ……….. 0-3 .000 ….. 1-6 .142

South Carolina State 44, North Carolina Central 3, ESPNU

Bethune-Cookman 27, Howard 6
Hampton 31, North Carolina A&T 26
Delaware State 14, Norfolk State 7
Florida A&M 27, Savannah State 14

Savannah State at Bethune-Cookman, 4:00
Hampton at Norfolk State, 1:00
Delaware State at North Carolina A&T, 1:00
Morgan State at North Carolina Central, 2:00
Howard University at Florida A&M, 2:00
South Carolina State is idle.

(Baseball) Wildcats advance to MEAC Title Game

Skipper Jason Beverlin

Skipper Jason Beverlin

MEAC regular season co-divisional champions @CookmanBaseball (35-23) and Savannah State (32-21) will square off on Sunday afternoon in the finals of the 2013 MEAC Baseball Championship.

The Cats and Tigers shared identical conference records (17-7) and split their six head-to-head matchups during the regular season.

SSU, who was awarded with the Southern Division’s top seed based on the conference’s fourth tiebreaker (head-to-head record against common divisional opponent), enters the finals from the winner’s bracket.  The Tigers are 3-0 in the tournament and have scored an average of 12.6 runs per contest during the three game stretch.

In additional to scoring a plethora of runs, Savannah State will have the services of the MEAC’s top pitcher, Kyle McGowin (11-1) on Sunday.  McGowin allowed just 1 earned run in a complete game effort against Maryland Eastern Shores in his last outing.  McGowin’s lone defeat this season was suffered at the hands of Bethune-Cookman on May 5th in Savannah.

BCU, who dropped an opening round MEAC tournament contest for the first time since 2005, have won four consecutive tournament games eliminating Delaware State, North Carolina Central, North Carolina A&T, and Coppin State in the process.

The Wildcat’s Ace, Montana Durapau, will likely toe the rubber for BCU in the championship game scheduled for 1:00.  Durapau pitched 8 2/3rds in the Cats’ 5-1 victory over Delaware State on Thursday night.

The MEAC Baseball Championship is a double elimination tournament therefore the Wildcats will have to defeat SSU twice on Sunday if they hope to retain their crown.  If the Wildcats can hold in the 1:00 contest, a second winner-take-all championship game will begin 35 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.

Bethune-Cookman is looking to secure its eighth consecutive MEAC crown.

You can follow the championship action on BCU’s official Twitter feeds at @BCUathletics or @Cookmanbaseball.

(Baseball) Wildcats look to remain atop MEAC standings

Jackie Robinson Stadium

Jackie Robinson Stadium

Daytona Beach – A quick glance at the MEAC’s Southern division standings reflects Bethune-Cookman in a familiar position atop the table.  However, a closer look at the standings reveals a more telling story.  Two games in the loss column is all that separates first place BCU from 4th place North Carolina A&T.  Savannah State is a game better than the Wildcats in the conference loss column (but the Tigers have a lower winning percentage against conference foes) and North Carolina Central is just a single game behind the Cats.

Jason Beverlin’s squad will look to cushion their lead and maintain their stranglehold on the conference when they take on North Carolina Central in a three-game set beginning today at 1:00 PM at Historic Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Daytona Beach’s City Island.

BCU (20-17, 10-5 MEAC) has won a season high six consecutive games with five of those victories occurring on the road.  Anthony Stokes has paced the Wildcats offensively over the winning streak logging three home runs and 11 RBIs during the run.

The Wildcats defeated Jacksonville University 5-3 in their last outing (on Tuesday, April 9th).  David Lee recorded three RBIs in the win for the Cats.

NCCU (21-15, 9-6 MEAC), who enters the weekend just a game behind the Wildcats in the MEAC’s Southern Division, are 1-2 against BCU this season and 2-6 against the Wildcats since re-joining the MEAC.  NCCU dropped 2 of 3 games against rival NCA&T last weekend.

The pitching matchups are slated as follows:

Game One:  NCCU’s Junior righty Terry McNabb  vs. B-CU righty Scott Garner (3-4, 5.33 ERA)   Garner is coming off a complete game, 4-1 victory over Florida A&M in his last outing.

Game Two (doubleheader 7 inning contest):  righty Glenn Frye (3-3) against BCU lefty Ali Simpson (3-4, 5.77 ERA).  Simpson also pitched solidly in his last outing allowing no runs in seven innings of work against FAMU.  BCU won that contest 4-0.

Game Three (Sunday): Michael Romano (2-5, 5.43 ERA) vs. BCU right hander Montana Durapau (5-3, 4.07 ERA).  Durapau earned his 5th win of the year in his last outing against cross-county rival Stetson.

Live Stats will be available from the link.  Also, NCCU will provide live audio coverage of this weekend’s matchups on the  NCCU Sports Network .

Top 12 Moments of 2012

Before 2012 takes its final curtain call and 2013 takes center stage, here is a look back at the Top 12 highlights of the 2012 football season.

(In no particular order)

IkeIsidore Jackson joins 1,000 yard club:

Junior running back Isidore Jackson became just the 7th player in BCU history to rush for 1,000 in a season.  It was the first time that a BCU player reach the 1,000 yard milestone since Allen Suber reached the magical mark in 2002.  Jackson finished the year with 1,069 yards on the ground.  He now has 2,449 yards rushing for his career which is good enough for 3rd all-time.

Eddie PSteady Eddie:

Eddie Poole has played in every game of Brian Jenkins’ head coaching career.  All Poole has done in that 35 game span is catch a pass in every contest and move into sixth (6th) place all-time on BCU’s touchdown receptions list with seventeen (17).  No sweat; just another day at the office for Steady Eddie.

Preston Cleckley’s one hander:

The final score in the BCU/Tennessee State game did not favor the good guys; however, Preston Cleckley’s one handed grab in the back of the end zone against the Tigers may have been the single most spectacular play of the season. 

The 9 yard TD strike to Cleckley was quarterback Quentin Williams’ first collegiate TD pass.  The two hooked up again in the North Carolina Central game when Cleckley ran under a 76 yard Williams’ TD pass.   The 76 yarder was the longest pass play of the season for the Wildcats.

Brock Waters

Brock Waters

Comeback kids:

17 minutes into the 2012 season, BCU fans were frozen in disbelief.  The Wildcat faithful watched Alabama State seize all the momentum and a 21-0 lead early in the 2nd quarter.  But help arrived in the form of Louisiana Tech transfer Brodrick Waters.  Waters replaced Jackie Wilson at quarterback midway through the 2nd quarter and BCU scored 38 unanswered points.  BCU went on to win the contest 38-28.

The comeback theme was repeated the following week when BCU scored 27 unanswered points after South Carolina State jumped out to a 14-0 lead. 

Courtesy of BCU Athletics

Courtesy of BCU Athletics

Defense plays lights out in the 3rd and 4th quarters:

7, 0, 0, 16, 3, 3, 3, 7, 6, 7; no those aren’t the winning Powerball numbers.  Those numbers represent the total number of points the Wildcat defense surrendered to FCS competition in the second half of contests this season.  That averages out to a measly 5.2 points per game in the 3rd and 4th quarters. 

The Wildcat D surrendered no 2nd half touchdowns in the entire month of October.  Hopefully the defense will figure out a way to extend their 2nd half achievements over 4 quarters of football and elevate themselves to a dominant defensive team in 2013.

Nick Addison’s coming out party

Redshirt freshman Nick Addison put on a display against Hampton that caused the Maroon and Gold faithful to reminisce of the days of Mathis, Collins, Williams, and Wyatt.  Addison intercepted 2 passes against the Pirates including 1 he returned 90 yards for a touchdown, he recorded 11 tackles (9 solo, .5 tfl) in that contest, and he forced a fumble.  That makes for one heck of a coming out party.

Henry Frazier none-to-happy….Is there a rivalry brewing???

NCCU head coach Henry Frazier disapproved of coach Jenkins’ decision to throw a pass while leading 35-17 late in the 4th quarter.  A visibly upset Frazier stated after the contest that he would have elected to simply run the ball if he was in the same position and not attempt to “run up the score”.  Frazier went on to state that he would remember Jenkins’ actions and have his team ready when the two schools meet again.

Could this evolve into another Bill Hayes/Alvin Wyatt type rivalry……we shall see!


For the first time in school history, the Bethune-Cookman football team finished the season with a perfect 8-0 record in MEAC play.  The last time BCU finished undefeated in conference play was 1984 when quarterback Bernard Hawk led the Cats to a 4-0 mark.  BCU has now won 14 straight MEAC contests dating back to 2011 and can tie South Carolina State’s all-time consecutive MEAC win mark of 22 if they finish undefeated in conference play in 2013.

DSC_0091Offensive line play

The BCU offensive line paved the way for the league’s leading scoring offense (29.4 points per game), rushing offense (244 yards per contest) and total offense (388.75 yards per contest).  Ole Miss transfer, Terrence Hackney led the big men upfront.  Hackney was named to several postseason All-American squads including the Beyond Sports College Network, The Sports Network, and Box-To-Row All-American teams.  The best news for BCU fans is that Hackney has 2 years of eligibility remaining. 

Lavon McCoy and Eugene Solomon were also noteworthy performers in the trenches in 2012.

The beltHe’s staying:

After entertaining offers from other colleges, namely Southern University, and at least one NFL team, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Brian Jenkins decided to sign a new deal and remain the leader of the BCU football team.

Jenkins has amassed a 27-8 record, 2 conference crowns, and 2 playoff berths during his brief time at Bethune. 

Run Ike Run:

Isidore Jackson’s 93 yard touchdown scamper against NCCU displayed many of the attributes that make a running back great.  Jackson broke 2 tackles (power), made a couple of guys miss (vision), and outran the rest of the field (speed) on his way to the endzone. 

It was the 4th longest touchdown run in school history and good enough to make the Top 12 in 2012 countdown.

Larry R. Handfield Athletic Training Center/Photo Courtesy of Daytona Beach News Journal - David Massey

Larry R. Handfield Athletic Training Center/Photo Courtesy of Daytona Beach News Journal – David Massey

State of the Art

BCU Football Operations moved into the 16,378 square foot Larry Hanfield Athletic Training Center in September.  The facility features a state of the art strength and conditioning center, hydrotherapy, x-ray and treatment rooms, technology equipped meeting rooms, a Hall of Fame lobby as well as other amenities.

The Training Center adds a huge boost to BCU’s recruiting, athletic facilities and footprint along the International Speedway corridor.

Week 11 MEAC Review

Bethune-Cookman clinches MEAC title; Rattlers edge NCCU under new coach; Delaware State, Norfolk, A&T all win Saturday

Alvin Hollins Jr.


NOVEMBER 10 – The Bethune-Cookman University Wildcats won their second Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title in three years Saturday, with a crushing road victory at Savannah State, dashing the remaining co-championship hopes of several teams.

The Wildcats (7-0, 8-2) locked up the title with a 49-7 win at Savannah State (0-7, 1-9), leaving them just one game shy of a perfect conference record. B-CU has also punched its’ ticket to the NCAA Division FCS playoffs.

Meanwhile, Florida A&M (4-3, 4-6) scored late to edge visiting North Carolina Central (5-2, 6-4), 22-21, winning their first game under interim head coach Earl “Hitman” Holmes at Homecoming in Bragg Stadium.

In other conference action Saturday, Delaware State (5-2, 6-4) pulled into a three-way tie for second with NCCU and Howard University, with a 35-27 win over visiting Hampton (2-5, 2-7) at Dover, Delaware; North Carolina A&T (4-3, 6-4) rallied past visiting South Carolina State (3-4, 4-6), 17-7 at Greensboro, N.C.; Norfolk State (2-6, 4-7) finished their disappointing season after winning the 2011 MEAC title, with a 30-0 whitewash of visiting Morgan State (2-5, 3-7), at Norfolk, Va.

In the lone non-conference affair Saturday, Howard University (5-2, 6-4) was bashed by nationally-ranked Georgia Southern (8-2), 69-26 at Statesboro, Ga.

The New Pecking Order…
Bethune-Cookman (7-0) has locked up the conference title and the automatic NCAA Division I FCS playoff bid…. The race will now be for second as North Carolina Central (5-2), Howard (5-2), and Delaware State (5-2) will go down to next weekend to determine which two of them will finish behind B-CU…

Next Weekend’s Schedule
The final Saturday of the regular season is pretty much Rivalry Weekend, highlighted by Bethune-Cookman against Florida A&M in the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Florida Classic in Orlando, to be nationally televised on ESPN Classic at 2:30 p.m.

The remainder of the schedule features Hampton at Morgan State (1:00); Delaware State at Howard (1:00); Savannah State at South Carolina State (1:30); and North Carolina A&T at North Carolina Central (2:00).

MEAC Random Shots
@ Bethune-Cookman (7-0) hopes to complete a perfect conference season next week against rival FAMU, which spoiled their hopes of a perfect season in 2010….

@ Two of three teams will finish second behind Bethune-Cookman: Delaware State, Howard and North Carolina Central (5-2)… DelState visits Howard, while NCCU hosts Triad rival North Carolina A&T in the Aggie-Eagle Classic.

@ Wins by Delaware State and North Carolina A&T Saturday clinched winning seasons for both squads, allowing them to join Howard and North Carolina Central in the club of teams who finished under .500 overall a year ago.

@ Bethune-Cookman, along with the quartet of DSU, Howard, A&T and NCCU officially flipped the script in the MEAC, as all five teams are led by coaches in their second or third years, while veteran-led programs like FAMU, Hampton, South Carolina State, Morgan State and Norfolk State suffered a reversal of fortune in 2012.

@ Florida A&M (4-3, 4-6) won its’ first game under interim head coach Earl Holmes, one of the school’s all-time great linebackers, and formerly the defensive coordinator… Holmes was tabbed to replace the 30-year head coaching veteran Joe Taylor on Wednesday of this week, after Taylor was placed on administrative leave… Taylor will still retire following the season with 233 career victories…

Thru Saturday, November 10, 2012

School ……………………….. Conference / Overall
Bethune-Cookman ………………… 7-0 1.000 / 8-2 .800
Delaware State ………..……………. 5-2 .714 / 6-4 .600
Howard University …….…………… 5-2 .714 / 6-4 .600
North Carolina Central …….……. 5-2 .714 / 6-4 .600
^North Carolina A&T ………..…… 4-3 .571 / 6-4 .600
Florida A&M ………..………………… 4-3 .571 / 4-6 .400
South Carolina State .…….……… 3-4 .428 / 4-6 .400
Morgan State ………………………… 2-5 .285 / 3-7 .300
^Hampton …………………………….. 2-5 .285 / 2-7 .222
Norfolk State ………………………… 2-6 .250 / 4-7 .363
Savannah State ………..…………… 0-7 .000 / 1-9 .100
^-Ineligible for 2012 title

Saturday’s Scoreboard
*Delaware State 35, Hampton 27
*Norfolk State 30, Morgan State 0
*North Carolina A&T 17, South Carolina State 7
#Georgia Southern 69, Howard 26
*Florida A&M 22, North Carolina Central 21
*Bethune-Cookman 49, Savannah State 7
(*)-Conference Games

Next Week’s Schedule
*Hampton at Morgan State, 1:00
*Delaware State at Howard, 1:00
*Savannah State at South Carolina State, 1:30
*North Carolina A&T at North Carolina Central, 2:00
*Bethune-Cookman vs. Florida A&M (Orlando), 2:30 (ESPN Classic)
(*)-Conference Games

BCU 2012 MEAC Champs

SAVANNAH, Ga. — Quentin Williams threw two touchdown passes and ran for 121 of Bethune-Cookman’s 377 rushing yards as the Wildcats beat Savannah State 49-7 Saturday in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game.

BCU’s win coupled with North Carolina Central’s 22-21 loss to Florida A&M sealed the 2012 MEAC Championship for the Wildcats. Congratulations to the 2012 Wildcats for securing Bethune-Cookman’s 2nd MEAC title in 3 years and the Cat’s first outright title since 2002. 

Williams completed 9 of 12 passes for 103 yards and threw touchdown passes of 11 and 36 yards. His second touchdown, a strike to David Blackwell, gave Bethune-Cookman a 35-0 halftime lead.

Isidore Jackson finished with 100 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries for Bethune-Cookman (8-2, 7-0).  Jackson is needs just 82 yards to reach 1,000 rushing on the season.  Rodney Scott posted 51 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries and Brodrick Waters tallied 47 yards on six carries.

Savannah State (1-9, 0-7) got on the board midway through the third quarter when Cornel Weston recovered a fumble in the end zone. But Waters scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to create the final margin.

Bethune-Cookman smothered Savannah State quarterback Antonio Bostick all game, forcing three interceptions and recording four sacks.

What we learned from BCU’s Week 9 victory over NCCU

Courtesy of BCU Athletics

1.  BCU can run the ball

This past Saturday’s matchup pitted Bethune-Cookman’s #1 ranked rushing offense, against North Carolina Central’s #1 ranked rushing defense.  In the end, the Wildcats simply overwhelmed the Eagles on the ground rushing for 274 yards and 5 touchdowns.

On BCU’s 1st drive of the second half, the Wildcats drove the ball 63 yards on 5 plays to pull ahead 21-17.  All 5 plays were runs.  That drive shifted momentum and highlighted BCU’s physicality advantage over the Eagles.  The Cats seized control of the game at that point and never looked back.  Junior running back Isidore Jackson carried the ball 14 times for 158 yards and 2 touchdowns in the contest.  The performance was good enough to earn Jackson College Football Performance Awards National Running Back of the Week recognition.  Speaking of Jackson, we learned that …

2.  Ike is fast enough

During BCU’s preseason media day event, Jackson stated that he had decent but not great speed.  However, Jackson’s speed was good enough to help him record the 4th longest touchdown run in BCU history.  Jackson took a pitch off the left side of the line, broke a tackle, made a few guys miss, and raced 93 yards to give BCU a 28-17 lead.

3.  Marching Wildcats do yo’ thang

In the last three home games, The Pride’s halftime ballads were: ‘In my Bed’ – Dru Hill; ‘If I Had My Way’ – Chrisette Michelle; and ‘Stairway to Heaven’ – The O’Jays.  All three pieces were simply amazing.  The band could have scrambled on to the field, played those ballads and walked off and I would have been perfectly fine with their performance.  They really did sound that good.  Hail Wildcats and Hail Pride! 

(Okay, now back to football.)

4.  Coach Jenkins really does have a rotating quarterback system

Heading into last week’s game, it seemed that Quentin Williams had gained sole ownership of the starting quarterback position.  Williams started the three prior games during which he threw 4 touchdowns, 0 interceptions and completed nearly 70% of his passes. 

Coach Jenkins stated that Quentin did not take care of some of his responsibilities off the field and that Brodrick Waters had a better week of practice on the field.  As a result, it was Waters who started the contest for BCU.  Waters led BCU on their first scoring drive and rushed for 53 yards on the afternoon. 

Although not the starter, Williams saw significant action during Saturday’s game.  Included in Williams’ highlights was a 76 yard touchdown pass thrown to Preston Cleckley in the 2nd quarter.

Courtesy of BCU Athletics

5.  De-fense, De-fense

Here is a number for you; “9”.  That’s the number of snaps, NCCU took inside the BCU 10 yard line on their first possession of the second half.  The Eagles got the ball as close as the 1 yard line, but an illegal procedure penalty backed NCCU up to the 6 yard line. 

A Bethune-Cookman player said ‘Hut,’ and that’s why we jumped offside,” Frazier said. “It wasn’t our quarterback, I’ll just say that”.  BCU safety, D.J. Howard, and linebacker, Dawud Lane, claimed ignorance to the coaches claim during postgame interviews.

The Wildcats limited the Eagles to a field goal on that possession and those would be Central’s last points of the contest.  BCU’s defense has now surrendered 7, 0, 0, 16, 3, 0, and 3 points in the second half of games against FCS opponents this season.  That equates to 4.1 points per game in the second half.  Not bad…not bad at all!

BCU vs NCCU Preview

A quick show of hands, how many of you thought North Carolina Central would be in a battle for conference supremacy nine weeks into the season? 

If you raised your hand you can put it down now.  You can also consider yourself among the few that actually saw this coming.  NCCU finished 4-7 in 2008 and 2009; in 2010 they finished 3-8 and Head Coach Mose Rison was fired midway through the season; and last season NC Central finished with a 2-9 overall record.  The Eagles were predicted to finish in the bottom third of the conference in the MEAC’s preseason poll.  Yet, the Eagles find themselves tied atop the conference standings and playing for sole possession of first place at the end of October.  Go figure!

The uninformed may classify the Eagles’ 2012 campaign as the “F” word (i.e. fluke), but that would be disingenuous to Head Coach Henry Frazier, his staff, and the North Carolina Central football team. 

At 5-2, the Eagles have already accumulated their highest win total (5) since 2007.  NCCU is ranked:  

*1st in the MEAC in Scoring Offense (33.0 points per game),
*1st in the MEAC in Run Defense (109 yards per game),
*1st in the MEAC and 2nd in the nation is punt return average (23.5 yards per return), and
*1st in the nation and MEAC in special teams touchdowns (3 punt return TDs and 1 kickoff return TD).
Also (as SOAR from MEACFans Zone pointed out), in comparisons to BCU, NCCU has a greater margin of victory against common opponents this season:

NCCU 40 vs SCSU 10   (NCCU +30)
BCU 27 vs SCSU 14    (BCU  +13)

NCCU 37 vs Hampton 20  (NCCU +17)
BCU 36 vs Hampton 26   (BCU  +10).

The bottom line is North Carolina Central is a legitimate contender for the conference crown and they have earned their success this year.

“I am not surprised by (NCCU’s) success” coach Brian Jenkins stated.  “I knew a change would take place”.  “No disrespect to anyone else but look at Coach Frazier’s prior record.  He is proven by the results that he got at Prairie View”.

No Easy Win

Henry Frazier’s team will need to put on their best performance of the year if they hope to pull off the upset in Daytona Beach.  Bethune-Cookman enters the contest riding a league best 9 game conference win streak.  The last time the two teams met, BCU racked up 525 yards of offense in a 34-6 thumping of the Eagles.

The Wildcats have seemed to stabilize their offense under the guidance of redshirt freshman quarterback Quentin Williams.  Williams has started the past three games for BCU and has yet to throw an interception this season.  Last week Williams threw for a career high 157 yards passing completing 9 of 11 attempts with 2 touchdowns in the process.  Fellow quarterback, Brock Waters, finished the contest with a team high 103 yards rushing.  It was Waters second time eclipsing the 100 yard rushing mark this season.  Waters also hooked up with Jhomo Gordon on a 13 yard touchdown strike. 

The Wildcat defense will look to slow down the conference’s #1 ranked scoring offense in NC Central.  Yogi Jones’ defensive unit looked dominant in their performance last week against Norfolk State forcing the Spartans into 3 turnovers and limiting them to just 3 points.  

BCU’s special teams, particularly the kickoff and punt coverage units, will need to pay close attention to detail in this contest.  NCCU’s Arthur Goforth and Geovoine Irvine are two of the best return men in the country.  The Eagles have returned 3 punts and 1 kickoff return for a touchdown this season.  NCCU is also averaging over 23 yards per punt return.  YIKES!

Hurricane Sandy   

Kickoff is still slated for a 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27 at Municipal Stadium. The latest projections have the storm moving out of the region by late Friday night, leading into the early hours of Saturday morning. 

“The university has been in contact with the emergency management agencies in Volusia County and continues to monitor the track of Hurricane Sandy,” said Lynn Thompson, B-CU Director of Athletics. “At present, our plans remain firm to kick off our regularly scheduled football game against North Carolina Central University tomorrow at 4 p.m. at Municipal Stadium. The reports indicate that weather conditions will be suitable for us to play the game at its stated time.”
Live video will be available through the CatEye Network on BCUathletics.com.

An Ode to Rev. Williams

Weather permitting and in my best BCU public address announcer, Rev. Isidore Williams’ voice, 

“In a few short hours the question will be answered;
who will ascend to the top of the mountain.
Will it be the Eagles of North Carolina Central University of Durham North Carolina?
Or will it be the Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman University of Daytona Beach Florida”?

Best HBCU Home Field Advantage–Rankings and Poll

Home field advantage is as much a part of college football as marching bands and drunken co-eds. LSU’s Tiger Stadium, University of Florida’s “Swamp”, Clemson’s “Death Valley” and Ohio State’s “Horseshoe” provide some of the more well-known home field advantages in all of sports.  But you don’t have to play in an 80,000 seat arena to enjoy the benefits of a home field.

There are a host of smaller venues, including some HBCU home sites, that have proven themselves very tough on opposing teams.  Granted, playing in front of your home crowd does not guarantee victory, but you have to like your chances if you play your home games in these friendly confines.

Here’s a look at the best home field advantages in the world of HBCU football.

Honorable Mention:

*** O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium is a charming, picturesque venue nestled on the grounds of North Carolina Central University.  But don’t get it twisted.  Playing in O’Kelly-Riddick is no walk in the park for the opposition.  In fact, the CIAA contingent that contributed to this poll thought so much of O’Kelly-Riddick that they lobbied vehemently for Central to be included in the Top 5 home field advantage ranking and not just an honorable mention selectee.

O’Kelly-Riddick’s greatest advantage comes from the closeness of the fans.  “They’re right on top of you and in your ear the whole game” one former CIAA player told me.  He went on to describe how one of his young teammates was harassed by a particular NCCU fan from pre-game warmups until the final whistle.  No wonder that “young buck” had his worse collegiate game that day.

*** Grambling State’s home games may not be as well attended as some of the other schools on this list, but the folks that congregate at Eddie Robinson Stadium on Saturday’s sure make their presence known.  Robinson Stadium is one of the largest FCS on-campus stadium in the country.  The Tigers have enjoyed 13 undefeated home seasons and a .758 winning percentage at Robinson Stadium since it opened in 1983.

The stadium is in the middle of nowhere which in itself creates a sense of isolationism for visiting squads.  Couple that with the lore of Grambling State football, the passion of their fans, and the quality of football the G-Men play and it’s pretty simple to see why playing at Robinson Stadium has proven to be such a difficult task for opponents.

*** If there were no extra weight given for recent success, North Carolina A&T’s Aggie Stadium would have made our Top 5.

A&T fans are amongst the most passionate and rabid in all of FCS athletics. The Blue Death Valley, Aggie Pride and of course the GHOE (Greatest Homecoming on Earth {sorry Howard}) all take up residence in Aggie Stadium.  Visiting teams can expect the unpredictable at Aggie Stadium.  Just a season ago, a very good Bethune-Cookman team suffered a horrible defeat at the hands of NCA&T and were held to a putrid 5 yards of rushing offense during the process.  It’s no coincidence that game was played in Aggie Stadium.

The Top 5

SU vs JSU at Mumford Stadium

#5—Southern University’s A. W. Mumford Stadium

Yeah I know SWACOs.  One could argue that Mumford is deserving of the #1 ranking.  But like A&T, Southern’s recent hard times resulted in Mumford falling a little lower in the rankings.

SU routinely ranks in the Top 25 in FCS home attendance and unlike some HBCU fans; Jaguar fans are active and loud from the zero quarter to the fifth quarter.  The Human Jukebox, the Dancing Dolls, 20,000 plus screaming Louisianans all make Mumford a special place to call home.

SCSU’s Oliver C. Dawson

#4—South Carolina State’s Oliver C. Dawson Stadium

South Carolina State’s Dawson Stadium is one of the best places to catch an HBCU football contest.  The fun starts outside of the stadium at the MEAC’s best tailgate party.  Inside the stadium, you will find one of the most knowledgeable and loyal group of fans in the HBCU world.

Bulldog fans know when to inject life into the stadium; and when they do Dawson produces a “roar” that is as good as any in FCS football.  Oh by the way, the Bulldogs are 19-3 at Dawson over the last 5 years.  Pretty good huh?

#3—Florida A&M’s Bragg Memorial Stadium

If you call a Rattler fan arrogant or obnoxious, you’re more likely to receive a thank you than a rebuttal.  They are a deeply loyal and passionate bunch who don’t seem to have an issue reminding us all of the rich history of FAMU athletics.   On game day they’re extremely boisterous and fully engaged. 

 The fans alone provide enough of a boost to give FAMU a great home field advantage.  When you add in the Florida humidity and a 400+ piece band that has its own cult following into the equation, Bragg Stadium becomes all the  more difficult to tame.

Mississippi’s Veterans Memorial Stadium

In 1997, Jackson State set an NCAA FCS attendance record when they averaged 38,873 fans at home games.  JSU fans don’t show up just to be seen either.  They are loud, rowdy, and very much a part of the game.

The Sonic Boom is a high intensity, “aggressive” band that amplifies the already hostile environment of Mississippi’s Veterans Memorial.

Between the lines, Jackson State owns a .780 winning percentage at Veterans Memorial.  Many teams cannot sustain that type of excellence for a 5 year period.  JSU has been doing it since they began playing their home games at Veterans Memorial in October of 1967.

The combination of diehard fans, an “in your face” band, and a football history that is steeped in tradition makes Veterans Memorial worthy of receiving the #2 spot in our ranking.

The Dust Bowl

#1—Tuskegee’s Abbott Stadium

Tuskegee’s Abbott Stadium -affectionately known as “The Dust Bowl”- is one of the most unique places to play football in the country.  Abbott (originally called Alumni Stadium) was constructed in 1924 and was the first of its kind to be erected on an HBCU campus.  To give you some perspective regarding just how much history Abbott Stadium has seen, many of the Tuskegee Airmen were still running around in diapers when the Golden Tigers played their first game at Abbott against Atlanta University.  But age isn’t Abbot’s only unique characteristic.

Abbott is one of the only stadiums in the country in which the tailgate occurs inside the stadium (on the hillside). There is also a seemingly out of place barn roof (referred to as “The Shed”) standing over the home-side stands. But when you consider the stadium has no lights and that all home games kickoff at 1:00 in the afternoon, it makes sense to offer fans some sort of protection from the Alabama sun.  Players on the field are afforded no such luxury.  Not only is the playing surface hot, but the stadium’s design inhibits air from circulating freely, hence the term “The Dust Bowl”.

Tuskegee has been an absolute beast on the field.  The Golden Tigers own 8 Black College Football National Championships, 28 SIAC Championships, as well as the title of “The Winningest Team in HBCU History” with 630 victories.  More recently, Head Coach Willie Slater boasts a 25-3 home record at Abbot Stadium.

Now that you know how we feel, tell us what you think.  Choose your Top 3 HBCU home field advantages.  The poll closes the week of July 4th.

Hail Wildcats