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Special Teams, Running Game Boost NCCU over Howard

Idreis Augustus rushed for 82 yards and one touchdown against Howard. (Herald-Sun photo)

After the first two weeks, it looked like the sky was falling on North Carolina Central. A month later, it now looks like the sky is the limit for the Eagles. NCCU used a big time performance from its special teams squad to beat Howard 37-28 in D.C. on Saturday.

On a day where the passing game struggled mightily and the defense gave up a ton of yards, it was special teams and the running game that helped NCCU pick up its third win in four games. NCCU was outgained by nearly 200 yards, converted just 3 of 11 redzone attempts, passed for only 54 yards, and lost the time of possession battle by over ten minutes.

The Eagles trailed 14-13 in the second quarter before Oleg Parent connected on a 49 yard field goal as time expired. Receiver Adrian Wilkins added an 89 yard punt return to give them a 23-14 lead in the third quarter.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js “We said it last night, we need a big play from special teams,” NCCU interim head coach Dwayne Foster said. “They stepped up to the game, took it to the next level and was huge in that third quarter.”  

Greg McGhee and Jonanthan Booker would connect for two touchdowns through the air in the fourth quarter, but a 54 yard run by Eagles quarterback Jordan Reid with just over four minutes remaining gave NCCU a 37-20 lead, putting the game out of reach.

NCCU picked up its first conference win, improving its record to 3-2. Howard lost its third straight game, falling to 1-4 for the season. 

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