Karsceal Turner – I Got NEXT!
Bethune-Cookman, ranked No. 23 in this week’s FCS Coaches’ poll, bashed Morgan State, Nov. 7. It was “Senior Appreciation Day” for 20 seniors playing their final home game at Municipal Stadium and they took care of business on a usually hot autumn day in Daytona Beach. Former B-CU defensive coordinator now Norfolk State University head coach Pete Adrian served as an honorary captain for the game. It was cool to see him walking out for the coin toss, the home crowd showed him love.
As always, I made my way to the visitor’s ticket booth to kick it with the ticket staff. A Morgan State ticket person was in there selling out. I matched him blow for blow and told him I’d write about the thrashing his team would take. Call me a prophet of sorts because I foretold the future. Observe the answers to some questions you may have in your head. You wondered whether this team has bought into Terry Sims’ coaching philosophy and system? Apparently they have. You wondered whether this team had the swagger it displayed under former coach Brian Jenkins? Uh Yeah? Finally, you wondered if this team had the stuff needed to earn a trip to the inaugural Celebration Bowl in December. A win against arch-rival Florida A&M may reveal the answer to that one, along with some luck in form of losses for North Carolina A&T, the only Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference to beat Bethune-Cookman.
The battle against the Bears
Quentin Williams threw for 257 yards and a touchdown as the Wildcats (8-2 overall, 6-1 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) pulled away from a one-score game at halftime to keep their post-season hopes alive as the Wildcats step closer to their goal of a MEAC championship with a 38-14 thrashing of the Morgan State Bears. I love using words like “bash” and “thrash” in my writings. It lends to the effects but this is what these eyes saw.
Bethune-Cookman leads the all-time series against Morgan State by a count of 21-7. Currently, B-CU is ranked #2 in the MEAC with a 6-1 record behind only NCA&T, who is 6-0, Morgan State is now 3-3 in MEAC play. The Bears previously won four times in Daytona Beach, including a 33-7 decisive win on a B-CU Homecoming weekend in Daytona Beach back in 2007. Call it sweet revenge.
Redshirt sophomore signal caller Larry Brihm, Jr. was good for 130 total yards (87 rushing, 43 passing) and a touchdown via the ground in the second half to help the Wildcats finish their home slate undefeated in five games and extend their home winning streak to 10 games dating back to 2013.
B-CU running backs Michael D. Jones (73 yards) and graduate senior Anthony Jordan (53) each rushed for first half touchdowns. Jordan’s 3-yard run with 4:39 left in the first half gave B-CU a 14-7 lead.
Jawill Davis’ four catches for 69 yards paced 11 Wildcats receivers who had at least one catch on the day. Brown and Jontavious Carter each had three receptions for 52 yards, and Jaime Wilson had three catches of his own for 26 yards. The Wildcats finished with 600 total yards.
Defensively, Marquis Drayton, another B-CU senior playing in his final home game, registered the Wildcats’ first interception return for touchdown of the season – a 30-yarder that pushed the Wildcats to a 21-7 advantage with 3:19 left showing on the clock before intermission.
Morgan State closed to within 21-14 on Moses Skillon’s 10-yard pass to Landen Marlbrough just before halftime. However, the Bears mustered just four first downs and 91 total yards in the second half. Their lone scoring threat was dashed by an Atreyu Farrior interception in the red zone.
Celebration Bowl implications
Bethune-Cookman and N.C. Central are still in the hunt for the Celebration bid with only one loss in the conference. The Aggies face Delaware State Nov. 14 followed by the Eagles on November 21 but our attention will be elsewhere that day. We’ll get to that later. Meanwhile, B-CU is off next weekend.
If A&T loses to either Delaware State or NCCU, the Wildcats are certainly in the mix. B-CU defeated the hornets and the Eagles respectively and does not play Hampton this season leaving only Florida A&M as a team left to beat for a hopeful trip to the inaugural Celebration Bowl to be held in Atlanta, GA on Dec 19.
The top teams from the MEAC and the SWAC will face off in a winner take all game for bragging rights amongst the nation’s top HBCUs. Such a game is only fitting since both conferences began their respective seasons with the annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge in Orlando. When the dust settles, there will be no doubt concerning which conference is best. Let us also NOT forget about the battle of the bands for whichever teams participate in this historic event. Oh, it’ll be televised on ABC too. You know damn well I’ll make my way down on that field for the best view in the house.
Saturday’s win gave Bethune-Cookman its fourth consecutive win over the Bears and allows the Wildcats to stay within a game of the top spot in the MEAC in the Celebration Bowl chase.
Bethune-Cookman’s home winning streak now extends to 10 games, dating back to 2013. It is B-CUs 481st victory all-time in school history. Additionally, this game gives Head Coach Terry Sims his first collegiate victory while coaching a ranked team. You like that don’t you?
I looked over on the visitor’s side and saw NO “Magnificent Marching Machine” and NO cheerleaders….blasphemy. I looked into the stands and saw a fraction of what I beheld for homecoming a week ago. There’ll be none of that come November 21.
And now…The Florida Blue Florida Classic
Bethune-Cookman will utilize a much-needed bye week next week, before taking on in-state rival Florida A&M, in the annual Florida Blue Florida Classic at Orlando’s newly renovated Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium.
I’m looking for full stands adorned in Maroon and Gold and that dreadful Orange and Green. It is now officially time to talk trash about the Florida Classic, although it is an all year thing. Shout out to the FAMU B-CU Trash Talking page on Facebook. Here is the only shout out those snakes and their 1-5 record will receive from me. Hail Wildcats!
Speaking of 1-5, I mean the Rattlers, it’s understood that records go out the window when this game is concerned. I’m certain those snakes would love to put a damper on B-CU’s hopeful trip to Atlanta. Holla back when you see me down on the field wearing Maroon and Gold.