North Carolina Central (1-1) vs South Carolina State (1-1)
Seven hundred and nineteen days. That’s how long its been since North Carolina Central last lost a MEAC game. NCCU’s last loss in a conference game came back on Oct. 3, 2015 when a blocked field goal attempt left NCCU on the wrong end of a 28-26 score to Bethune-Cookman.
South Carolina State will try to change that on Thursday night as it kicks off conference play following a 41-0 tuneup against Johnson C. Smith last week.
Unlike those previous 15 games, NCCU won’t have Malcolm Bell at quarterback or Carl Jones at center. The new-look Eagles best offensive weapon so far has been freshman Isaiah Totten, who has rushed for nearly 11 yards and scored three touchdowns in the team’s first two games. Combine him with veterans Ramone Simpson and Dorrell McClain and the Eagles look to have a three-headed monster in the backfield.
They will be up against one of the best linebackers in the FCS in senior Darius Leonard, the reigning MEAC Defensive Player of the Year, who comes in with 15 tackles and two sacks in two games.
SCSU leads the all-time series 12-10, but the two programs have split the series at two games each since NCCU returned to the MEAC and became a Division I program for the first time.
Thursday’s game will be broadcast live on ESPNU.