DELAWARE STATE UNIVERSITY “HORNETS” (1-7; 1-4 MEAC) VS. SAVANNAH STATE “TIGERS” (2-5; 1–3 MEAC) SAT., NOV. 3, 2018 (2:05 p.m.) ALUMNI STADIUM (6.838) - DOVER, DEL. Live Video - ESPN3 Live Audio - HSRN.com
Delaware State is home for the second straight week, taking on Savannah State in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference contest. The Hornets cracked the win column for the first time this season with a 28-13 victory over North Carolina Central last week. Running backs Michael Chris-Ike and Brycen Alleyne rushed for more than a hundred yards and a touchdown each, and the defense allowed season-lows in points and yardage to lead the way in the homecoming win. Savannah State is also riding high after a 32-3 homecoming victory over Norfolk State last Saturday. Rashad Saxton rushed for 118 yards and a touchdown, while quarterback D’vonn Gibbons threw two touchdown passes to lead the Tigers.
The Hornets rushed for a season-high 273 yards vs. North Carolina Central last week to improve its season average to 182.9 per game, third-best in the MEAC. Brycen Alleyne is third in the league in rushing at 64.6 yards per game (452 total). Alleyne is coming off a season-best 122-yard performance in last week’s NC Central contest. He’s also tops in the MEAC in all-purpose yards at127.3 per game. In addition to 452 rushing yards, Alleyne has 337 kickoff return yards, 59 receiving and 43 punt return yards. Mike Waters (jr.) is second on the Hornets with 338 rushing yards (67.6 ypg), but does not qualify in the MEAC rankings because he has missed the last three games due to injury. Despite playing in just two games, Chris-Ike is third on the team with 183 rushing yards and is tied with Alleyne for the Hornet high with two rushing touchdowns this season. He was selected as the MEAC Rookie-of-the-Week after rushing for a career-high 127 yards, including a 42-yard touchdown, on 21 carries in the North Carolina Central contest. The Hornets rank sixth in the MEAC in total offense at 307.4 yards per game. Jack McDaniels (so.) has started the last two games at quarterback for the Hornets. McDaniels has completed 57-of-114 passes for 564 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions. He has thrown two TD passes in each of the last two games and ranks ninth in the MEAC in passing average at 94.0 yards per game. Trey Gross is tops on the Hornets and fifth in the conference in receiving yards at 52.1 per game (417 total). Gross also leads the Hornets with 26 receptions. Defensively, the Hornets rank seventh in the MEAC in yards allowed at 407.9 per game. Linebacker Brian Cavicante (jr.) leads all MEAC players in tackles at 9.1 per game (73 total). He’s also tops in the conference with 14.5 tackles-for-loss. Hornet defensive back Jahad Niebauer (jr.) is tied for ninth in the MEAC at 6.4 tackles per game (51 total). Niebauer is also one of three DSU players among the MEAC leaders in passes defended (pass break-up + interceptions). He’s tied for ninth in the league with seven passes defended, while teammate Keyjuan Selby is second (12) and Juwain Granger is fifth in the conference with 10.
The Tigers are fourth in the MEAC in total defense, allowing 346.4 yards per game, entering this weekend. Savannah State is second in the league in pass defense (176.9 ypg) and fifth against the run (169.6 ypg). Linebacker Mulik Simmons is tops on the Tigers and fifth in the MEAC in tackles at 7.1 per game (50 total). He’s also among the league leaders in forced fumbles and passes defended. While Savannah State has struggled offensively this season, the Tigers had a solid performance in last week’s victory over Norfolk State. SSU rushed for a season-high 293 yards last week. Quarterback Gibbons is a dual threat. He’s the team leader and is ninth in the MEAC in rushing at 48.4 yards per game (329 total). As a passer, Gibbons has completed 36-of-80 passes (45.0%) for 514 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. He’s ninth in the league in pass efficiency (103.8 rating) and 10th in passing average at 73.4 yards per game. Rashad Saxton Jaylen McCloud are second and third on the team in rushing yards with 289 and 236, respectively. McCloud also has a team-high four rushing touchdowns. James Kicklighter leads all Savannah State receivers with 11 catches, while Treveyon Pratt has a team-high 170 receiving yards. THE SERIES (DSU LEADS 4-1) This will be the sixth meeting between the teams. Delaware State holds a 4-1 series lead. Savannah State defeated the Hornets for the first time in the last meeting, posting a 35-21 victory on its home field in 2017. SSU quarterback D’Vonn Gibbons rushed for 126 yards and two touchdowns and completed 13-of-22 passes for 162 yards and a score to lead the Tigers in the contest. Hornet quarterback Keenan Black threw for 216 yards and three touchdowns, including two to Trey Gross in the meeting. Delaware State won the first four meetings between the teams, including a 35-10 triumph the last time the teams met at Alumni Stadium in 2014.