2017 DELAWARE STATE UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL — GAME 9
DELAWARE STATE “HORNETS” (1-7; 1-5 MEAC)
SAVANNAH STATE “TIGERS” (1-7; 1-4 MEAC)
SAT., NOV. 4, 2017 (5 p.m.)
TED WRIGHT STADIUM (8,500) - SAVANNAH, GA.
LIVE VIDEO: www.SSUAthletics.com
Delaware State takes on MEAC rival Savannah State for the first time since 2014. The Hornets are trying to rebound from a 42-14 loss to North Carolina Central last Saturday. Delaware State threw for 285 yards in the contest, raising its total to 1078 passing yards in the last four games (269.5 avg.). The Hornets averaged 154.3 yards passing in their first four outings (617 total). DSU rushed for just 51 yards, and was plagued by three turnovers and 15 penalties for 107 yards in the contest. Freshman wide receiver Kwannah Kollie had a career performance for the Hornets, catching three balls for 107 yards, including a 53-yard touchdown from Jack McDaniels (fr.) in the third quarter. First-year wide out Trey Gross had a team and career-high eight receptions for 71 yards, highlighted by a six-yard touchdown pass from Keenan Black (so.) in the second quarter. Black started his second game in a row at quarterback for the Hornets. He completed 13-of-33 passes for 119 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. McDaniels came off the bench to complete 11-of-17 throws for 166 yards. He had one touchdown and was intercepted once. Linebacker Brian Cavicante (so) had a career-high 16 tackles, including three behind the line-of-scrimmage, to lead the Hornet defense. Safety Jahad Niebauer (so.) recorded 12 tackles, including six solo stops for DSU. For the season, McDaniels is ninth in the MEAC at 129.9 passing yards per game and eighth in passing efficiency with a 110.4 rating. The freshman signal-caller has completed 86-of-155 passes (55.5%) for 1,039 yards. He has thrown three touchdowns and six interceptions. Black has connected on 47-of-102 throws (46.1%) for 621 yards with six touchdowns and five interceptions. He ranks 10th in the MEAC in pass efficiency with a 106.8 rating. Taronn Selby (jr.) and Fatu Sua-Godinet (so.) share the team lead with 26 receptions, while Selby tops the Hornets with 369 receiving yards. Gross has a team-high three touchdown receptions. Defensively, Cavicante is the Hornets’ leader with 56 tackles to tie for 10th in the MEAC at 7.0 stops per game. Niebauer is second on the team with 54 tackles, tying for 14th in the league at 6.8 per game. The Hornets have been crippled by injuries this season. Brycen Alleyne (jr.), the team’s leading rusher with 216 yards, sat out the North Carolina Central contest due to a knee injury. Among the long-term injured who are out for the season are RB Mike Waters, LB Malik Harris and OL Cade Pedro, each a preseason All-MEAC Second Team selection. Also, opening day starting offensive linemen Kaiden Crawford and Kaydence Jackson have been sidelined by injuries.
The Tigers are coming off their first win of the season, besting Norfolk State 27-9 on the road last weekend. SSU won the second half 21-3 after teams played to a 6-6 tie in the first 30 minutes. Jaylen McCloud rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries ( 8.3 ypc), while quarterback D’Vonn Gibbons completed 11-of-17 passes for 120 yards and a score in the contest. Gibbons also rushed for 89 yards, including a two-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to give the Tigers a 20-9 lead in the fourth quarter. For the season, he has connected on 55-of-112 passes (49.1%) for 693 yards with six touchdowns and five INTs. Gibbons is ninth in the MEAC with a 109.8 pass efficiency rating. Defensive back Isaiah Bennett led the Tigers with nine tackles, including five solo stops, in the Norfolk State game. SSU defensive back Donald Rutledge is tops on the team and eighth in the MEAC at 7.4 tackles per game (59 total). Fellow DB Juwuan Tolbert has 49 tackles to tie for 10th in the MEAC (7.0 pg). Tiger lineman Stefan Banks is tied for sixth in the MEAC with nine tackles for loss (1.1 pg).
This will be the fifth meeting between the teams. Delaware State won each of the previous contests, including two at Savannah State. The last time the teams met, the Hornets came out on top 35-10 in Dover, Del., in 2014. Delaware State also won the last contest at SSU’s Ted Wright Stadium, posting a 24-22 victory in 2013. Savannah State failed on a two-point attempt after a touchdown with 1:51 left to play.