Aggies Roll Heading in to Homecoming After Fourth Straight Win
The Aggies had relied on one of the nation’s leading rushers Tarik Cohen in North Carolina A&T’s (6-1, 4-0 MEAC) last contest against Bethune-Cookman. However it was the Aggie defense that shut down Howard University (1-7, 1-4) and their leading rusher Anthony Philyaw in a 34-7 victory in D.C.
Led by redshirt junior linebacker Jeremy Taylor, A&T held the MEAC’s second leading rusher Philyaw to 27 yards on 17 carries, after coming into the contest averaging over 120 yards per game. The Bison were able to muster just 50 rushing yards as a team against Taylor and the Aggie defense. Taylor finished the game with a team high 8 tackles.
Cohen added to his historic career with 133 yards rushing on 20 carries and one score. The FCS Player of the Year Candidate also caught and ran for a 45 yard touchdown reception. Cohen’s afternoon put him in an elite group, as he finished the day with over 5000 career rushing yards, and also went over 1000 yards on the season. Cohen is now one of just 10 players in FCS history to rush for 1000 yards in four straight seasons. Cohen is also the only player in the MEAC with over 1000 yards rushing so far.
Next for the Aggies will be a matchup with Florida A&M (3-5, 3-2) in the Greatest Homecoming on Earth, and while the Aggies have been able to capitalize on big plays, A&T will have to keep the turnovers to a minimum to keep the party going in Greensboro.
The Rattlers will enter the contest with a +5 turnover margin, a mark that will no doubt play a factor if the Aggies contribute to the FAMU cause. A&T quarterback Lamar Raynard has a touchdown/interception ratio of almost 3:1, and he leads the MEAC in pass efficiency, so look for the Aggies to utilize the short passing game and protect Raynard when Coach Rod Broadway and his staff does not hand the ball off to Tarik Cohen.
The Aggies signal caller is coming off of a strong performance against Howard University, where Raynard completed 13-18 passes for 191 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.
Ball Hawking linebacker Jeremy Taylor has an opportunity to feast during G.H.O.E, as the redshirt junior will lead the Aggies defense against freshman quarterback Ryan Stanley, who in four consecutive starts has lead the Rattlers to a 3-1 record. Taylor has been a big impact player for A&T during the 2016 campaign, leading the Aggies in tackles and already has recorded four interceptions.
North Carolina A&T and Florida A&M will square off in the Greatest Homecoming on Earth at 1 p.m. Saturday October 29, in Greensboro.
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.