|Patrick Mputu and Winston-Salem State will look to stay undefeated at home against Johnson C. Smith (Garrett Garms/WSSU photo)|
Johnson C. Smith (4-1) at No. 16 Winston-Salem State (4-1)
Winston-Salem State enters Saturday’s game riding high, having won its past four games by at least 21 points heading into this homecoming matchup. It faces an opponent in Johnson C. Smith that it hasn’t lost to since the East Coast-West Coast beef. WSSU won 63-7 last season, JCSU hopes to handWSSU its first home loss since Oct. 2010.
Top Quarterbacks: With respect to Livingstone’s Drew Powell, this game could go a long way toward figuring out who the top signal caller in the CIAA is right now. Keahn Wallace came into the season as the CIAA’s top passer, and through four games, he’s pretty much lived up to that billing. He has completed 64 percent of his passes for over 1,300 yards and 11 touchdowns while throwing just two interceptions and leading JCSU to a 3-1 record. Johnson started the season as Anthony Carrothers’ backup, but has shined in four starts, completing 61 percent of his passes for 11 touchdowns and just one interception, helping WSSU to a 4-0 record as a starter.
Streets is Twatching
//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsCan JCSU’s Defense Step Up? While both teams possess explosive offenses, defensively, there are some challenges for JCSU. The Golden Bulls come into Saturday’s game next to last in pass defense, allowing nearly 300 yards per game through the air. They will be facing a WSSU offense that threw seven touchdowns against Virginia Union. One way to help out the defensive backs would be to get pressure on the quarterback, and no one in the CIAA does that better than JCSU. The Golden Bulls have a CIAA-high 29 sacks, including 7.5 by Jovontay Williams.
Prediction: Everyone knows about Winston-Salem State…the playoff wins, the transfers, the national ranking…Johnson C. Smith is tired of being little brother. Much of that team that experienced being blown out last year in front of its homecoming crowd is back and looking for payback in front of what is expected to be a packed house at Bowman Gray Stadium. Whether or not that happens depends a lot on how well JCSU can slow down WSSU’s passing attack. If they can, this could be a nerve-wracking game for WSSU. If it can’t, and WSSU gets rolling early, JCSU is in trouble.
Battle of The Bands