Aggies’ Offense Dominates Wildcats in 52-35 Win
North Carolina A&T (5-1, 3-0) made the trip down to Daytona Beach, Florida to face Bethune-Cookman (0-5, 0-3) in what appeared to be a matchup that heavily favored the 15th ranked Aggies. However, that’s why they play the game.
The Aggies have been riding the wave of success that has been Tarik Cohen, however his special 2016 campaign is not an outlier for the FCS Player of the Year candidate and the MEAC’s all-time leading rusher.
Cohen was the first player in school history to rush for 200+ yards in three straight contests. Cohen finished Saturday with 220, placing him 79 yards shy for 5000 career rushing yards. The senior running back also added three touchdowns for the second time in three games.
Cohen’s final touchdown of the game came from 87 yards out, his fifth rush for 50 yards or more this season. So far through six games, Cohen has rushed for 890 yards on 110 carries and 10 touchdowns, putting him squarely in the conversation for national award consideration. His 890 yards and 10 touchdowns rank second and third in the nation respectively.
Cohen’s performance, as big as it was, was not the only Aggie who made a statement Saturday. N.C. A&T quarterback Lamar Raynard had his best performance of the year, throwing for 277 yards on 20-31 pass completions, while only turning the ball over once on an interception. Raynard also threw for three touchdowns on the day, including a 37 yarder to freshman wide receiver Elijah Bell that put the Aggies in the driver’s seat 38-35, a lead they would never relinquish.
The first play on the next series would be an interception by redshirt junior linebacker Jeremy Taylor who would return it 24 yards for a touchdown with 8:53 remaining in the game, a score that would essentially put the contest out of reach for B-CU.
For their outstanding efforts against the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats, Tarik Cohen and offensive tackle Brandon Parker were named the MEAC’s Offensive Player of the Week and Offensive Lineman of the Week respectively. This is the third straight week Cohen has claimed the MEAC’s Offensive Player of the Week, while Parker has received the conference’s Lineman of the Week on three separate occasions this season.
Looking ahead to next week, the Aggies will square off against Howard University. The Aggies pass defense has become a concern for Head Coach Rod Broadway, as the defense surrendered 358 yards passing in the victory last Saturday. Look for the coaching staff to make a concerted effort to change that in their next contest as they look to win their fourth straight win.
N.C. A&T will travel to Greene Stadium in Washington D.C. on Saturday, October 22 to take on the Howard University Bison in their next contest.
Matt Johnson is a broadcaster for Averett University Football and the Averett Sports Network. To view one of his broadcasts, go to www.averettcougars.com on Saturdays during Averett University home games for live coverage of Averett football or search for Averett athletics on YouTube for a previous broadcast.