|Winston-Salem State went 10-2 in 2013. (Garrett Garms/WSSU photo)|
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Winston-Salem State has lost just three regular season games in its last four football seasons, and only one in the last three. But it’s safe to say they will have an increased level of difficulty to do that again.
The Rams will host two teams that made the Divsion II playoffs in 2013 (UNC-Pembroke and Tuskegee) and travel to Georgia to take on Valdosta State, a rematch of the 2012 Divsion II National Championship Game.
“Our first three games will be a big challenge for the program in the non-conference portion of the schedule”, says head coach Kienus Boulware. All of these schools that have played in the NCAA playoffs within the past couple season, but we look forward to the tough challenge,” stated Boulware said.
WSSU will open the 2014 season at home in Bowman Gray Stadium against UNC Pembroke Braves on September 6th. The Braves defeated the Rams to open the 2013 season in Pembroke before WSSU went on to win 10 games in a row before losing in the playoffs. UNCP was a 2013 NCAA DII playoff participant. Winston-Salem State holds a 3-1 season lead over the Braves.
The following week, the Rams will take to the road to face Valdosta State University at Cantrell Stadium in Powder Springs, GA. The Blazers defeat the Rams 35-7.
WSSU will return home for the third week of the season, as they will host the Golden Tigers of Tuskegee University at Bowman Gray Stadium. WSSU defeated Tuskegee 35-13.
Winston-Salem State will open conference play on September 27th, when the Rams will host the Vikings of Elizabeth City State University at Bowman Gray Stadium. Winston-Salem State has won four games in a row in the series.
The Rams will hit the road for consecutive games in October. On October 4th, WSSU will travel to Murfreesboro, N.C. to take on Chowan University. The Rams have won consecutive games over Chowan in the series, and lead the overall series by that 2-0 margin.
“Elizabeth City and Chowan and are back on our CIAA conference schedule. We have played them before but will have to; and ECSU has a powerful running game, but Chowan has a high powered passing attack, so we will have to adjust our focus for teams that have different styles,” added Boulware.
On October 11th WSSU will travel to Charlotte, N.C. to face Johnson C. Smith. The Rams have won 13 consecutive games over the Golden Bulls, including a 44-17 win in 2013.
The Rams will return to Bowman Gray Stadium on October 18th for Homecoming 2014, as the WSSU Rams will host St. Augustine’s University. WSSU has won two straight in the series and holds a slight 13-11-2 overall series record against the Falcons.
WSSU will finish up the month of October by hosting Livingstone College on October 25th for Senior Day at Bowman Gray Stadium. Winston-Salem State has won 11 consecutive games versus the Blue Bears, including this past season’s 40-0 win. WSSU holds a 37-11-1 series advantage over Livingstone.
November 1st, Winston-Salem State will travel to Raleigh, N.C. to take on Shaw University. The Rams have won three straight versus Shaw including this past season’s tilling 28-24 win. WSSU leads the series 10-7-2.
Winston-Salem State will wrap up the regular season will a CIAA showdown against Fayetteville State on November 8th. The Rams have won five consecutive versus the Broncos, including this season’s 28-14 win. The Rams lead the series 46-13-3.
“Being on the road for the final two CIAA games will be challenging for us. Fayetteville State is never an easy environment to play in and Shaw is always a tough challenge”, Boulware concluded. “Both Shaw and Fayetteville State played us very tough last season at home, and we know that going on the road will be a test for us.”