NORFOLK, Va. – The Norfolk State football team concludes its home schedule, celebrating Homecoming and Senior Day this Saturday when the Spartans (1-6, 0-4 MEAC) host Morgan State (2-4, 2-2) at 2 p.m. at Dick Price Stadium.
Game 8: Morgan State (2-4, 2-2 MEAC) at Norfolk State (1-6, 0-4 MEAC)
Saturday, Oct. 29 • 2 p.m. • Dick Price Stadium (30,000)
Series History: 31st meeting – NSU leads 16-11 (3 NSU wins vacated)
Last Meeting: NSU 17-10 (Nov. 21, 2015)
Series Streak: NSU won nine straight on field (three wins vacated)
1ST AND 10
1. The Spartans conclude the home portion of their 2016 schedule and look to end a six-game losing streak when they host Morgan State University this Saturday. It is NSU’s Homecoming as well as Senior Day at Dick Price Stadium.
2. NSU enters the game on a six-game skid – the program’s longest since losing seven in a row in 2012 – after a 21-14 loss to Bethune-Cookman last Saturday in Norfolk.
3. The Spartans trailed 21-7 at the half but shut out the Wildcats in the second half. NSU cut its deficit in half on a 4-yard Quintreil Chung touchdown run early in the fourth quarter. Thanks to an interception by Nigel Chavis, the Spartans started their final drive in B-CU territory, eventually reaching as far as the 12-yard line. But NSU was stopped on downs in the Wildcats’ red zone, falling short of the tying score.
4. Greg Hankerson scored NSU’s other touchdown on a 43-yard run in the first quarter where he broke multiple tackles and outraced the defense for the score. Hankerson passed for 90 yards and led NSU with 60 rushing yards.
5. Morgan State suffered its second consecutive disappointing defeat last Saturday, dropping a 21-17 decision to unbeaten MEAC opponent North Carolina Central. The Bears took a 17-14 lead into the half after a 40-yard Alex Raya field goal. The score remained that way until the game’s final four minutes, when NCCU overtook the Bears on a 16-yard TD pass from Naiil Ramadan to Jalen Wilkes. Morgan State had two possessions after yielding the lead, but turned the ball over on both drives.
6. Eric Harrell led the Bears with 21 rushes for 121 yards and a touchdown. MSU ran for 158 yards in the game. The Bears played two quarterbacks, with Wagner transfer Chris Andrews passing for 85 yards to go with one TD and one interception. Defensive lineman Ayodeji Agbelese was a force for the Bears’ defense, notching two sacks among his three tackles for loss in the game.
7. The season has been one of streaks for the Bears. They lost their first two contests to Holy Cross and Marshall, then won two straight against Delaware State and Howard before their two recent losses.
8. NSU has dominated the series on the field as of late. Morgan State’s last win over NSU was a 29-20 victory in Norfolk in 2006. The Spartans have won the last nine games on the field, though three of those victories were later vacated.
9. The Spartans are 9-10 in 19 previous Homecoming games at Dick Price Stadium, but have lost two of the last three. The Spartans are 3-2 all-time against MSU in Homecoming games at Dick Price Stadium.
10. NSU will recognize 23 players prior to the game who are playing at home for the final time. The list includes two redshirt juniors (Anthony Smith, Antonio Perryman).
QUICK HITS FROM B-CU
Some news and notes from the loss to Bethune-Cookman:
• The Spartans were held scoreless in the third quarter for the sixth straight game. NSU has been outscored 47-0 in the third quarter since the Richmond game.
• Nigel Chavis (12) notched a career high in tackles.
• The Spartans registered a season-high three interceptions, all by different players (Chavis, Sandy Chapman, Harry Freeman).
IN A RUSH
Quarterback Greg Hankerson ran for his team-leading fifth touchdown of the season last week against Bethune-Cookman, a highlight-reel-worthy 43-yarder where he broke several tackles from Bethune-Cookman’s defensive linemen and linebackers and outraced the rest of the defense for the score.
• Hankerson is now tied for seventh in the MEAC with his five touchdowns this year. He has eight in his two-year career thus far, most by a Spartan quarterback since Dennis Brown had 12 from 2008-09.
• Hankerson’s 43-yarder was his third career TD run of over 40 yards. He had scoring runs of 57 and 77 yards last season vs. Morgan State and N.C. Central, respectively.
• Hankerson is again within shouting distance of the single-season school record for rushing yards by a quarterback, set by Brown (466) in 2008. Hankerson had 423 last season and 303 this year (ninth in the MEAC).
Originally published at nsuspartans.com