When North Carolina Central women’s head coach Vanessa Taylor helped put together her team’s 2012-13 schedule, she did so with a purpose. Coming off a season where her team finished 1-15 in the MEAC and 3-27 overall, Taylor knows recruiting efforts will be vital to her team find the talent necessary to help them find Division I success.
“We are playing a lot of regional teams to begin to assist us in area recruitment,” Taylor said. ““We think the schedule we put together will give us the opportunity to play in some highly-competitive games.”
Of the 13 non-conference games, all played before the New Year, three are at home and eight will be held in North Carolina. The other two contests are in South Carolina and Virginia. Non-conference games of note include the season-opener on Nov. 10 against UNC-Charlotte, East Carolina and North Carolina on Dec. 12.
The Eagles will kickoff their second season in the MEAC on the road against rival North Carolina A&T and close on the road against Hampton on March 7.
Three games into the 2012 season, Jordan Reid is back where he anticipated being this season–starting at quarterback for North Carolina Central. The redshirt junior from High Point impressed NCCU head coach Henry Frazier with his performance in Saturday’s 54-17 loss to Duke.
“Man, if I don’t put Jordan out there, they’re going to run me out of town,” Frazier said. “I was born at night, not last night. We’ll throw Jordan out there, we’ll hand the ball to him and give him a week of running with the starters and let him have his opportunity.”
Reid threw for 218 yards after replacing Matt Goggans in the first quarter against Duke. He completed 17 of his 26 passes and also rushed for a score.
“That was the best I’ve seen him look,” Frazier said. “He came in, he was composed; he ran the ball a little bit, he threw some strikes. I was happy for him. You could see the confidence.”
“My confidence is always high,” Reid said. “You have to have that at the quarterback position, because it’s contagious throughout the team.”
The High Point native is in his third year at NCCU. He arrived in Durham in 2009 after redshirting his freshman year at Winston-Salem State. Saturday will be his second collegiate start, both of them coming at Savannah State.
Bethune-Cookman at South Carolina State
Out of all the marquee games in the conference this week, this battle in Orangeburg may have the most impact come the end of the season. SC State and BCU were predicted to finish second and third in the conference respectively and both are coming off impressive non-conference wins.
SC State dominated Georgia State last week, picking up a 33-3 win in the Georgia Dome. Redshirt junior quarterback Richard Cue threw for three touchdowns and a career-high 300 yards. BCU trailed Alabama State 21-0 in the first half before reeling off 38 unanswered points to take home the MEAC/SWAC Challenge crown.
As spectacular as last week’s win was, BCU cannot get down three touchdowns in Orangeburg and expect to win the game. SC State’s defense stifled GA State and will look to do the same against BCU.
Bottom Line: Whoever wins this game will have a huge leg up come playoff time.
Old Dominion at Hampton
Hampton returns to the confines of Armstrong Stadium to find itself jumping out of the frying pan and into the fryer as it hosts local rival Old Dominion. Looking to rebound from last week’s 41-31 loss at Tennessee Tech, Hampton finds itself up against one of the FCS Division’s top teams from its backyard in ODU. The Monarchs are currently ranked fifth in the country and have supplanted the Pirates as the Tidewater’s premiere team in the division by defeating them both times the two teams have met.
Last week ODU defeated Duquesne 57-23 in it’s home opener as quarterback Taylor Heinicke threw for nearly 500 yards and four touchdowns. Not good for a Hampton team that allowed Tennessee Tech to throw for 339 yards and four touchdowns. Heinicke did, however throw three interceptions, so there may be some opportunities to take advantage of there.
Hampton’s offense will also be under the microscope to produce better numbers all around. They gained only 89 yards rushing against Tennessee Tech, averaging a scant three yards per game. The offense played better in the second half, but was still out-gained nearly 3 to 1 last week.
Bottom Line: If the Pirates hope to have any chance at an upset, the running game must be more productive and keep the ODU offense and their own defense off the field for the majority of the game.
Norfolk State at Liberty
No offense to Virginia State, but the Spartans season starts here. NSU was simply dominant defensively against VSU, recording seven sacks, 17 tackles for loss and four takeaways. Linebacker Jamal Giddens was named the NCAA’s FCS Defensive Player of The Week despite not playing in the game’s second half.
They will face a much tougher opponent this week as they travel to Lynchburg to take on Liberty. The Flames came very close to upsetting the ACC’s Wake Forest in Winston-Salem last week, eventually losing 20-17. They out gained the Demon Deacons by 70 yards Simply put– the Spartan defense will be in for a test.
Offensively, the Spartans will need more out of quarterback Nico Flores if they want to pick up the win on the road. Flores was 13 for 24 passing for just 93 yards against VSU, also throwing two interceptions. The running game was solid with 223 yards, but 64 of those yards came on one run by Brendon Riddick.
Bottom Line: Flores and the offense will have to do better if Norfolk State wants to defeat Liberty and stay ranked in the FCS Top 25.
Delaware State vs. Delaware
Delaware State definitely turned some heads last week when it defeated Virginia Military Institute 17-10 last week. This week the Hornets take on their in-state rival, Delaware. Delaware has won all three meetings between the state’s only Division I schools. The have outscored DSU 116-14 in those matchups. The Hens are ranked 15th in the FCS and are coming off a 41-21 win over West Chester.
North Carolina Central at Elon
North Carolina Central comes into this game high off of last week’s 54-31 win over Fayetteville State, their first at home since 2010. Conversely, Elon must have had a long ride down I-40 last week after the 62-0 beating they took at the hands of North Carolina.
Eagles showed some flashes on offense last week as new starting quarterback Matt Goggans continued to build a repoir with his teammates. The transfer completed 15 of 26 passes for 223 yards and one touchdown in his NCCU debut. The Eagles ground game was solid, gaining 197 yards as a collective unit.
Two areas of concern for NCCU: Tackling and special teams. Several FSU drives were prolonged by missed tackles last week and the special teams unit had both punts and kicks blocked.
Bottom line: Fundamental tackling and crisp special team play will be needed to ensure NCCU gets off to a 2-0 start.
Savannah State at Florida State
This one makes the notable list for all the wrong reasons. One week after an embarrassing 84-0 loss, Savannah State is listed as a 70 1/2 underdog to Florida State. On the bright side, at least the ride to Tallahassee to pick up the check is closer than the flight out to Oklahoma last week.
Bottom line: SSU can’t lose any worse than last week. Can it?
Howard At Rutgers
West Va. State at NC A&T
FAMU at Oklahoma
North Carolina Central’s 54-31 win over Fayetteville State wasn’t as clean as he would have liked, but NCCU coach Henry Frazier was pleased with the final result.
“D1/D2, teams switch divisions all the time, but it doesn’t matter,” said Frazier of NCCU’s former CIAA rival. “I’m just glad to get the win.”
Early on, both teams struggled to find their rhythm on offense and special teams. In fact, each team scored its initial touchdowns off of their opponents special teams miscues. FSU struck first when Chris Person recovered a block punt and stumbled into the end zone with just under 9 minutes in the first quarter. Frazier said he wasn’t surprised at the block kick.
“It happened twice in practice this week,” he said. “I keep telling the guys, what happens in practice also happens in a real game.”
Fortunately for the Eagles, the Broncos repaid them by touching a live ball after a punt, which found it’s way into Geovonie Irvin’s hands and into the endzone, tying the game with just over five minutes remaining. The Broncos would take a 10-7 lead on a Antonio Mayo field goal early in the second quarter, however, that would be their last lead of the game.
NCCU’s offense settled down in the second quarter, outscoring FSU 14-7 to take a 20-17 lead at half. It was all NCCU from their as the passing game came alive thanks to several hookups from quarterback Matt Goggans to Irvine. Irvine caught 6 passes for 79 yards, including a 20 yard touchdown strike from the back of the endzone.
FSU continued to fight in the fourth quarter, but the size and depth of NCCU proved to be too much for them overcome. FSU coach Kenny Phillips pointed out that the team also shot its chances of winning the game by turning the ball over three times.
“Bottom line, Phillips said, “we turned the ball over too many times against a team that is better than it was last year.”
One of those turnovers was a quarter interception that was returned 69 yards by NCCU’s Allonte Tuppins, which gave FSU a ten point lead which it never relinquished. Despite the final score, Phillips said he was pleased with his team’s effort as a whole.
“We fought for four quarters,” he said. “We got winded on defense, but that was due to not being able to move the ball on offense.”
NCCU controlled the line of scrimmage, holding FSU to just 60 yards on 34 attempts while rushing for 197 yards on their own 34 attempts. Arthur Goforth led NCCU with 85 yards rushing, adding one touchdown. Andre Clark scored on two of his eight rushing attempts, finishing with 47 yards.
In his first start since transferring to NCCU in the spring, Goggans completed 15 of 26 passes for 233 yards and one touchdowns. His numbers would have been even better if not for several drops by his receivers. After the game, Goggans admitted to having pre-game jitters early on.
“There were some nerves, but we started to get a good rhythm,” he said. “It started slowing down and it felt like football.”
Frazier had nothing but praise for his new starting quarterback.
“Matt made a lot of good plays. He recognized what the defense was doing and was making some audibles at the line,” he said. “He has what the players call “swag.”
NCCU will face Elon on the road next week.
The struggles of Black quarterbacks to break into the mainstream football world has been pretty well documented. Almost as soon as majority institutions began accepting Black players, they conveniently moved them to other positions. And if a player was given a chance at the college level, they had little chance of making it under center in the NFL.
Slowly, but surely, these things have changed in the last 30 plus years of football. There are now several Black QBs starting in the NFL and dozens of them in major D-I football.
So with the changing dynamics of the quarterbacking world, it only makes sense that historically black colleges and universities are experiencing the ripple effects in their programs. When North Carolina Central and Shaw start their seasons on Sept 1, the starting signal-callers for both teams will be Caucasians for the first time in each school’s history.
Matt Goggans, a 6-2, 225lb quarterback from Pine Grove, California will lead NCCU’s offense on the field against Fayetteville State on Sept. 1. Goggans enrolled at NCCU in the fall after transferring from Fullerton College. NCCU coach Henry Frazier said he was impressed by his composure in the pocket.
“Matt came here in January, and he got the reps in spring practice. He’s a pure pocket passer, and his pocket presence is more comfortable to me as a coach.”
When James Stallons comes out on the field Thursday night against Charleston (WV) he will stand out not only because of his skin color but also his height. The 6’6 , 210 lb Macomb, MI product won the starting job over Quishon Odom, who led the Bears to the 2010 CIAA championship.
Despite the fact that some schools still have never had non-Black starters, White quarterbacks at HBCUs are nothing new. Eddie Robinson had a backup quarterback at Grambling as early as the 1970s. Chris Walley led Norfolk State to its first MEAC championship in school history, last year.
In a 2005 interview with Black America Web, former Florida A&M Sports Information Director Alvin Hollins explained why White players quarterbacks at HBCUs have become more prevalent in the last decade.
“Now that you see more black quarterbacks at bigger schools, what’s basically happening is that the white kids who can play are getting squeezed out, so they have to go to a Division I-AA or [smaller programs],” Hollins said.
Anyone who has been around HBCUs for any amount of time can tell you that they aren’t always the most “change-friendly” places of higher learning. Many of the alumni come from a time when they were the only option for black students and athletes, and they are resistant to change. The thing is, the days when HBCUs had the pick of the litter in terms of Black athletes is long gone.
Don’t get me wrong, the likelihood that you’ll ever see a five-star QB, Black or White, turn down Florida State for FAMU or Bethune-Cookman is never going to happen. But if your school had the chance to pick up a solid three-star recruit, would you be willing to take a lesser player simply because he is Black? Of course not. The goal at HBCUs athletic departments, like all athletic programs, is to win.
Having gone to an HBCU, I know from experience there is nothing like the spirit of community and pride that these institutions can inspire in the lives of young African-Americans. Hopefully this will stay intact for generations to come. But if HBCUs want winning athletic programs, they’d better get the best players they can on the field, regardless of color.
GREENSBORO, N.C. – North Carolina A&T graduates and former student-athletes Arlene and Darlene Mitchell will appear in Jet Magazine as the publication’s Jet “Beauties of the Week.” The magazine is scheduled to be in stores on Monday, August 20.
The two women still live with one another, but they coach at rival schools. Arlene is the assistant volleyball coach at A&T, while Darlene is an assistant volleyball coach at N.C. Central.
Both women played volleyball for the Aggies from 2003-06, and both are considered two of the best players to ever play at A&T. Arlene still owns seven school records, including the most kills in a single set, match and career. She is also the only player in school history to record 1,000 career kills and digs. Darlene ranks among the top five in many of the same statistical categories. They led A&T to the MEAC championship match in 2005.
Jet has marketed its weekly toward African Americans for more than 60 years. It’s “Beauty of the Week” feature has been in existence almost as long. Each week an African American female, photographed in a one-or-two piece swimsuit, appears midway through the publication. The feature includes her name, profession, hobbies and a personal statement.
“Jet Magazine is a phenomenal magazine for people of color! It not only shows who we are as black people, but also how far we’ve come,” said Arlene. “I have always looked at the Jet Beauty of the Week for as long as I can remember. To me, it shows black women can be successful, influential and beautiful all at the same time. The women are usually the black community’s future leaders or brightest students. Why wouldn’t I want to be a part of something so empowering?
DURHAM, NC– North Carolina Central’s coaching situation just got clearer as the school reinstated Henry Frazier as head football coach. Frazier was put on paid administrative lead by the school this past may after being arrested and charged with assaulting his wife, LaNier.
“Coach Frazier is remorseful for the distraction to the university,” NCCU Chancellor Charlie Nelms said in a statement. “North Carolina Central University stands on century-old values and high standards that we expect and require from all members of our community. These core principles include mutual respect and the absence of violence in resolving conflict.”
According to the media release, the legal matter has been resolved. However, the Associated Press’ calls to the Morrisville Police Department went unanswered.
Frazier lead the Eagles to a 2-9 season their first season as full member’s of Division I’s MEAC Conference. The Eagles were predicted to finish ninth in the conference during Friday’s conference Media Day.
Norfolk State won its first ever MEAC Football championship last year, after joining the conference back in 1997. Now, it finds itself in the unfamiliar position of being the favorite to wear the conference’s crown.
The MEAC released the results of its preseason poll of conference coaches and SIDs at the annual media day on Friday, with the Spartans receiving 11 first-place votes. South Carolina State was second, receiving four first-place votes. Also receiving one first-place vote was Hampton, who along with North Carolina A&T, is ineligible for the NCAA Bowl Subdivison Playoffs, should they win the regular season title.
Florida A&M, picked to finish fourth in the conference, placed five players on the preseason version of the All-Conference first team, as did Norfolk State. North Carolina A&T running back Mike Mayhew and Howard linebacker Keith Pough are the preseason selections for Offensive and Defensive Player of The Year awards.
Norfolk State will look to repeat as champions despite the loss quarterback Chris Walley and seven starters from last season’s squad that held opponents to just 17 points per game in route to a 9-3 (7-1 MEAC) record.
MEAC FOOTBALL PRESEAON POLL
(Head Coaches and Sports Information Directors)
1. Norfolk State
2. South Carolina State
4. Florida A&M
6. North Carolina A&T
7. Morgan State
9. North Carolina Central
10. Delaware State
11. Savannah State
QB -Greg McGhee, Howard, So.
RB – Mike Mayhew, North Carolina A&T, Sr.
RB – Isidore Jackson, Bethune-Cookman, Jr.
WR – Xavier Boyce, Norfolk State, Sr.
WR – Tavis Tarpley, Delaware State, Sr.
TE – Joeseph Hawkins, Norfolk State, Sr.
C – Michael Kay, Norfolk State, Sr.
OL – Steven Robinson, Florida A&M, Sr.
OL – Blake Matthews, Norfolk State, Sr.
OL – Terrence Hackney, Bethune-Cookman, Jr.
OL – Cory Gwinner, Howard, Sr.
DL – Tony Mashburn, North Carolina A&T, Sr.
DL – Padric Scott, Florida A&M, Sr.
DL – Richard, Ndubueze, Morgan State Sr.
DL – Mathhew Davis, Hampton, Jr.
LB – Keith Pough, Howard, Sr.
LB – Jarkevis Fields, Bethune-Cookman, Jr.
LB – D’Vonte Grant, North Carolina A&T, So.
DB – John Ojo, Florida A&M, Sr.
DB – DeVontae Johnson, Florida A&M, So.
DB – Travis Crosby, North Carolina A&T, Jr.
DB – D.J. Howard, Bethune-Cookman, Jr.
First-Team Special Teams
PK – Everett Goldberg, Norfolk State, Sr.
P – Brandon Holdren, Florida A&M, Sr.
RS – Geovonie Irvin, North Carolina Central, Sr.
QB – Damien Fleming, Florida A&M, So.
RB – Antwon Chisholm, Hampton, Jr.
RB – Travis Davidson, Morgan State, Sr.
WR – Eddie Poole, Bethune-Cookman, Sr.
WR – Justin Wilson, Delaware State, Sr.
TE – Kris Drummond, Savannah State, So.
C – Tristan Bellamy, South Carolina State, So.
C – Vincent Harper, Hampton, Jr.
OL – Sam Hammond, South Carolina State, Sr.
OL – Nathan Isles, North Carolina A&T, Jr.
OL – Cameron Williams, Norfolk State, Jr.
OL – Marquell Rozier, Bethune-Cookman, Jr.
DL – Xavier Proctor, North Carolina Central, Sr.
DL – Leon Smith, South Carolina State, Sr.
DL – Herold Love III, Bethune-Cookman, Sr.
DL – Brandon Young, North Carolina A&T, Sr.
LB – Delbert Tyler, Hampton, Jr.
LB – Joe Thomas, South Carolina State, Jr.
LB – Lyndell Gibson, Hampton, Sr.
DB – Justin Blake, Hampton, Sr.
DB – Kenneth Ridley, Morgan State, Jr.
DB – Darius Drummond, South Carolina State, Jr.
DB – DeCarlos Knight, Howard, Sr.
Second-Team Special Teams
PK – Taureab Durham, Hampton, Sr.
P – Jordan Stovall, Hampton, Jr.
RS – Darius Drummond, South Carolina State, Jr.