This is a non-conference match-up between the Bison of Howard University from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers University from the Big East. It is the season opener for the Bison while the Scarlet Knights dropped a decision to the University of Cincinnati this past Saturday.
The game will be televised on ESPN Game Plan with Mike Gleason providing play by play and John Congemi doing color commentary...The game will be broadcast on Heritage Radio Sports Network (HRSN) and can be heard on Sirius XM...Lamont Germany will do the play by play, Mike Walker will provide color commentary and LeCounte Conaway will roam the sidelines for interviews...The Rutgers Football Radio Network will carry the game. Chris Carin will serve as play by play, Ray Lucas as color analyst and Anthony Fucilli as sideline reporter.
Howard University is coached by Carey Bailey (Tennessee '92), who is in his third season at the helm and has a 5-17 record to date. Greg Schiano (Bucknell '88), who is in his ninth season and has a 46-52 career record there to date.
Veteran assistant coach Nick Calcutta takes over the duties of offensive line coach and offensive coordinator...Jafar Williams, a former standout wide receiver at the University of Maryland, takes over as wide receivers coach for Alvin Harper...Lawrence Ellis enters his first season as defensive line coach and William Smith will serve as kicking coach.
Howard is currently second among all HBCUs in players in the National Football League with five: Tracy White (Philadelphia Eagles), Marques Douglas (New York Jets), Antoine Bethea (Indianapolis Colts), Ronald Bartell, Jr. (St. Louis Rams) and Geoff Pope (Cincinnati Bengals). The Bison also boast three former players who are on coaching staffs: Jimmie Johnson (Minnesota Vikings/TEs coach), Pep Hamilton (Chicago Bears/QBs coach) and Roy Anderson (Baltimore Ravens/defensive coach).
The Scarlet Knights host Florida International next Saturday at 5 pm at Rutgers Stadium. The Bison travel to Tallahassee, Fla. to take on the Rattlers of Florida A&M next Thursday at 7:30 pm.
Setting the Scene
OFFENSE: The offense will be led by red-shirt senior QB FLOYD HAIGLER (250 of 441, 17 TDs, 19 int.), sophomore WR WILLIE CARTER (44 receptions, 477 yards, 6 TDs in 6 games), senior WR BRANDON SHERMAN (46 receptions, 525 yards, 5 TDs), sophomore WR BRANDON DRAYTON (22 receptions, 153 yards) and red-shirt RB/WR RAMON MCELRATHBEY (45 carries, 241 yards, 2 TDs; 23 receptions, 172 yards, 2 TDs). Senior center SEAN WOOLFORD and senior guard MICHAEL RUSSELL anchor the offensive line.
DEFENSE: The defense is led by senior safeties ARANDO JAMISON (34 solos, 45 assists, 7.0 tackles for losses) and MARTIN CORNIFFE (32 solos, 26 assists, 3.0 tackles), senior DEs WILL CRONER (25 solos, 18 assists, 5.5 tackles for losses, 3 FRs) and JAMES CARTER (16 solos, 21 assists, 6.5 tackles for losses, 2 sacks), senior NT JAMES ROBINSON (11 solos, 17 assists, 5.0 tackles for losses), red-shirt Sophomore LB PATRICK JEAN MARY (30 solos, 31 assists, 8.5 tackles for losses, 2 fumble recoveries), LB ROBERT PARKER III (28 solos, 30 assists, 4.0 tackles for losses).
BISON HOOVES: Howard QB Floyd Haigler took every snap last season in his full campaign...the Bison were perhaps the most undermanned team in FCS last season as they suited up only 49 players...Five of Howard's losses last season were by a total of 9 points...much of the Bison's problems were due to turnovers...Howard was a minus 7 in that category with 30 miscues on the season...the Bison were also victimized by the big play...they gave up 12 plays on offense , defense or special teams of 60 yar5ds or more...one area where Howard did excel was in 4th down conversions, where made good on 45 percent (13 of 29).
OFFENSE: The Scarlet Knights are led by sophomore RB JOE MARTINEK (15 carries, 55 yards, 1 TD), freshman QB TOM SAVAGE (15 of 23, 135 yards, 1 TD), red-shirt senior QB DOMENIC NATALE (8 of 12, 108 yards), freshman WR SANU MOHAMED (10 receptions, 101 yards) and senior TIM BROWN (7 receptions, 86 yards). The Rutgers' offensive line returns intact from last season.
DEFENSE: On defense, the veteran Scarlet Knights are led by junior DB JOE LEFEGED (5 solos, 4 assists, a tackle for a loss), senior LB RYAN D'IMPERIO (3 solos, 5 assists), senior DE GEORGE JOHNSON (2 solos, 3 assists, a tackle for a loss and a sack, 2 QB hurries), junior LB ANTONIO LOWERY (4 solos, 2 assists) and junior DE ALEX SILVESTRO (5 tackles, a tackle for a loss and an interception).
SCARLET KNIGHT NOTES: Rutgers held the advantage in time of possession, 31:27 to 27:46 for Cincinnati...the Bearcats amassed 564 yards of total offense, averaging over 8 yards per play...the Scarlet Knights are known for their fine special teams' play...junior punter Ted Dellaganna had a sparklimng performance in a losing effort, averaging almost 44 yards per attempt while placing two inside the 20-yard line.