Howard University "Bison" vs. #25 North Carolina Central University "Eagles"
Saturday, November 12, 2016 – Kickoff at 2:00 p.m.
O'Kelly-Riddick Stadium (10,000 capacity/Mondoturf) - Durham, N.C.
#25 N.C. Central (7-2 overall, 6-0 MEAC); Howard (1-8 overall, 1-5 MEAC)
Audio: NCCU Sports Network "GameCentral" at NCCUEaglePride.com (audio internet stream). Broadcast starts at 1:30 p.m. (Jonathan Duren, play-by-play; Joe Simmons, color analyst).
Video: NCCU Sports Network "GameCentral" at NCCUEaglePride.com (pay-per-view video internet stream/$8.95). Broadcast starts at 1:30 p.m. (Jonathan Duren, play-by-play; Joe Simmons, color analyst).
• NCCU enters FCS Coaches Poll at No. 25, earning a national ranking for the first time since reclassifying to NCAA Division I-FCS in 2011.
• NCCU received 123 votes in this week's STATS FCS Top 25 poll, picking up 81 votes from last week to move just two spots out of the Top 25.
• NCCU leads the series with Howard 10-9-1, including four straight victories.
• Howard's lone win this season was a 33-28 triumph at Norfolk State on Oct. 1.
• NCCU has won 14 consecutive games against non-FBS opponents, including 13 in-a-row versus MEAC teams.
• NCCU owns a 19-3 record against MEAC opponents in the last three seasons under head coach Jerry Mack.
• Quarterback Malcolm Bell tops the MEAC and ranks 32nd nationally (FCS) in points responsible for with 116 (14 passing, 5 rushing touchdowns).
• NCCU redshirt senior quarterback Malcolm Bell needs 102 passing yards to move into second place on the Eagles career passing yards list. Bell is currently fourth with 5,693 career passing yards.
• NCCU's defense leads the conference and ranks fourth in NCAA Division I-FCS with an average of 8.8 tackles for loss per game (79 total TFL). The Eagles are second in the league and tied for 10th in FCS with 26 sacks (2.89 per game).
• Since the start of the 2012 season, NCCU has scored 23 special teams touchdowns, including 14 trips to the end zone on punt returns (two this season).
• NCCU receives national ranking for first time since transitioning to NCAA Division I-FCS in 2011, entering Nov. 7 FCS Coaches Poll at No. 25.
• NCCU beat Bethune-Cookman 31-14 on Oct. 1 for the Eagles' first win in the series with the Wildcats since 1994, ending a six-game losing skid.
• NCCU broke a school record with 32 first downs versus St. Augustine's on Sept. 17.
• NCCU's 676 yards of total offense versus St. Augustine's ranks second only to the 684 total yards amassed by the 1982 Eagles against Bowie State. The 414 passing yards against the Falcons places fourth in the NCCU record books and are the most by the Eagles since 1988.
• NCCU's 21 points against Western Michigan are the most scored by the Eagles in nine contests against FBS competition.
• NCCU's five fumble recoveries versus Duke on Sept. 3 are the most by the Eagles since 2010.
FLASHBACK TO 2015
• NCCU repeated as co-champions of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) with a 7-1 conference record.
• The Eagles posted the most wins as a NCAA Division I-FCS program with an 8-3 overall record.
• The Eagles earned the program's second win over a nationally-ranked FCS opponent by defeating No. 13/16 North Carolina A&T in the final game of the season on Nov. 21, 2015.
• NCCU closed out season on a seven-game winning streak.
• NCCU ranked No. 1 in the nation (FCS) in fourth down conversion percentage defense (8.3%) - allowing only one fourth down conversion all season (12 attempts) - and fourth down conversion percentage offense (81.8%/9 of 11).
This will be the 21st meeting between the Eagles and the Bison. NCCU leads the series 10-9-1. The Eagles have won four in-a-row against Howard.
Series Between NCCU Eagles and Howard Bison:
11/14/2015 - NCCU 41, Howard 6 (Washington, D.C.)
10/04/2014 - NCCU 27, Howard 22 (Durham, N.C.)
10/05/2013 - NCCU 37, Howard 28 (Washington, D.C.)
9/16/1995 - NCCU 37, Howard 32 (Washington, D.C.)
10/15/1994 - Howard 35, NCCU 19 (Durham, N.C.)
11/10/1979 - Howard 31, NCCU 20 (Durham, N.C.)
11/11/1978 - Howard 24, NCCU 17 (Washington, D.C.)
11/12/1977 - Howard 33, NCCU 0 (Durham, N.C.)
11/13/1976 - Howard 22, NCCU 21 (Washington, D.C.)
11/15/1975 - Howard 41, NCCU 10 (Durham, N.C.)
11/16/1974 - (tie) Howard 17, NCCU 17 (Durham, N.C.)
11/10/1973 - NCCU 10, Howard 7 (Durham, N.C.)
11/11/1972 - NCCU 14, Howard 13 (Washington, D.C.)
11/13/1971 - NCCU 42, Howard 18 (Durham, N.C.)
10/26/1940 - NCCU 14, Howard 0 (Washington, D.C.)
10/28/1939 - NCCU 19, Howard 0 (Durham, N.C.)
11/17/1934 - NCCU 7, Howard 6 (Washington, D.C.)
11/18/1933 - Howard 7, NCCU 0 (Durham, N.C.)
11/08/1930 - Howard 6, NCCU 2 (Washington, D.C.)
10/31/1925 - Howard 70, NCCU 0 (Washington, D.C.)
THE LAST MEETING
(NCCU 41, Howard 6 - Washington, D.C. - Nov. 14, 2015) NCCU kept Howard out of the end zone and exploded for 21 fourth-quarter points to cruise to a 41-6 road victory over the Bison. NCCU finished the game with 424 yards of total offense, with quarterback Malcolm Bell accounting for 333 yards of it, gaining 41 on the ground and 292 through the air.
(NCCU 38, Delaware State 19 - Dover, Del.) North Carolina Central University scored touchdowns in all three phases of the game to hand Delaware State University a 38-19 defeat at Alumni Stadium on Saturday. Senior receiver LaVontis Smith enjoyed his first two-touchdown contest in his two seasons at NCCU with four catches for 51 yards. Sophomore running back Ramone Simpson posted 112 yards rushing, including a 24-yard touchdown run. Junior linebacker Reggie Hunter intercepted his third pass in the last two outings and returned the pick 19 yards for his first career trip to the end zone. And NCCU junior Mike Jones returned a punt 90 yards for a touchdown, the second-longest punt return in school history. NCCU senior quarterback Malcolm Bell completed 17-of-31 passes for 223 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for 18 yards. As a team, NCCU amassed 469 yards of total offense with a balanced 245 yards passing and 224 yards rushing. The Eagles defense racked up 10 tackles for a loss with three sacks. Hunter led the way for NCCU with a team-best seven tackles, including a stop for a loss. Frederick Henry-Ajudua and Kenneth O'Neal each recorded six takedowns and a sack.
(Howard - Bye Week) Howard is coming off a bye week. In their last outing on Oct. 29, the Bison suffered a 31-27 loss at Savannah State.
NCCU: Jerry Mack (Arkansas State, 2003) is in his third season as a college head coach. He boasts 11 years of coaching experience, including stints with five NCAA Division I programs and three conference championship teams. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Mack has held positions as wide receivers coach at the University of South Alabama (2012-13) and the University of Memphis (2011), as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (2010), as passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach at the University of Central Arkansas (2008-09), as wide receivers and tight ends coach at Jackson State University (2006-07), and as an offensive graduate assistant at Delta State University (2004-05). Mack began his collegiate playing career at Jackson State before transferring after one season (1999) to Arkansas State University. He lettered three years at Arkansas State (2001-03) before earning his bachelor's degree in management information systems in 2003. Mack completed his master's degree in physical education from Delta State in 2006.
Howard: Gary "Flea" Harrell (Howard, 1994), became the head football coach at his alma mater in 2011. In his first season, he guided the Bison to a 5-6 record, exceeding the win total from the three previous seasons combined. In 2012, Harrell guided Howard to a 7-4 record, the first winning season for the Bison in a decade. A native of Miami, Florida, Harrell made his coaching debut as wide receivers coach at Howard in 2002. After two seasons with Howard, he had coaching stints at Texas Southern, Florida A&M, Morgan State and Bowie State. Harrell is the all-time leading receiver in Howard history and ranks among the tops in MEAC history. He played professionally with New York Giants, Frankfurt Galaxy and Montreal Alouettes.
NCCU EARNS FIRST NATIONAL RANKING IN FCS COACHES POLL
For the first time in program history, the North Carolina Central University football team is ranked in the FCS Coaches Poll. With an overall record of 7-2 and an unbeaten 6-0 mark in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play, NCCU entered the Nov. 7 FCS Coaches Top-25 Poll at No. 25. This is the first time the Eagles football team has been nationally ranked since transitioning to NCAA Division I-FCS in 2011. NCCU is riding a seven-game win streak after dropping season-opening games to Duke and No. 14 Western Michigan – both FBS programs.
BELL ACHIEVES PASSING, TOTAL OFFENSE MILESTONES
Among NCCU career leaders, redshirt-senior quarterback Malcolm Bell (Richmond, Va.) ranks second in total offense yards (6,913) and fourth in passing yards (5,693) in his four-year career (2013-16). The dual-threat quarterback is the first Eagle in school history to amass 1,000 rushing yards (1,220) and 5,000 passing yards in a career. He is currently the school's 16th all-time leading rusher behind Lawrence Fuller (2000-03) with 1,261 career ground yards.
EAGLES TURN DEFENSE, SPECIAL TEAMS INTO POINTS
Since the start of the 2012 season, the Eagles have demonstrated a knack for finding the end zone when the offense is off the field. In the past 54 games, NCCU has scored 33 touchdowns on defense and special teams, including three in 2016, six in 2015, five in 2014, nine in 2013 and 10 in 2012. In that time, the Eagles have made trips to the end zone on 14 punt returns, six kickoff returns, three blocked field goal returns, eight interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
TEN EAGLES EARN PRESEASON ALL-MEAC HONORS
Ten NCCU Eagles were voted to the 2016 Preseason All-MEAC Football Team. Leading the way for NCCU on the All-MEAC First Team are senior quarterback Malcolm Bell (Richmond, Va.), senior center Carl Jones (Nashville, Tenn.), senior offensive lineman Desmond Cooper (Stafford, Va.) and senior linebacker Jeremy Miles (Durham, N.C.). All-MEAC Second Team distinction was awarded to sophomore running back Dorrel McClain (Cary, N.C.), senior offensive lineman Tarrance Wells (Oxon Hill,, Md.), junior defensive lineman Antonio Brown (Jacksonville, Fla.), sophomore defensive back Davanta Reynolds (Tucker, Ga.) and senior return specialist LaVontis Smith (Maben, Miss.). Junior defensive lineman Ja'Quan Smith (Miramar, Fla.) rounded out NCCU's selections on the All-MEAC Third Team.
ABOUT NCCU FOOTBALL
North Carolina Central University is in its sixth season of full NCAA Division I (FCS) athletic competition as a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. The Eagles have won 12 conference championships as members of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (1953, 1954, 1956, 1961, 1963, 1980, 2005, 2006) and the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (1972, 1973, 2014, 2015), and have made three appearances in the NCAA playoffs (1988, 2005, 2006). The Eagles won back-to-back football conference championships and a Black College National Championship in their final two years in the Division II ranks (2005 and 2006) before starting the transition to Division I in 2007.