DELAWARE STATE “HORNETS” (0-6; 0-4 MEAC)                                                                                                             
SAT., OCT. 21, 2017 (2 p.m.)

Delaware State wraps up a two-game homestand with a contest against long-time MEAC rival South Carolina State. The Hornets are coming off a 52-23 homecoming loss to Howard last week. Delaware State racked up a season-best 510 yards in the game, including 401 passing, the third-highest total in modern team history. Freshman quarterback Jack McDaniels completed 13-of-20 passes for a career-high 191 yards and a touchdown. McDaniels has connected on 24-of-35 pass attempts (63.2%) in the last two games. Back-up QB Keenan Black came off the bench to complete 10-of-22 throws for 175 yards and two touchdowns. Hornet freshman wide receiver Trey Gross (Annapolis, Md.) had a breakout game, catching six passes for a game-high 154 yards and two scores. His yardage was the most by a DSU freshman since Darnerian McCants totaled 170 on six receptions vs. Buffalo in 1997. Gross did not have a catch in the Hornets’ first five games this season. The score was 10-10 before Howard ran off 42 of the next 49 points to break open the game. DSU wide receiver Taronn Selby had five catches for a career-best 110 yards in the game. He has 12 receptions for 198 yards in the last two contests. Gross and Selby are the first DSU receivers with 100 yards in the same game since Travis Tarpley (143) and Justin Wilson (110) vs. Morgan State in 2012. Delaware State placekicker Wisdom Nzidee kicked a 19-yard field goal in the second quarter, his sixth successful conversion in six attempts this season. Nzidee, who tops all FCS kickers in field goal percentage (1.000), was also 2-for-2 on extra-point kicks in the game to improve to 5-for-5 this season. Hornet defensive back Brock Nichols had his first career interception in the second quarter of the Howard contest. The interception was DSU’s third this season after recording two in 2016. Also, running back Brycen Alleyne had a career-best 73 yard run last week. He leads the Hornets with 221 yards rushing on 50 carries this year (4.4 ypc). For the season, McDaniels ranks ninth in the MEAC in passing average (144.2 ypg) and pass efficiency (106.1 rating).   The Hornets have been crippled by injuries this season. Among the long-term injured are RB Mike Waters, LB Malik Harris and OL Cade Pedro, each a preseason All-MEAC Second Team selection.

SC State The Bulldogs have dropped three of their last four games, including a 12-9 setback at Bethune-Cookman last week. SCSU was shut out in the second half after holding a 9-6 lead in the second quarter. South Carolina State brings one of the MEAC’s stingiest defenses into the game. The Bulldogs are second in the MEAC in scoring defense, allowing 15.7 points per game, and in total defense, surrendering 276.0 yards per contest. The leader of the unit is senior linebacker Darius Leonard, the preseason MEAC Defensive Player-of-the-Year, whose seeking to win the end-of-the-year award for the second straight season. Leonard leads all MEAC players in total tackles (76), solo stops (49) and tackles per game at 12.7. Offensively, the Bulldogs are led by seniors Dewann Ford (QB) and Trey Samuel (RB). Ford has completed 82-of-160 passes (51.2 pct.) for 1061 yards to rank fifth in the MEAC at 176.8 yards per game. He has thrown four touchdowns and four interceptions. Samuel is seventh in the league in rushing at 51.7 yards per game (310 total) and is tied for third with five rushing touchdowns. The Bulldogs have three receiving threats. Quan Caldwell (sr.) is seventh in the MEAC with 21 catches, while Tra’Quan DuBose (so.) and De’Mo Burroughs are eighth and the ninth in the league, respectively, in receiving yards per game.    

This is the 45th meeting in the series that began when the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference was formed in 1971. South Carolina State has won six of the last seven contests to open up a 28-16 series lead. The Bulldogs won last year’s meeting 30-3 in Orangeburg, S.C. The last time the teams met at DSU, South Carolina State posted a 34-7 victory in 2015. The Hornets last defeated the Bulldogs in 2012, winning 31-17 at Alumni Stadium



Delaware State football