DELAWARE STATE UNIVERSITY “HORNETS” (0-4; 0-2 MEAC)                                                             
SAT., OCT. 7, 2017 (1 p.m.)

Delaware State returns to action with a MEAC contest against nationally ranked North Carolina A&T. The Aggies are 12th in the latest ESPN Coaches poll of FCS teams and 16th in the most recent Stats, Inc. FCS top 25 poll. In addition, NCA&T in the top-ranked team in the major national Black College polls. The Hornets have been idle since a 17-7 loss to Norfolk State in their home opener on Sep. 23. DSU trailed 3-0 at the half and fell behind 10-0 after Norfolk State scored a touchdown on the opening possession of the second half.  Delaware State’s special teams put the Hornets in great position to get back into the game. Caleb Hebron blocked his second punt of the season to give DSU the ball at the Norfolk State 18 yard line. The Hornets faced a fourth-and-goal at the Norfolk State two when redshirt freshman running back Nyfease West plunged into the endzone for the touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter. The extra-point kick by Wisdom Nzidee cut Norfolk State’s lead to 10-7 with 14:54 left to play. The Spartans answered the Hornets’ touchdown with one of their own to regain a 10-point lead.  West was Delaware State’s leading rusher with 47 yards on nine attempts. His fourth quarter touchdown was his team-leading second of the season. Delaware State quarterback Jack McDaniels, making his fourth collegiate start, completed 16-of-30 passes for 156 yards. Safety Jahad Niebauer led DSU with a career-high 11 tackles, including six solo stops. Freshman linebacker Devin Adams was second on the Hornets with eight tackles, while Keyjuan Selby had seven tackles (six unassisted) and two pass break-ups. Delaware State was plagued by 12 penalties for 101 yards, each a season high, and three turnovers in the contest. Delaware State also played without starters  Mike Waters (RB) and Brock Nichols (DB) in the game. 

McDaniels has completed 50-of-100 passes (50.0%) for 591 yards  to rank eighth in the MEAC in passing average at 147.8 yards per game. He’s also 10th in the league with a 92.9 pass efficiency rating. Brycen Alleyne is DSU’s leading rusher with 150 yards on 35 carries (4.3 ypc). Delaware State is trying to snap an overall 15-game losing streak, including a 10-game skid in MEAC contests.

The Aggies  are proving statistically why they are among the top FCS teams in the country. North Carolina A&T in No. 1 in the MEAC in scoring offense (41.2 ppg), scoring defense (11.2 ppg), total offense (461.6 ypg) and is third in total defense (292.8 ypg). Aggie quarterback Lamar Raynard is tops among all FCS quarterbacks with a 190.6 pass efficiency rating. For the season, Raynard has completed 86 of 26 passes (68.3%) for a 1,309 yards and 14 touchdowns. He’s tops in the MEAC and 19th among all FCS sign al callers at 261.8 yards per game.  

This will be the 46th contest between the Hornets and Aggies. North Carolina A&T has won the last three games to even the series at 22-22-1.  The Aggies won last year’s meeting 45-14 in Dover, Delaware. MEAC Offensive Player-of-the-Year Tarik Cohen, now with the NFLs Chicago Bears, rushed for 221 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries to lead NCA&T to the victory. Tight end Isiah Williams and running back Mike Waters scored touchdowns for Delaware State in the 2016 contest. The last time the teams met at North Carolina A&T, the Aggies posted a 27-7 victory in 2015.


Delaware State football