#15 North Carolina A&T vs Morgan State Preview

For the last three seasons, there’s been a MEAC program that has been dominant on and off the field. For Morgan State, their 2017 slate starts with that team. That team is North Carolina A&T.

North Carolina A&T was predicted in the pre-season to win the MEAC. The Aggies performance thus far during the season has been true to that prediction. Their continued dominance has been noted even by the NFL. Chicago Bears RB, Tarik Cohen has taken the NFL by storm. His performances can be traced back to his days as an Aggie. Although he’s gone, Morgan State still has to handle many explosive players on both sides of the ball.

North Carolina A&T Snapshot 

QB Lamar Raynard

  • Lamar Raynard has national acclaim. He was named to 2nd Team All MEAC during the 2016 season. He was also named to the 2017 Pre-Season 1st Team as well.
  • After three games, Raynard has thrown for 842 yards passing and 9 touchdowns. His passing percentage is over 70% as well.  He only threw for 1,489 yards last season and he’s quickly beating his personal bests.
  • Raynard is the leader of this offense and he’s sure this year’s star for the Aggies

NCAT Receiving Corps

  • 2016 MEAC Rookie of the Year Elijah Bell leads the explosive group of receivers.
  • Bell has 190 yards and 5 touchdowns so far this season.
  • Raynard has also spread the ball around as well. Malik Wilson and Jaquil Capel have been dominant as well. Wilson has 229 yards while Capel has 162. Both of them has catches that were over 50+ yards respectively.
  • Overall, all three men are currently averaging over 50 yards a game.

Franklin McCain & Jeremy Taylor

  • Franklin McCain was named the MEAC Defensive and Rookie of Week during week three. McCain has 23 tackles and 2 interceptions after three games of the season.
  • Jeremy Taylor has 22 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and an interception
  • With Taylor leading the Linebackers and McCain leading the NCAT secondary, the NCAT defensive has been in tune with each other and aggressive every game this season.

FCS Stat Ranking Comparison

Morgan State

North Carolina A&T

Total Offense

114th (202.7 YPG)

18th (456.0 YPG)

Rushing YPG

113th (62.7 YPG)

44th (166.7 YPG)

Passing YPG

101st (140.0 YPG)

15th (289.3 YPG)

Red Zone Offense

112th (0.00%)

37th (.857%)

Total Defense

29th (306.7 YPG)

18th (280.7 YPG)

Rushing Defense

78th (180.0 YPG)

33rd (117.7 YPG)

Pass Defense

7th (126.7)

19th (163.0 YPG)

Red Zone Defense

63rd (.833%)

46th (.800)

Keys To The Game

Morgan Pass Defense vs North Carolina A&T Pass Offense

Morgan State’s passing defense and defense overall is the bright spot for the team. The defense shut down Towson and Albany despite a few scores on the board. With NCAT being more pass oriented this season, Morgan State has to focus on pressuring Lamar Raynard. He has not run much this season when forced out the pocket. Creating pressure will help the MSU secondary contain the explosiveness of NCAT.

Morgan State’s Ability To Score

Morgan State has not scored all season. That’s a general fact coming into this game. But for MSU, NCAT has outscored opponents 89-10 in the first half this season. That indicates three things. It forces MSU to open up their offense to keep up. Also, it’s crucial for MSU to produce offensively in order to keep their defense healthy. Finally, since MSU’s offense tends to fall off in the 2nd Half, staying hot in the first half is key for MSU’s offensive progression.

Trap Game for North Carolina A&T

North Carolina A&T has the best record in the MEAC. They are also ranked 15th in the FCS Coaching Poll and 21st in the STATS FCS Poll. Although NCAT is a great team, as we’ve seen in College Football as of late, anything can happen on the road. NCAT can be bound to a historic upset or can continue their dominance. With a 7:30pm kickoff time, anything can happen during this game. We will see.

North Carolina A&T and Morgan State will kickoff at 7:30 this Saturday!


Stephen Thompson