2017 DELAWARE STATE UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL — GAME 11
DELAWARE STATE “HORNETS” (2-8; 2-6 MEAC)
FLORIDA STATE “SEMINOLES” (3-6; 3-5 ACC)
SAT., NOV. 18, 2017 (12 p.m.)
DOAK CAMPBELL STADIUM (79,560) - TALLAHASSE, FLA. LIVE TV: ACC Network (RSN)
Delaware State closes out the 2017 season with a contest against the Florida State Seminoles, one of the nation’s storied college football programs. The Hornets have won two of their last four games after losing the previous 17, including a winless 2016 campaign (0-11). DSU is coming off a 33-30 victory over MEAC rival Morgan State last Saturday. The Hornets rallied from a 21-point second quarter deficit to win the contest. DSU pulled ahead 31-30 on a three-yard pass from Keenan Black to wide receiver Trey Gross (fr.) with 8.9 seconds left in the game. Black completed a two-point pass to tight end Isaiah Williams following the touchdown to give the Hornets a three-point lead. Black completed 16-of-26 passes for 234 yards and four touchdowns, each a career-high. He has thrown seven touchdowns in the last two games to raise his season total to 13. Gross had two touchdown catches for the second straight game, and the third time this season. In the five games since joining the regular wide receiver rotation, he has 24 receptions for 394 yards and a team-high seven touchdowns. Gross is tied for second in the MEAC in touchdown receptions entering this weekend. Fatu Sua-Godinet and Kwannah Kollie also had touchdown catches for the Hornets in the contest. The Hornets also had a 100-yard runner for the first time this season. Redshirt freshman Nyfease West rushed for a game-high 110 yards on 19 carries, including several key short yardage runs to extend drives. The Hornets totaled 413 yards in the game, passing for 234 yards and collecting a season-high 179 on the ground. Delaware State’s recent passing success has raised its ranking to third in the MEAC at 216.6 passing yards per game. Delaware State has averaged 258 passing yards in the last six games, compared to 154 in its first four outings. For the first time this season, Black played the entire game at quarterback last week. This season, he has completed 75-of-155 passes (48.4%) for 1,071 yards with 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Entering this weekend, Black ranks seventh in the MEAC in passing efficiency with a 121.2 rating and is ninth in the league in passing average at 133.9 yards per game. Delaware State freshman quarterback Jack McDaniels, now the apparent back-up after starting the first six games, has also thrown for more than 1,000 yards this season. McDaniels has completed 89-of-161 throws (55.3%) for 1071 with three touchdowns and six interceptions. Defensively, sophomore linebacker Brian Cavicante is tops on the team and ninth in the MEAC in tackles at 7.3 per game (73 total). He’s also second on the Hornets with 10 tackles for loss and tied for second with two sacks.
After entering the 2017 season as an Atlantic Coast Conference and even a national championship contender, key injuries have squashed those hopes for the Seminoles. Florida State is coming off a hard-fought 31-14 loss to defending national champ Clemons last week. The Seminoles only trailed 17-14 after a 60-yard touchdown pass from James Blackman to Ryan Izzo with 8:53 left in the fourth quarter. Clemson scored two touchdowns in the last 3:05 of the game, including one with 35 seconds left, to seal the win. Blackman, who has started the last eight games at quarterback after a season-ending injury to Deondre Francois in the opener, has completed 120-of-213 passes (56.3%) for 1493 yards with nine touchdown and eight interceptions. Cam Akers is FSU’s leading rusher with 735 yards and three touchdowns on 139 carries.
This is the first meeting between the schools in any sport. The contest is also Delaware State’s 10th all-time against a FBS opponent, but first against an Atlantic Coast Conference team.