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Johnson C. Smith football faces another tough task in Wofford
Terriers' physicality a challenge for Golden Bulls
Published Thursday, September 15, 2016 11:00 am
by Herbert L. White

Johnson C. Smith running back Tromecio Summers looks for an opening against Wingate. the Golden Bulls are 165th in Division II rushing at minus-1 yard per game.



Johnson C. Smith’s final nonconference opponent might be its toughest.

Division I FCS Wofford (1-1), which lost at No. 19 Ole Miss 38-13 last week, represent a test of physicality before CIAA play. Wofford won the only other meeting between the schools 56-0 in 2004.

“We’re preparing for what we think can make a conference run, but we’ve got to get through the first three,” JCSU coach Kermit Blount said. “We felt like we had an opportunity to win at Wingate, we had opportunities to score and change the flow of that ball game at Bowie. We didn’t, so we’ve got another opportunity to go out and play against Wofford as much better competition. We want to come away from it healthy and then try to get into the following week to get ready for conference play.”

The Terriers, who play in the Southern Conference, are sixth in the country in rushing offense at 289.5 yards per game, will test JCSU’s defense, which allows an average of 335.5. The same challenge exists on the other side of the ball, where Wofford is 23rd in rushing defense at 107.5 yards a game. JCSU, which starts three freshmen on the offensive line, averages minus-1 yard rushing – 165th among 171 Division II schools.

“We’ve got to hope the young guys grow up a little bit faster than what they’re expected to,” Golden Bulls quarterback Jordan Lane said. “We’re throwing them right into the fire again, so this week they’ve got to get better and we’ve got to grow up as fast as possible so we can actually do things offensively and defensively.”

JCSU took a step back in last week’s 52-0 loss at Bowie State, gaining just 98 yards on offense while allowing 619. The Bulldogs ran 100 plays, which took a toll on the Golden Bulls.

“We played a good football team in Bowie, but at the same time I think our lack of effort was a direct result on the score of that ball game,” Blount said. “We were inside the 20-yard line three or four times and we came away with no points and when you’re playing those types of football games you’ve got to grab points as you can grab them. We just did not show up and play well on Saturday.”

As a team, the Golden Bulls weren’t prepared to compete with Bowie State, the preseason pick to win the CIAA North.

“It was a lack of execution,” Lane said. “I feel like everybody was really unfocused coming into that game. We had a bad week of practice and that carried over to Saturday. When you have that bad week of preparation, things aren’t going to go (well) for you on Saturday.”

That’s a valuable lesson the Bulls will try to put to use.

“You use it as motivation,” Lane said. You look at film, you get to see things you did wrong and places where you can get better.  When you look at it, it’s like let’s learn from it, let’s get better off it and let’s get stronger this week to prepare for Saturday.”


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