2017 DELAWARE STATE UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL — GAME 8
DELAWARE STATE “HORNETS” (1-6; 1-4 MEAC)
NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL “EAGLES” (5-2; 3-1 MEAC)
SAT., OCT. 28, 2017 (2 p.m.)
O’KELLY-RIDDICK STADIUM (10,600) - DURHAM, N.C.
LIVE VIDEO: NCCUEaglePride.com
Delaware State, coming off its first win since 2015, visits defending MEAC champ North Carolina Central, which is trying to rebound from its first conference loss of the season. The Hornets snapped a 17-game overall losing streak and 12 straight MEAC defeats with a 17-14 victory over South Carolina State last week. Wisdom Nzidee (sr.) kicked the go-ahead field goal with 10 minutes left and the defense highlighted a solid effort with two fourth quarter interceptions to key the win. The Hornets used two first quarter touchdowns to open up a 14-0 lead. South Carolina State scored a second quarter touchdown and another early in the fourth quarter to tie the game. Sophomore quarterback Keenan Black completed 14-of-27 throws for a career-high 218 yards and touchdown passes to Taronn Selby (jr.) and Fatu Sua-Godinet (so.) in his first start. The touchdown catch was the first of Selby’s career. Sua-Godinet hauled in four passes for 65 yards. He has a touchdown catch in each of the last two games and four for his career. Freshman wideout Trey Gross had four catches for 66 yards in the contest, giving him nine receptions for 220 yards in the last two games. The Hornets had three interceptions for the first time since Oct. 11, 2014 at Norfolk State in last week’s game. Freshmen Devin Smith (DB) and Devin Adams (LB) recorded their first career interceptions in the game. Delaware State has 619 passing yards in the last two contests. Black and freshman Jack McDaniels have shared the quarterback duties the last few games. For the season, Black has completed 34-of-70 passes (48.6%) for 502 yards. He has a team-high five touchdowns and three interceptions. McDaniels, who started the first six games this season, has connected on 75-of-138 throws for 873 yards with two touchdowns and five picks. Brycen Alleyne (jr.) is the Hornet’ leading rusher with 216 yards (4.2 ypc). He’s also third in the MEAC in all-purpose yards at 106.9 per game and fourth in the league with a 21.0 kickoff return average. Nzidee is 7-for-7 on field goal attempts this season to lead all FCS kickers with a 1.000 conversion percentage. DSU punter Fidel Romo-Martinez is tops in the MEAC and fourth among all FCS players with a 45.8 yard average. 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.
NC Central The Eagles are coming off a 28-21 loss to Norfolk State last Saturday, snapping a streak of 18 consecutive MEAC wins since the 2015 season. NCCU amassed 501 yards of total offense, but was plagued by 15 penalties for 146 lost yards and four turnovers in the contest, which also snapped a 11-game home win streak. The Eagles trailed 21-0 before cutting the deficit to seven points following an early fourth quarter touchdown, but could get no closer. NCCU is fourth in the MEAC in total offense and total defense, tallying 328.6 yards per game, while allowing 325.7 per game. The Eagles are allowing 22.0 points per game to rank third in the league, while placing fourth in the conference in scoring at 22.9 points per contest. NC first-year RB Isaiah Totten is fourth in the MEAC in rushing at 75.0 yards per game (525 yards total). He’s averaging a league-best 6.0 yards per carry and has four rushing touchdowns. The Eagles feature four preseason All-MEAC players on its defense, led by senior linebacker Reggie Hunter, who is tops on the team and tied for 10th in the league in tackles at 7.1 per game (50 total).
This will be the 24th meeting between the Hornets and Eagles.NC Central has won four straight and eight of the last nine meetings to open up a 17-6 series lead. NCCU won last year’s contest 38-19 at Delaware State. The Eagles scored touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams in the 2016 contest. The last time the teams met at North Carolina Central, the Eagles posted a 43-10 victory in 2015. The Hornets only trailed 17-10 at the break, but were outscored 26-0 in the second half of the 2015 contest. The teams met six times from 1945 to 1950 as members of the Central Intercollegiate Association (CIAA), and nine times from 1971 to '79 during North Carolina Central's first stint in the MEAC.