Despite recent losses, Wildcats still in MEAC race

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Wildcats
ROMEO T. GUZMAN/B-CU ATHLETICS
Tydarius Peters’ 25-yard interception return brought the Wildcats back to three points with 13:09 remaining. The Wildcats still lost to Delaware State 16-13.

BY ANDREAS BUTLER
DAYTONA TIMES

The Bethune-Cookman University Wildcats hit a hiccup on the road with a 16-13 loss to Delaware State on Nov. 9. 

All isn’t loss since Morgan State also upset North Carolina A&T 22-16 that same day. 

Bethune-Cookman (6-3, 4-2), North Carolina A&T (6-3, 4-2) and South Carolina State University (6-3, 4-2) remain tied atop the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) standings. 

Florida A&M (8-1, 5-0) is ineligible for the postseason due to NCAA sanctions and a self-imposed postseason ban. 

The Wildcats season comes down to the final two weeks. 

KIM GIBSON/
DAYTONA TIMES

Quarterback Akevious Williams carries the ball in B-CU’s game against South Carolina State.

More wins needed 

B-CU is still in position to win the MEAC title and earn a trip to the Celebration Bowl in Atlanta for a chance to play for a HBCU National title in December.

Bethune-Cookman needs to win at North Carolina A&T on Saturday (Nov.16), beat FAMU in the Florida Blue Florida Classic at Camping World Stadium next week (Nov. 23) and have South Carolina State lose one of its remaining games in order to do so. 

“It always comes down to the final weeks. We have some good football teams and coaches in this conference,” said Terry Sims, B-CU’s head coach. 

How they’re ranked 

Both the North Carolina A&T Aggies and FAMU Rattlers will present a challenge. 

FAMU leads the Black College football polls and is ranked No. 14 in the FCS Coaches poll and No. 16 in the FCS Stats polls. The Aggies are ranked No. 4 in the HBCU polls and No. 25 in the FCS Coaches poll. 

“You must come ready to play each and every week in this conference. We have good teams and good coaches,’’ Sims emphasized. “A lot of times a team is better than their record indicates, which was indicative of what happened to us last week.” 

Aggies’ strengths

It all starts on Saturday as first place is on the line when the Wildcats travel to BB&T Stadium in Greensboro, North Carolina, to face the Aggies.

Kickoff is at 1 p.m. and the game airs live on ESPN3. The game will rebroadcast on EPNU at 10:30 p.m. 

“We just have to get back to doing what we do as a football team. It’s not so much as what our opponents do, but we have to get things worked out,” noted Sims. 

A&T has won the MEAC outright three of the previous four years and shared a fourth title in that span. The Aggies also have won three of the four Celebration Bowls, including the past two. 

Sims expressed, “They are still a very good football team. They have a stingy defense. On offense, their quarterback makes plays and they have some receivers that can get the ball. Their special teams are sound.” 

Working on mistakes

The Wildcats are working on fixing mistakes that has plagued them in the past two games, which both resulted in losses. 

B-CU’s offense and kicking game have struggled during that span. They have scored less than 20 points, haven’t converted much in the red zone, had critical turnovers and missed extra points.

“We’ve been moving some guys around and giving others more reps at certain positions. We must get these areas squared away in order to be in position to win games,’’ Sims added. 

For more information on Bethune-Cookman University football, visit www.bcuathletics.com.

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