5 Questions from Fall Camp

IMG_9324The Bethune-Cookman football program has spent most of the last five seasons nationally ranked and atop the MEAC standings. In that same timeframe, the Wildcats have posted more victories than any other conference school and advanced to the postseason on four occasions. Yet despite its recent run of success, the buzz surrounding the program has been relatively quiet heading into the 2015 campaign. Questions abound as to rather BCU’s window of success is closing or if the Cats are poised to continue their reign as one of the premier programs in the HBCU and FCS ranks.

Here are 5 mysteries that must be solved if Bethune-Cookman is to remain consistent in its winning ways.

The Man following the Man

TSims

1st year head coach Terry Sims

First year head coach Terry Sims inherits a roster full on talent but lacking in experience. Sims won’t be afforded a honeymoon period to acquaint himself or his young squad to the high expectations in Daytona Beach. Wildcat fans fully expect Sims to continue and build upon the success of former head coach Brian Jenkins.

Sims is well respected within the BCU athletic department. He is ultracompetitive, detailed-oriented, and perhaps better credentialed than was Jenkins when he first took over the reins in 2010. But there are some aspects of the head coaching position for which only the crucible of experience can prepare you. The manner in which Sims responds to tense, split-second and sometimes unpredictable moments on and off the field will go a long way in determining the success of this year’s squad.

Fantastic Four or Fantastic No-more???

Yogi Jones is arguably the best defensive coordinator in the MEAC. He will need to rely on all of his experience and know-how to ready a defense that features nine new starters including an all new front four.

Donald Smith #16

Donald Smith #16

Not only will the defensive line feature four new starters but the four new starters were not even enrolled at Bethune-Cookman this time last year. Thankfully, they all have some post-high school playing experience under their belts and they all possess great athleticism and potential. Getting this group of new faces to actualize their talents and replace the production void left by the likes of Erik Williams, LeBrandon Richardson and Rony Barrow will be quite a task even for Yogi Jones.

Inexperience at Linebacker

Donald Smith returns as the lone starter at linebacker. We expect Robert Way, our preseason pick for breakout player of the year, and Deland high school product Trenton Bridges to join Smith as the starting linebackers. All three guys will lay a good thump on you. We just want them to get in the habit of getting ball carriers on the ground and racking up tackles. We’ll worry about highlight reel hits down the road.

OC or Oh-No?

While Yogi Jones has proven his mettle as a great defensive coordinator, the jury is still out on 4th year offensive coordinator Jim Pry. BCU has never averaged more than 30 points per game or more than 400 yards of total offense under Pry’s guidance. In fact, Pry’s units rarely racked up huge numbers in his previously stints as offensive coordinator at Dartmouth, Akron and Duke. Granted, you can’t measure success by statistics alone and the offensive talent he had at his disposal while serving as OC at the aforementioned schools generally were not as good as the competition he faced. But coaching is a bottom line business. Pry will need to have the BCU offense prepared to carry more of the weight this season to give the new faces on defense time to jell and gain experience.

Step it up QB

????????In 2010, BCU entered Fall Camp unsure who would emerge as the primary signal caller. Senior Matt Johnson stepped up, made the job his own, and proceeded to have one of the best seasons any Wildcat quarterback has ever experienced. We’re hoping redshirt senior Quentin Williams can find some of that same magic in his final year.

Williams has not been bad as a starter but he has struggled with consistency at times. Q needs to step up his production this season. Whether he does or doesn’t isn’t an issue of talent but one of confidence.

Larry Brihm will challenge Williams for snaps all season and the thought of both quarterbacks taking meaningful snaps is not out of the question.

The Terry Sims era of Bethune-Cookman football begins on Saturday, September 5th when the Wildcats travel to South Florida to take on FBS powerhouse University of Miami. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00 pm. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN3.

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B-CU predicted to finish atop the MEAC

????????Norfolk, VA—The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) unofficially kicked off its 2014 football season at this past Friday’s Annual Press Luncheon. To the surprise of few, the league’s coaches and sports information directors predicted Bethune-Cookman would defend their crown and finish the season atop the league standings.

Under the guidance of fifth year head coach Brian Jenkins, the Wildcats have established themselves as a perennial MEAC power and FCS Top 25 program. BCU enters the season looking for its third consecutive MEAC crown and seventh (7th) MEAC title overall.

2013 Co-Champions, South Carolina State, were predicted to finish 2nd in the league. North Carolina A&T, Howard, and Delaware State round out the Top 5.

Four Bethune-Cookman student-athletes received First Team All-MEAC recognition, two more were named to the All-MEAC Second Team, and one Wildcat picked up Third Team honors. Howard quarterback Greg McGee was selected as Offensive Player of the Year while Norfolk State linebacker/defensive end Lynden Trail picked up Defensive Player of the Year honors.

BCU will kickoff the 2014 campaign in South Florida on August 30th against in-state foe Florida International. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 PM.

2014 Predicted Order of Finish

(First Place Votes in Parenthesis)

School Points

1. Bethune-Cookman 487

2. South Carolina State 457

3. North Carolina A&T 338

4. Howard 309

5. Delaware State 229

6. Norfolk State 225

7. Hampton 200

8. North Carolina Central 187

9. Morgan State 148

** Florida A&M and Savannah State are not eligible for post season competition therefore is not listed on the above prediction order

2014 Football All-Conference Preseason Teams

Offensive Player of the Year: Greg McGhee, Howard Defensive Player of the Year: Lynden Trail, Norfolk State

Name School Hometown
QB Greg McGhee Howard Pittsburgh, Pa.
RB Tarik Cohen N.C. A&T Bunn, N.C.
RB Anthony Philyaw Howard Los Angeles, Ca.
WR Milton Williams III Delaware State Washington, D.C.
WR Desmond Lawrence N.C. A&T Durham, N.C.
TE Kris Drummond Savannah State Washington D.C.
C Andrew Edouard   Bethune-Cookman Philadelphia, Pa.
OL Domanic Wilson r-Sr. S.C. State Lake City, S.C.
OL Willie Robinson r-Sr. N.C A&T Clinton. Md.
OL Darren Pinnock Morgan State Miami, Fla
OL Devin Flowers r-Sr. S.C. State Charlotte, N.C.
OL Toree Boyd Howard Miami, Fla.
DEFENSE
Name School Hometown
DL LeBrandon Richardson   Bethune-Cookman Miami, Fla.
DL Miles Grooms Hampton Richmond, Va
DL Alex Glover S.C. State Charlotte, N.C.
DL Andrew Carter S.C. State Hamlet, N.C.
LB Lynden Trail r-Sr. Norfolk State Miami, Fla.
LB D’Vonte Grant North Carolina A&T Charlotte, N.C.
LB Tavarus Dantzler   Bethune-Cookman Homestead, Fla.
DB Darrin Marrow r-Sr. Norfolk State Virginia Beach, Va.
DB Cameron Alston r-Sr. Howard North Augusta, S.C.
DB Mike Jones N.C. Central Baltimore,Md.
DB Marquis Drayton   Bethune-Cookman Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
P Lawrence Forbes r-So. Morgan State Upper Marlboro, Md.
PK Anthony Prevost r-So. Hampton Chesterfield, Va.
RS Adrian Wilkins r-Jr. N.C. Central Forest City, N.C.

 

Second Team
OFFENSE
Name School Hometown
QB Quentin Williams r-Sr. Bethune-Cookman Tampa, Fla.
RB Lamont Brown III r-So. Morgan State Suffolk, Va.
RB Justin Taylor r- Jr. S.C. State Atlanta, Ga.
WR Joseph Cervalo r-Sr. Delaware State Venice
WR Thomas Martin r-So. Morgan State Naples, Fla.
TE* James Lynch r-Jr. Norfolk State Darby, Pa.
TE* Temarrick Hemingway r-Jr. S.C. State Loris, SC
C Ronald Canty r-Sr. N.C. A&T Chester, S.C.
OL John Smith r-Jr. Howard Atlanta. Ga.
OL Jerron Searles Delaware State Atlantic City, N.J.
OL Keonte Cash Florida A&M Miami, Fla.
OL Justin Myler r-Sr. Norfolk State Woodbridge, Va.
OL Chris Pressley N.C. Central Upper Marlboro, Md.
DEFENSE
Name School Hometown
DL Rodney Gunter Delaware State Lake Hamilton, Fla.
DL Damon Gresham-Chisolm Howard Covington, GA
DL Ronnie Barrow   Bethune-Cookman
DL

DL

Demarco Bisbee

Javon Hargrave

r-Jr.

  • Morgan State

    S.C. State

    Lansing, Mich.

    Salisbury, NC

    LB Joshua Thorne Hampton Oxon Hill, Md.
    LB Cody Acker Morgan State Landover, Md.
    LB Marquis Smith Savannah State Prince Georges County, Md.
    DB Khambrel McGee Hampton Miami, Fla.
    DB Devonte Johnson Florida A&M Tallahassee, Fla.
    DB Tony McRae N.C. A&T Laurinburg, N.C.
    DB* Patrick Aiken r-So. Florida A&M Pembroke Pines, Fla.
    DB* Keenan Lambert r-Sr. Norfolk State Norfolk, Va.
    P Christian Faber-Kinney r-So. Hampton Williamsburg, Va.
    PK Chase Varnadore Florida A&M Tallahassee, Fla.
    RS Tony McRae N.C. A&T Laurinburg, N.C.
    Third Team
    OFFENSE
    Name School Hometown
    QB Damien Fleming Florida A&M Jacksonville, Fla.
    RB Jorrian Washington r-Sr. Hampton Los Angeles, Ca.
    RB Dae-Hon Cheung Delaware State Coatesville, Pa.
    WR DennisRowe r-Sr. S.C. State Columbia, S.C.
    WR Jhomo Gordon   Bethune-Cookman Palm Bay, Fla.
    TE

    TE*

    Nathan Scruggs

    Nate Ingram

    r-Jr.

    Graduate

    N.C. Central

    Howard

    Jacksonville, Fla.

    Sicklerville, N.J.

    C Erick Dickerson r-So. S.C. State Goose Creek, SC
    OL Mike Phillips Norfolk State Virginia Beach, Va.
    OL Clevonne Davis N.C. Central Miramar, FL
    OL Afolabi Ayangbayi Savannah State Union, NJ
    OL Ryan Templeton Florida A&M Chicago, Ill
    DEFENSE
    Name School Hometown
    DL Michael Neal N.C. A&T Greensboro, N.C.
    DL Daniel Pinnix N.C. A&T High Point, N.C.
    DL Deon King Norfolk State Reston, Va
    DL George Riddick Norfolk State Suffolk, Va.
    LB Justin Hughes S.C. State Virginia Beach, Va.
    LB Marcell Coke Norfolk State Orlando, Fla.
    LB Justin Dixon Savannah State Duluth, Ga.
    DB Ronald Robinson Delaware State Jersey City, N.J.
    DB Julien David Howard Coral Springs, FL
    DB Ryan Smith r-So. N.C. Central Upper Marlboro, Md.
    DB

    DB

    P

    Greg Brown

    DeShaun Summers

    Domnic Frescura

    Savannah State

    Morgan State

    N.C. A&T

    Tucker, Ga.

    Hampton, ­Va.

    South Pasadena, CA

    PK Cody Jones N.C. A&T Gastonia, N.C.

     

    Tampa Jefferson retires Quentin Williams’ number 3 jersey

    BCU QB Quentin Williams

    BCU QB Quentin Williams

    Nobody had a season like quarterback Quentin Williams did in 2010.

    Nobody broke records like Williams did when he helped lead the Jefferson Dragons to the school’s first state championship.

    And now nobody will wear Williams number again.

    The team retired Williams’ No. 3 jersey during a ceremony at the Dragons end of the season banquet this past Saturday.

    During his senior season, Williams set new state records for season passing touchdowns (56), passing yardage (4,451), as well as career touchdown passes (109). He also broke Tim Tebow’s career passing yardage record. Williams ended up with 10,384.

    The Dragons defeated Miami Norland 44-34 for the Class 3A title. The victory capped off a spectacular season for Williams, who went onto Bethune Cookman.

    Last season for the Wildcats, Williams played in 10 games and threw for 1,173 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also rushed for 635 yards and three touchdowns.

    Full Story: BayNews9 Sports

    Missed Opportunities cost BCU chance to secure 1st playoff victory

    You can use two words to sum up Bethune-Cookman’s 24-14 first round playoff defeat to Coastal Carolina: MISSED OPPORTUNITIES. 

    On BCU’s first two (2) possessions of Saturday’s matchup against the Chanticleers, quarterback Quentin Williams overshot passes to Jhomo Gordon, KJ Stroud, and Eddie Poole that would have been surefire touchdowns.  

    Daytona Beach native DJ Howard had an opportunity to return a pick six from inside the CCU 15 yard line on the Chants opening offensive possession, however, the Spruce Creek product was unable to hold on to the interception.  So instead of the Wildcats leading by 2 or 3 scores early in the contest, they found themselves trailing 17-0 heading into halftime.

    “In the playoffs you’ve got to seize opportunities.  If you don’t, the opportunity will go right pass you” quarterback Quentin Williams stated.  He went on to state “in the playoffs it’s not about who’s better or who’s worse, it is about who takes advantage of the opportunities”.

    While BCU missed on its chances, CCU took full advantage of the Wildcats’ miscues and scored 10 points off of 2 BCU turnovers in the second quarter.

    Coastal Carolina opened the game’s scoring on a 6 play 75 yard drive with 13:50 seconds remaining in the 2nd quarter.  The drive was capped by a 14 yard option run by Marcus Whitener.  The Wildcats initially defended the play well but senior quarterback Aramis Hillary pitched the ball late allowing Whitener to run untouched for the opening score.

    The Chants doubled their lead when All Big South 1st team receiver Matt Hazel outleaped Tim Burke in the left corner of the endzone to cap a 9 play 58 yard drive with 7:23 left in the 2nd quarter.

    “I told coach to call that play” Hazel stated.  (They were) “in man coverage across the board.  Aramis threw a great ball and I saw it at the last minute and just went and got it”.

    Controversy struck on BCU’s next possession.  Trailing 14-0 midway through the second quarter, Williams hit tight end Jordan Murphy for a short gain.  Murphy was originally ruled down on the play but a booth review overturned the call. 

    Coach Brian Jenkins went ballistic when the game’s head official announced the decision to overturn the call. 

    “(Jordan) did fumble.  We had a couple of players in the area but (when the official blew the play dead) they stopped.  Their player recovered the ball but if you blow the play dead, I don’t understand how you go back and review it.  My argument was you blew the play dead so it negates anything else” Jenkins stated.

    Quentin Williams echoed his coach’s sentiments: “when Murph (Jordan Murphy) caught the ball, I heard the official blow the whistle.  That’s why I stopped.”

    Coastal took over possession at the BCU 43 yard line as a result of the play.  5 plays later, Apopka High School product, Alex Catron, pushed CCU’s lead to 17-0 on a 35 yard FG conversion.  The score remained unchanged heading into intermission.

    Early in the 3rd quarter, redshirt freshmen Nick Addison picked off an Aramis Hillary pass in the endzone to help breathe life into the Wildcats.  But the Chanticleer defense kept BCU off the scoreboard on the ensuing possession.

    Brodrick Waters entered the contest for an ineffective Quentin Williams on the Wildcats second possession in the 3rd quarter.  Waters broke on a 57 yard run on his first drive under center.  BCU got the ball as deep as the CCU 4 yard line on the drive but a false start penalty pushed the ball back to the CCU 11 yard line. 

    Coach Jenkins suffered his second visible meltdown of the game and had to be physically restrained by BCU administrators and coaches after the false start penalty was called against his squad.

    “We had our guys go from a 2 point stand to a 3 point stand and they called us for a false start.  None of our guys jumped.  Two officials called offsides and one called illegal shift.  When I asked for an explanation I got three different answers”. 

    Jenkins’ was given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for his reaction to the call and cost his team an opportunity for a chip shot field goal.  The result of the play put the ball on the 26 yard line but instead of attempting a 43 yard FG, Jenkins decided to go for it on 4th and 26.

    Waters found KJ Stroud in the back of the endzone on the 4th and 26 play and BCU seemed to be back in business. But it wasn’t meant to be.  The television replay showed Stroud’s hand landed out of bounds before his foot landed in the endzone.  The overturned touchdown call embodied BCU’s afternoon of missed opportunities.

    Coastal Carolina safety, Johnnie Houston put the game out of reach when he returned a Brodrick Waters’ interception 68 yards to put Coastal ahead 24-0.  Houston’s return was the 2nd longest interception return in school history.

    A 74 yard touchdown pass from Quentin Williams to David Blackwell with 6:44 left in the game gave Bethune its first points of the afternoon.   Williams connected with KJ Stroud in the back of the endzone on the 2 point conversion attempt to cut the lead into a two possession contest (24-8).

    Isidore Jackson’s 10 yard touchdown run capped off the game’s scoring.  Jackson, who needed just 8 yards rushing to reach 1,000 on the season, finished the contest with 77 yards on the ground and 1,069 on the year.  Jackson’s 1,069 yards represents the 3rd best rushing season in BCU history.

    Quentin Williams threw for 215 yards and 1 touchdown.  It was the first time he surpassed the 200 yard passing mark in his career.

    Jarkevis Fields led the Wildcats defense with 15 tackles.  Nick Addison pitched in with 10 tackles, 1 fumble recovery and an interception.

    The MEAC is now 0 for its last 17 as a conference in the FCS playoffs. 

    Redshirt freshmen, Nick Addison and Quentin Williams, vowed to take this bad feeling and get better in the offseason.  Both players stated that Bethune-Cookman will win a playoff game before their eligibility expires in three years.

    The Wildcats are now 0-4 in the FCS playoffs. 

    The win secured Coastal Carolina’s first ever playoff victory.  The Chanticleers will travel to Norfolk, Virgina next week to take on #4 ranked Old Dominion.

    Wildcats continue their dominance over Norfolk State in Daytona Beach

    Ike Jackson runs pass NSU defenders

    Coach Pete Adrian and his Norfolk State Spartans came to Municipal Stadium looking for their first ever victory over Bethune-Cookman in Daytona Beach.  The Spartans left the World Most Famous Beach on Saturday evening on the wrong end of a 48-3 woodshed beating. 

    The 48 points was Bethune’s highest scoring output of the season and the most points the Wildcats have scored since defeating Savannah State 59-3 in November last season.

    Redshirt freshman quarterback, Quentin Williams, finished the afternoon with a career high 157 yards passing completing 9 of 11 attempts with 2 touchdowns.  Fellow quarterback, Brock Waters, finished the contest with a team high 103 yards rushing.  Waters also hooked up with Jhomo Gordon on a 13 yard touchdown strike midway through the 4th quarter.

    The Wildcats raced out to an early 7-0 lead after taking the opening possession 75 yards on 16 plays.  The drive culminated with a 5 yard Quentin Williams to Eddie Poole touchdown reception.  Poole out-leaped defensive back Natturner Harris in the corner of the endzone to secure the catch. 

    “I give credit to KJ (Stroud) for that touchdown reception” Poole stated.  “KJ set the play up when he saw the coverage and he actually switched sides with me.  I just told Quentin to lob the ball up and I would go and get it.  I definitely feel that anytime there is one-on-one coverage, I should and I will win that match-up”.

    KJ Stroud’s generosity was rewarded early in the second quarter when Williams hit the senior receiver on a 28 yard leaping touchdown reception.

    The two passing touchdowns sandwiched a 69 yard DJ Howard fumble return for a touchdown. Isidore Jackson added two rushing touchdowns in the 2nd quarter to stretch BCU’s lead to 34-0.    Everett Goldberg put Norfolk State on the board with a 33 yard field goal late in the second quarter. 

    Brodrick Waters scored on an 8 yard run with 6:54 remaining in the 3rd quarter and hooked up with Jhomo Gordon on a 13 yard pass with 6:58 left in the contest.

    Coming into the contest, NSU boasted the 3rd ranked defense in the nation yielding just 270 yards per game.  The Wildcats surpassed the 270 yard mark by halftime outgaining the Spartans 271 yards to 72 yards through the first two quarters and 435 yards to 239 yards in the game.

    The Wildcat defense stretched their consecutive game with an interception streak to 14.  The defense forced 3 Norfolk State turnovers in total. Donald Smith led Wildcat defenders with 6 tackles including 1 tackle-for-loss.

    “It was a tremendous team victory” coach Jenkins remarked.  “It is difficult to keep your momentum and focus after a bye-week and our players should be commended”.   “We had some miscues that we need to address but this was the most complete game of the season for us”.  Coach Jenkins ended his postgame press conference stating that his heart goes out to Norfolk State Head Coach and former BCU defensive coordinator Pete Adrian.  Coach Jenkins would not elaborate on the specifics but he did state that the veteran coach was faced with some things that are very tough right now and that his prayers are with him.

    Bethune’s victory sets-up a huge battle for first place next week with North Carolina Central.  BCU and NCCU are the only remaining unbeatens in conference play.  Kickoff is scheduled for 4:00 in Daytona Beach.

    Team Stat Comparison

      NORF COOK
    1st Downs 16 21
    Total Yards 239 435
    Passing 164 171
    Rushing 75 264
    Penalties 6-65 7-55
    3rd Down Conversions 3-11 11-17
    4th Down Conversions 0-1 1-2
    Turnovers 3 1
    Possession 24:37 35:23

    Passing Leaders

     
    Norfolk State C/ATT YDS AVG TD INT
    Basmagian 12/24 119 5.0 0 1
     
    Bethune-Cookman C/ATT YDS AVG TD INT
    Williams 9/11 157 14.3 2 0

    Rushing Leaders

     
    Norfolk State CAR YDS AVG TD LG
    Hedgeman 5 29 5.8 0 11
    Riddick 7 18 2.6 0 7
     
    Bethune-Cookman CAR YDS AVG TD LG
    Waters 9 103 11.4 1 19
    Jackson 11 57 5.2 2 33

    Receiving Leaders

     
    Norfolk State REC YDS AVG TD LG
    Demps 4 67 16.8 0 37
    Boyce 6 60 10.0 0 13
     
    Bethune-Cookman REC YDS AVG TD LG
    Gordon 2 62 31.0 1 49
    Stroud 4 60 15.0 1 28

    Scoring SummaryFIRST QUARTER NORF COOK

     TD 08:20 Eddie Poole 5 Yd Pass From Quentin Williams (Sven Hurd Kick)  0 7

     TD 03:41 D.J. Howard 69 Yd Fumble Return (Sven Hurd Kick)  0 14

    SECOND QUARTER NORF COOK

     TD 12:37 KJ Stroud 28 Yd Pass From Quentin Williams (Sven Hurd Kick)  0 21

     TD 08:26 Isidore Jackson 33 Yd Run (Pat Failed)  0 27

     TD 01:13 Isidore Jackson 1 Yd Run (Sven Hurd Kick)  0 34

     FG 00:05 Everett Goldberg 33 Yd  3 34

    THIRD QUARTER NORF COOK

     TD 06:54 Brodrick Waters 8 Yd Run (Sven Hurd Kick)  3 41

    FOURTH QUARTER NORF COOK

     TD 06:58 Jhomo Gordon 13 Yd Pass From Brodrick Waters (Sven Hurd Kick)  3 48

    BCU tops Hampton 38-26

    Associated Press

    HAMPTON, Va. — Bethune-Cookman forced seven turnovers — including a pair of interceptions by Nick Addison — to take a 38-26 decision from Hampton Saturday night in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference action.

    The Wildcats (3-2, 2-0) picked off four Hampton (0-4, 0-2) passes and recovered three more forced fumbles. Of the Pirates’ final 10 possessions, six ended in turnovers, and another finished with a turnover on downs.

    At one point, Hampton tossed interceptions on three consecutive drives, with Bethune-Cookman using those picks to rack up 17 consecutive points and take a 31-10 lead. Among those scores was a 90-yard interception return by Addison, the fourth longest in school history and the team’s first interception return for a score since 2010. On top of his two picks, Addison led the Wildcats with 11 tackles.

    Jeremi Schwartz gained a sizable chunk of Hampton’s total offense, amassing 205 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries.

    Quentin Williams got the start at quarterback for the Wildcats and took all of the snaps under center until midway through the 4th quarter.  Williams finished the contest with 1 rushing touchdown and 1 passing touchdown going 9-for-12 for 96 yards in the process. 

    Safety Nick Addison led the defense with 11 total tackles, 1 forced fumble, and 2 interceptions, including one he returned 90 yards for a BCU touchdown.

    The win snapped a two game losing skid for BCU.

    Team Stat Comparison

     
     

    COOK

     

    HAMP

    1st Downs 21 30
    Total Yards 320 536
    Passing 118 279
    Rushing 202 257
    Penalties 20-181 17-152
    3rd Down Conversions 4-12 6-14
    4th Down Conversions 0-1 1-2
    Turnovers 0 7
    Possession 28:52 30:28
     

    Passing Leaders

     
    Bethune-Cookman C/ATT YDS AVG TD INT
    Williams 9/12 96 8.0 1 0
     
    Hampton C/ATT YDS AVG TD INT
    Champion 20/33 208 6.3 1 3
     

    Rushing Leaders

     
    Bethune-Cookman CAR YDS AVG TD LG
    Scott 12 82 6.8 1 46
    Jackson 16 79 4.9 0 15
     
    Hampton CAR YDS AVG TD LG
    Schwartz 25 201 8.0 1 51
    McCloude 5 56 11.2 0 26
     

    Receiving Leaders

     
    Bethune-Cookman REC YDS AVG TD LG
    Harris 1 28 28.0 0 28
    Jackson 2 23 11.5 1 13
     
    Hampton REC YDS AVG TD LG
    Griffin 6 99 16.5 1 28
    Riddick 5 66 13.2 0 28

    Scoring Summary FIRST QUARTER COOK HAMP

     TD 10:46 Quentin Williams 5 Yd Run (Sven Hurd Kick)  7 0

     FG 08:12 Taurean Durham 30 Yd  7 3

     TD 00:19 Rodney Scott 1 Yd Run (Sven Hurd Kick)  14 3

    SECOND QUARTER COOK HAMP

     TD 12:38 Andre Griffin 11 Yd Pass From Travis Champion (Taurean Durham Kick)  14 10

     FG 04:36 Sven Hurd 42 Yd  17 10

    THIRD QUARTER COOK HAMP

     TD 11:40 Nick Addison 90 Yd Interception Return (Sven Hurd Kick)  24 10

     TD 07:22 Isidore Jackson 13 Yd Pass From Quentin Williams (Sven Hurd Kick)  31 10

    FOURTH QUARTER COOK HAMP

     TD 08:16 Javaris Brown 25 Yd Pass From Jaylian Williamson (Taurean Durham Kick)  31 17

     TD 05:37 David Blackwell 20 Yd Pass From Brodrick Waters (Sven Hurd Kick)  38 17

     SF 04:03 Ball Through End Zone  38 19

     TD 01:09 Jeremiah Schwartz 1 Yd Run (Taurean Durham Kick)  38 26

    Week Three Wrap-Up

     

    Photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports

    The first quarter of the season is over and we find ourselves still trying to figure out just how good this team can be this year.  After stumbling out of the gates against both Alabama State and South Carolina State, the Wildcats struck first against Miami this past weekend but made far too many execution errors to give themselves any chance of pulling off an upset.

    Moral Victories won’t do

    It was obvious from the postgame interview that Coach Jenkins was not at all happy with his team’s performance.  In fact, Coach Jenkins’ responses and overall disposition were much more reflective of a coach who felt like his team ‘let one slip away’ as oppose to a coach whose undermanned team was within 14 points of the University of Miami with 9:00 left in the contest.  The worse part about Saturday’s contest wasn’t losing, I mean we are talking about “The U”.  They have much more overall talent, they can offer 22 more scholarships (FBS-85; FCS-63), and they had the best player on the field in running back Duke Johnson; but the volume of  dropped passes, missed assignments, poor tackling, untimely penalties and overall poor execution by Wildcat players was troubling.

    The easy thing to do is to simply write this off as BCU playing against a better team and being forced into execution issues.  The problem with that logic is that BCU has not played a full 4 quarters of crisp football all season long.  And oh by the way, Tennessee State is the #1 ranked team in HBCU football and they come to town in a few days.  The Wildcats can ill-afford to go through any periods of lull or poor execution against the Big Blue Tigers if they hope to stay undefeated in FCS play.

    Make the decision for the coach

    Here’s the deal.  BCU has three talented quarterbacks who all offer something different.   I would give up pork for 3 weeks if one of the QBs elevates the consistency of his play, separates himself from the bunch and become the Wildcat’s sure-fire starting quarterback.  You can say that I am praying for the next Matt Johnson to arise from this bunch and to do so quickly. 

    Jackie Wilson has the most in-game experience of the trio.  Wilson has started all three games this season and he has not done anything to warrant losing the starting nod.  Wilson had most of last season and the first three games of this year to claim sole ownership as THE quarterback; but like a year ago, he is again stuck in a rotating quarterback system.  Good things seem to happen whenever Brock Waters is on the field, but Waters is sometimes erratic with his throws.  Quentin Williams represented well in his first collegiate game action but the sampling is way too small to draw any real conclusions. 

    Neither quarterback has played pooly, but consistency at the position is the difference between this team having a good season and making a legitimate playoff run.  Hopefully one of these three guys will have a tremendous week of practice and make the decision for the coach with his play.  

    The only person that will be more excited than me if this happens is Coach Jenkins himself.  It will be the first time in a year and a half that he won’t be asked “who’s the starter at QB this week”.  That alone may be enough to allow him to finally crack a smile.

    What to watch for at the Wildcats’ Spring Game

    The 2012 Spring Game will be played on April 21st at 4:00 p.m. at Municipal Stadium

    In less than 72 hours, the maroon and gold faithful will receive their first glimpse at the 2012 version of the Fighting Wildcats.

    I must admit that the actual Spring Game means very little in the grand scheme of things.  Coaches only install a fraction of their offensive and defensive systems during Spring drills, the starters receive fewer reps than they normally would during the regular season, and half of this year’s recruiting class have yet to even graduate from high school.   However, the Spring game is the best and only real football-like barometer that we can use to measure our favorite football squads in late April.

    So with that disclaimer, here are some of the players and positions that I will be paying keen attention to during Saturday’s glorified scrimmage.

    Anthony Jordan (Running Back) —  The 230 pound bruiser from North Atlanta High School led the squad with 9 rushing touchdowns last season.  He has been one of the most raved about players in Spring drills this year.  Jordan, who  has an exceptional work ethic, is trying to prove to the coaching staff that he can be more than just a short yardage back.

    Lavon McCoy (Offensive Guard) —   BIG Lavon McCoy; and by BIG I mean almost 400 pounds BIG, was a highly touted prospect with offers from USC, Oregon, and the University of Washington coming out of high school.  He is one of those players that Coach Jenkins has mentioned that we’re very fortunate to have.  Last year, McCoy played exclusively on the defensive side of the ball.  He demonstrated very good foot work and quickness at defensive tackle.  This year he is moving to the offensive side of the ball and is expected to play offensive guard.  His Junior College highlight film shows him playing both defensive tackle and offensive guard.  McCoy looks great as a defensive tackle prospect but even better as an offensive guard.  It will be interesting to see how productive McCoy can be against FCS competition.

    Tavarus Dantzler (Linebacker) — Tavarus Dantzler has been penciled in as the next big thing at linebacker for the Wildcats.  He has good size at 6’3″, 230 lbs, but his game is built on speed.  Dantzler can flat out fly.  Defensive Coordinator Yogi Jones has stated that he believes Dantzler can be a very special player and an all conference performer.  Let’s hope that Dantzler rises to the occasion and fulfill his potential.

    Defensive Line Ryan Davis was simply the best defensive player in HBCU football last year.  I am not quite sure that one player will be able to fill the void left by Davis’ departure.  Instead, the Wildcat defensive front may look to maintain last year’s productivity levels by committee.  Harold Love, Anthony Woodard, and Tevin Toney all had very good campaigns last year.  Erik Williams rejoins Coach Earl Lane’s defensive unit after being sidelined with an injury a season ago.  Brandon Bryant and LeBranden Richardson are UCF transfers who will look to have an impact on the defensive line as well.

    Jim Pry (Offensive Coordinator) — Okay, so we will not be able to make any legitimate or rational assessments about new offensive coordinator, Jim Pry’s, play calling after Saturday’s contest.  But what I hope to see is Pry’s influence on the passing game; and how the quarterbacks and receivers are understanding the principles of Pry’s passing attack.  Pry is a disciple of the vertical passing game.  His route combinations are not stagnant or predefined.  Instead, receivers have options on each route (think Mike Leach and the Air Coryell offenses).

    Quarterback —  Jackie Wilson ended last season with a 66% completion rate and showed tremendous growth as the Wildcats primary signal caller.  But Wilson is not a shoe-in to be the starting quarterback in 2012.  Former Florida Mr. Football, Quentin Williams, is competing with Wilson and Broadrick Waters (La Tech transfer) to be Brian Jenkins’ trigger-man come September.

    Quarterback, Running Back and Wide Receiver preview

    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 (pictured) scored 9 TDs in 2010.

    Wide Receiver

    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

    Running Backs

    Isidore Jackson scores in the 2nd Quarter of the FL Classic

    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- 

    Quarterbacks

    Jr. QB Jackie Wilson (#5)

    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+.