|Wilson leads potent J.C. Smith ground attack against Lincoln|
|Golden Bulls look for first CIAA win|
|Published Friday, October 4, 2019 11:40 pm|
|PHOTO | ORALIA WASHINGTON|
|Johnson C. Smith running back Emanuel Wilson, whose 614 yards rushing is third in Division II, sparks the Golden Bulls’ offense. JCSU (1-3, 0-1 CIAA) plays Lincoln (0-4, 0-1) Saturday at McGirt Field.|
Emanuel Wilson is no secret.
The Johnson C. Smith redshirt freshman is one of the nation’s top rushers and the engine to the Golden Bulls’ offense with 614 yards after four games. Although JCSU is 1-3 going into Saturday’s CIAA game against Lincoln (Pa.) at McGirt Field, the Golden Bulls have the means to compete on offense.
“I just want to thank my (offensive) line, because without them, I wouldn’t be able to do it,” Wilson said after rushing for a school record 265 yards and three scores on 12 carries in a Sept. 14 win against Benedict.
Expect JCSU (0-1 CIAA) to ride Wilson, a North Mecklenburg High graduate, as long as possible, perhaps even to the school’s single-season rushing record of 1,299 yards set by Tyrone Corlew in 1992. In addition to the single-game yardage mark, Wilson is also the first Golden Bull to rush for 100 yards in three straight games.
The theory behind running the ball is simple. As long as JCSU has the ball, opponents can’t score. Lincoln, which is 11th in CIAA scoring defense at 50.3 points per game and 10th in rush defense at 198.8 yards, will likely get a large dose of Wilson.
“Most of our effort is going to be on our run game,” JCSU coach Kermit Blount said recently. “That’s not to say we won’t throw the ball. We can and we certainly have capable quarterbacks to do so and receivers to catch it, but if you can’t run the football, you’re not going to be a very good football team.”
Lincoln (0-4, 0-1) will try to assert its passing attack, which averages 189.5 yards a game, as a counter against a Golden Bulls defense that’s dead last in CIAA pass defense.
The rushing attack. It starts up front with a line where only one senior starter – left tackle Alvin Brown – is creating holes for Wilson to run through. And run he has, racking up the third-most yards in Division II, and six touchdowns on 72 carries.
To put it bluntly, JCSU has never had this kind of productivity from a running back in its history, which dates to 1892.
The defense is still giving up way too many points (34.3) and yards (381.8) per game. All four opponents have scored at least 31 points, which explains at least in part the 1-3 record.
Ball security is another problem area. JCSU has turned the ball over nine times, including seven fumbles lost. That needs fixing, especially since the defense hasn’t been particularly stout when facing sudden changes in possession.
HOME RUN THREAT
Wilson is the focus of JCSU’s offense, but keep an eye on Damon Rice, a receiver/kick returner who can go the distance any time he touches the ball.
Rice, a freshman, has three scores, with a pair on kick returns and another on a 90-yard run.
JCSU is 0-1 on campus with a season-opening 42-6 loss to Wingate.
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