Week #7 for the WSSU Rams
The #3 ranked Winston-Salem State University Rams (6-0, 3-0 CIAA) are coming off another impressive blowout win, this time a 63-7 victory over the Johnson C. Smith Golden Bulls, last weekend in Charlotte.
WSSU welcomes the St. Augustine's University Falcons in what is the marquee CIAA game of the week, matching two of the top teams in the conference.
The Falcons (4-2, 2-1 CIAA) enter this contest sitting one game behind the WSSU Rams, and must win in order to have any CIAA Championship dreams. SAU is coming off a hard fought 32-27 win over the Livingstone College blue Bears last weekend.
This is the 26th meeting between these two CIAA institutions of higher learner, dating back to 1941. This is also the third matchup between WSSU's Connell Maynor and SAU's Michael Costa. Each coach has led his team to a victory in the head ot head matchup, with Winston-Salem State squeeking out a 35-28 win last season in Durham, NC. The Falcons last defeated WSSU in 2010, when SAU won 40-35 in Winston-Salem. WSSU has won the last 6 of the last 10 matchups.
Since 1946: 12-11-2
Largest WSSU Win: 52 (52-0), 1960
Largest SAC Win: 26 (26-0), 1958
Longest WSSU Win Streak: 3, 2003-Present
Longest SAC Win Streak: 5, 1949-54
Last 10 Contest in Series
1962 Home 16-14 Lost
1963 6-6 Tie
1964 Home 32-6 Won
1965 34-12 Lost
2003 Home 54-19 Won
2004 Away 31-13 Won
2005 Home 35-33 Won
2006 Home 26-6 Won
2010 Home 40-35 Lost
2011 Away 35-28 Won
Ram Keys To Victory
The Winston-Salem State University Rams will return home to the friendly confines of Bowman GRay Stadium, where the Rams are 11-2 under head coach Connell Maynor in three season to date.
The Rams will need another quick start, as they face a St. Agustine's team that is very well coached, and brings with them a solid nucleus of athletes. SAC has played WSSU very tough the past two seasons, with neither team winning by more than a touchdown over the two year span.
The WSSU defense must continue its smothering efforts, and special teams could also play a big factor, as SAU's Tyrone Laughinghouse has three touchdowns on returns in 2012.
Streaking The Right Way
There are only eight active regular season winning streaks of 15 games or more among the 651 schools playing football under the NCAA banner.
Longest Regular Season Win Streaks (All Divisions)
Stk. School (Division) Started
68 Mount Union (III) 10-29-2005
29 Mary Hardin-Baylor (III) 10-24-2009
29 St. Thomas (MN) (III) 10-24-2009
22 Linfield (OR) (III) 9-25-2010
21 Colorado St. Pueblo (II) 10-23-2010
19 Johns Hopkins (III) 10-23-2010
17 Winston-Salem St. (II) 9-3-2011
15 Lehigh (FCS) 9-17-2011
Bull City Rams
The WSSU Rams boast five players from the Bull City on thier 2012 roster.
A Big Foot Sighting
WSSU punter, Landen Thayer, is continuing his solid final season at WSSU, by leading the CIAA in punting, averaging 41.8 yards per punt. He has also had six punts that have traveled 50+ yards.
In The NCAA
The WSSU Rams have reached the top 10 inhte following NCAA categories: Total Offense, 8th; Scoring defense, 9th; Passing efficiency, 4th.
The WSSU Rams lead the CIAA in rushing offense (191.5 y/g), total offense (485.7 y/g), scoring offense (41.0), passing efficiency defense (101.4), passing efficiency (175.1), total defense (284.0), scoring defense (13.7), 3rd down conversions (43 of 82, 52.4%), turnover pargin (+7), red zone defense and time of possesion (32:18/g).
Rams on Top
The Rams' Jameze Massey, Landen Thayer and Kameron Smith lead the CIAA in pass recieing yards per game, punting yards per game and passing efficiency.
Too Many Penalties
WSSU had one of thier worst penalty games in the Connell Maynor era two weeks at Bowie State. The Rams had 12 penalties for 121 yards. The Rams are still one of the least penalized teams in the CIAA.
A Glance Back at Last Year's Matchup
October 8, 2011
WSSU 35, Saint Augustine's 28
O'Kelly Riddick Stadium (4,289)
DURHAM, NC - Kameron Smith threw for 267 yards and three touchdowns, as the #16 Winston-Salem State University Rams held off a valiant Saint Augustine's Falcon football team for a 35-28 win and keep their perfect record and playoff hopes alive.
With the win, WSSU moves to 6-0 over and 5-0 in the CIAA Southern Division. Saint Augustine's College falls to 2-4 overall and 1-3 in the CIAA Southern Division.
The game would start rather boldly for Saint Augustine's and rather bluntly for the Rams, as SAC's Teddy Bacote would hit Jermaine Jones down the right sideline for a 64 yards touchdown 14 second into the game.
That marked the first time in 2011 that Winston-Salem State would trail in a football game.
But it wouldn't take WSSU long to reverse that score, as the Rams capped a six play, 80 yard drive with a 42 yard pass from Kameron Smith to Juhuann Butler for a touchdown to tie the score at 7-7, with only 2:44 running off the clock.
Winston-Salem State would take its first lead of the game less than two minutes later, when the WSSU defense would come up big, as Khendra Reid would scoop a St. Aug fumble, and score from 52 yards out to give WSSU a 14-7 lead.
The game would setter down, and after a series of punts from both teams, WSSU would rings the score board once again, this time from the powerful running of Nicholas Cooper. Cooper would score from 22 yards out, capping a workmanlike drive of 11 plays covering 63 yards.
The second quarter scoring would be dominated by the Falcons, as they were able to wrestle away the momentum from the Rams, and mount a comeback to have the WSSU fans thinking of a deja vu from a year ago.
With the Rams leading 21-7, and marching down the field again, the Falcons intercepted a Kameron Smith pass and were able to convert that and another SAC drive into two quick touchdowns to tie the score right before halftime.
Bacote would hook up with Brian Richards from 39 yards out, and Tyrone Laughinghouse from 11 yards out to tie the game at 21-21 with 1:19 left in the first half.
Then after WSSU's Tehvyn Brantley fumbled kickoff after the second touchdown, the Falcons were driving and ready to punch it in again, but the Rams Carlos Fields intercepted the Falcons pass in the end zone with 17 second left in the half to thwart the Saint Augustine's drive and momentum.
"That was a huge play by Fields right before the half," said head coach Connell Maynor. "They had the momentum, and they were about to go up 28-21, and he took the momentum away from them at halftime."
The second half would begin with the Rams offense struggles continuing, but eh Ram defense would regain its footing and hold the Falcons at bay.
WSSU's Kameron Smith would hook up with Nicholas Cooper on a screen pass, and Cooper would do the rest and take it 40 yards to the house to put the Rams up for good.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Kameron Smith would find Tehvyn Brantley in the endzone from 18 yards away to give WSSU a commanding 35-21 lesad with 6:09 left in the game.
But Saint Augustine's College was not going away easy, as they would march down the field on their next possession, in seven plays, going 73 yards and Bacote finding Laughinghouse from 19 yards to pull the Falcons to within one score at 35-28.
But the Rams would recover the onside kick and run out the clock to secure the victory.
"You have to give Saint Augustine's all the credit. They came ready to play and played hard the whole game," Maynor said of the Falcons.
"But that is why we preach you have to play for the full 60 minutes," says Maynor. "We were able to get some things done in the second half, and we were able to pull it out down the stretch."
Offensively for Winston-Salem State, the Rams would total 405 offensive yards, behind Kameron Smith's 267 yards and three touchdown passes. He competed 13 of 26 passes, and was picked off twice.
Nicholas Cooper finished with 87 rushing yards and a score, while catching three passes for 56 yards and one touchdown. Maurice Lewis finished with 50 yards on eight carries.
Juhuann Butler finished with three catches for 73 yards and one touchdown, while Tehvyn Brantley snagged two balls for 56 yards and a score, and Michael Byrd (1-42), Eric Wolff (1-19), Jamal Williams (1-17), Patrick Terry (1-17) and Jerry Chandler (1-8) each caught passes.
Landen Thayer had a tremendous afternoon punting the ball, averaging 50.8 yards per punt on four punts, including dropping one inside the 20 and a long punt of 61 yards. And Alejandro Suarez was a perfect five for five on PAT attempts.
Defensively, Alton Keaton has a season high 14 tackles, including nien solo's and two tackles for loss and a pass deflection. Carlos Fields had a tremendous afternoon, finishing with 10 tackles (seven solo), one forced fumble, four pass deflections and one huge interception in the endzone to stop a Falcon drive before halftime that swung the momentum back to the Rams. Khendra Reid had six tackles to go along with his 52 yard fumble recovery for a score. Justin Wilkerson and Donnie Owens each had sacks, and Wilkerson and Fields each had forced fumbles. Johnathan Setzer and Fields each picked off a pass.
WSSU's Kameron Smith Earns Third CIAA Player of the Week Honor
For the third time in the 2012 season, Winston-Salem State University quarterback, Kameron Smith, has earned CIAAA Player of the Week honors for the quarterback position.
Kameron Smith continued his hot hand and assault on CIAA opponents, going 13 for 15 for 259 yards and five touchdowns, while only playing in the first half, in Winston-Salem State's 63-7 blowout win over Johnson C. Smith.
Smith has passed for 1506 yards, going 97 of 161 with 8 touchdowns and five interceptions through six games.
He became WSSU's all-time leading passer earlier in the year, surpassing Tory Woodbury.
For more, check out the game notes section!