After Week one, each team took an unexpected loss. However, both teams were still able to get an idea of what the season will entail.
As for Coach Jerry Mack and North Carolina Central, they were able to get a feel of their younger guys at the Bull City Gridiron Classic against Duke, despite taking a 60-7 loss on the other side of Durham.
Red-shirt Freshman Isaiah Totten made history of the tenth-longest rush in North Carolina Central University history.
This play was seen as one of the “biggest positives” of the game for the Eagles; especially being as though Totten started the game last Saturday as third on the depth chart.
On the defensive end, Senior linebacker Reggie Hunter was recognized for having a game high of ten tackles including seven solo tackles. Going in to game two, The Eagles have learned to have tough skin and bounce back from last week’s loss. “It was what it was” stated Coach Mack earlier this week.
He continued by saying “you have to make up for it and have a better performance next week” and that is exactly what the team plans on doing.
They will look to achieve this by focusing on reducing penalties, limiting explosive plays from the opponents and great execution all over the field.
Although the Eagles may work very hard this week in practice, the Shaw Bears may have a slight advantage this weekend.
Shaw Head Coach Adrian Jones will be making his return to O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium, being a former graduate and student athlete of this illustrious university.
Jones also worked as an assistant coach and helped the football team to win five championships, which includes two CIAA championships (2005 and 2006), a Black College National Championship (2006), and two MEAC championships (2014 and 2015).
“Shaw has an advantage because Jones easily knows our ins and outs” Coach Mack mentioned about his old assistant coach.
Shaw was defeated at home by the New Haven Chargers, with the game ending with a 31-20 total.
Although Coach Jones and the Bears did not get the outcome that they worked towards, they still set some good records for their season opener.
Senior Trevante Long was recorded as having 121 yards through the air, along with Sophomore Tevin Perry rushing 45 yards and securing a touchdown.
Finishing their game with a total of 283 yards, it was pretty obvious that the Bears already have started their season on the aggressive side and with very little question as to what their offense has in store.
The Eagles know what they have to work on to achieve their first home game win as Coach Mack said, “We’ve learned a lot and still have work to do as a program…overall we’re very pleased with the effort and spots from our young men”.
Shaw is starting to find their rhythm, but it might not matter this weekend. The Bears will be over-matched when they roll in to face the Maroon and Gray team. North Carolina Central University should be able to soar past the visiting team regardless of fully having their identity.
I expect to see that NCCU will improve this weekend to 1-1 and will continue their 20 game win streak against Shaw, this Saturday at 6 pm.