Game Notes: Howard vs. Winston-Salem State
This is a non-conference match-up between the Rams of Winston-Salem State University and the Bison of Howard University. The Rams (0-4) are looking for their first win after dropping a 27-10 decision to South Carolina State ion the road this past Saturday. Howard (1-2) won its first game of the season, defeating Georgetown University, 14-11 in the second annual DC Cup this past Saturday at Georgetown. This is the home opener for the Bison.
Following the Game
Greene Stadium (7,086)
Notes and more
The two schools have split the last four games. Rams won last year's game 34-10 in Winston-Salem but Howard maintains a 4-3 advantage in the series.
WSSU is coached by Kermit Blount (WSSU ‘80), who is in his 17th season there and has a 90-81-3 record to date. Blount served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Howard from 1984-89. Howard University is coached by Carey Bailey (Tennessee '92), who is in his third season at the helm and has a 7-19 record 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 freshman OL Bradley Bush-Johnson and WSSU redshirt freshman TE Jimmie Johnson are not only brothers but their father is former Bison standout TE Jimmie Johnson. The father is currently the tight ends coach for the Minnesota Vikings.
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).
After being victimized by FAMU return specialist extraordinaire, Howard turned in a sterling effort of its own against Georgetown...Patrick Wolff, the punter, averaged 40 yards per punt, but more importantly, he had three that landed inside the Hoyas' 10-yard line.
Under Coach Bailey, the Bison have had more success with onside kicks than any school in the MEAC the past three years...Against Georgetown, John Mendoza, who is largely responsible for the success in that area, executed a perfect onside kick that he himself recovered following a TD and eventually led to a score.
The Bison have also proved to be very effective on fourth down conversions from punt formation...senior safety Martin Corniffe, a converted running back, has been the key to the success...he is 5-for-5 during his career and is averaging almost 12 yards per attempt.
The Bison may have finally found the punt returner they have been looking for in Jeff Miller...the junior transfer from Iona, returned two punts for 26 yards, including a 20 yarder that led to a TD.
The scenario for Saturday's game is similar to last season when the Bison were coming off their first win of the season and traveled to Winston-Salem, NC to take on the winless Rams. WSSU played its best game of the season and came away with a 34-10 win.
After snapping the nine-game win streak against Georgetown, Howard is hoping to start a streak in a different direction. Following the WSSU game, the Bison travel to Hampton, VA to take on rival Hampton University on October 10 at 6 pm. It will be another short week as Howard will turn around and take on the Bears of Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD on Thursday, October 15 at 7:30 pm in a game televised on ESPNU. The Bison will then return home on October 24 for homecoming against the Aggies of North Carolina A&T.
The Rams have a bye next week and then they resume action on October 17 when they travel to the West Coast to take University of California-Davis. The Bison travel to Hampton, VA to take on rival Hampton University on Saturday, October 10 at 6 pm.
Setting the Scene
OFFENSE: The offense will be led by red-shirt senior QB FLOYD HAIGLER (37 of 81, 372 yards, 2 TDs; 34 carries, 101 yards), sophomore WR WILLIE CARTER (11 receptions, 143 yards, 1 TD) and red-shirt freshman TB CHARLES BRICE (34 carries, 83 yards) and senior WR BRANDON SHERMAN (6 receptions, 78 yards, 1 TD).
DEFENSE: The defense is led by red-shirt freshman OLB KEITH POUGH (13 solos, 13 assists, 4 tackles for losses), red-shirt sophomore LB PATRICK JEAN MARY (4 solos, 11 assists), sophomore LB IAN SIMON (4 solos, 14 assists tackles), senior DE WILL CRONER (6 solos, 6 assists, 2.5 tackles for losses, 1.5 sacks), red-shirt senior LB ROBERT PARKER (7 tackles, 10 assists), red-shirt sophomore DB LANNY KELLY (5 tackles, a fumble recovery, an interception) and senior safeties ARANDO JAMISON (10 tackles,9 assists, a sack, a forced fumble, an interception) and MARTIN CORNIFFE (14 tackles).
BISON HOOVES: Croner was named the MEAC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in the win over Georgetown...red-shirt junior punter Patrick Wolff and freshman OL Troy Georgia received honorable mention for their contributions...Haigler leads the team in rushing and total offense...Keith Pough appears to be as advertised...red-shirt freshman LB leads the team in tackles...Willie Carter appears to be fully recovered from the fractured leg that he suffered last season in the 6th game...Carter leads the team in receptions with 11 and a TD.
OFFENSE: The Rams are led by senior QB JARRETT DUNSTON (16 of 61, 166 yards, 2 TDs; 39 carries, 127 yards, 1 TD), junior RB CEDRIC HICKMAN (38 carries, 115 yards), senior WR DOMONIQUE FITZGERALD (6 receptions, 81 yards, 1 TD) and junior WR OMAR KIZZIE (6 receptions, 56 yards).
DEFENSE: On defense, WSSU is led by sophomore DE AKEEM WARD (18 solos, 10 assists, 2 fumble recoveries), sophomore LB MARIO DAWSON (15 solos, 4 assists, 5.0 tackles for losses), sophomore DE STEPHEN YOUNG (13 solos, 5 assists, 4.0 tackles for losses) and red-shirt junior DB SHAWN KEARNEY (14 solos, 3 assists).
RAMS HORNS: WSSU has scored only one rushing TD in four games...as a team, the Rams have had problems scoring...they have only scored 4 TDs and Dunston has accounted for three, two passing and one rushing...the WSSU defense is limiting its opponents to three yards per carry...the pass defense has allowed six TDs and opposing QBs are completing 68 percent of their pass attempts...the Rams punt coverage team has something in common with their Bison counterpart...they both allowed two punt returns for TDs to FAMU standout Leroy Vann...WSSU's opponents are averaging almost 40 minutes per game of time of possession.