Aggies begin title defense by Jarod Hamilton

Quarterback+Lamar+Raynard+%28%237%29+on+the+carry.+Photo+by+Jonathan+Bryant
Quarterback Lamar Raynard (#7) on the carry. Photo by Jonathan Bryant

Quarterback Lamar Raynard (#7) on the carry. Photo by Jonathan Bryant

Quarterback Lamar Raynard (#7) on the carry. Photo by Jonathan Bryant


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With the 2018 college football season looming we will recap and preview the upcoming season for the reigning and defending National Champions, our N.C. A&T State University Aggies football team.

In Rod Broadway’s final season, as the Aggies head coach, the team finished undefeated and had their first perfect season since 1943. He led the Aggies to two National Championships (2015 and 2017) and retired after winning his fifth National Championship with his third team in 14 years as a head coach.

With an average margin of victory of almost 23 points the Aggies look to dominate this season just as they did last season.

Aside from Coach Broadway’s departure, there were some key members on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball who departed as well.

Offensively the team is without; All-MEAC center Darriel Mack, stud wide receiver Khris Gardin, and former All-American offensive tackle Brandon Parker whom was drafted 65th overall by the Oakland Raiders.

Despite losing these key players the team does enjoy the luxury of having the MEAC Offensive Player of the Year quarterback Lamar Raynard, set to return this season. Raynard, who is on the Walter Payton Award watch list for best FCS player, threw for 2,932 yards and produced 31 total touchdowns.

Starting running back Marquell Cartwright will be returning for his senior season after rushing for 1,190 yards and 14 touchdowns.

On the defensive side of the ball the team is without; All-MEAC linebackers Jeremy Taylor and Marcus Albert.

In spite of losing these key players the defense has eight starters returning, along with first-team preseason All-MEAC defensive back Mac McCain. McCain racked up 15.5 tackles for loss and had 6.5 sacks last season.

The team has recruited 15 new players, but, perhaps, the biggest offseason moves this season will be new head coach Sam Washington. Washington will be replacing the aforementioned coach Rod Broadway.

While Washington does have big shoes to fill, being the leading man for the Aggies, he was the team’s defensive coordinator from 2011 up until his promotion this season. Washington looks to continue the trend of complementing a balanced offensive passing and rushing attack, with a stout defense.

The first game of the season will be the FCS Kickoff held in Birmingham, Alabama in a neutral site against No. 6 ranked Jacksonville State University Gamecocks on Saturday, August 25th. The Aggies last played the Gamecocks in 1995 and will be looking for their first win in school history against them in three tries.

Aside from the Gamecocks and East Carolina University Pirates the Aggies defeated every team on their current 2018 schedule last season. The showdown between the Aggies and Pirates will be an away game for the Aggies and will take place in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in Greenville, NC.

The Aggies start their three game home stand on September 8th, versus Gardner-Webb, who they defeated last season 45-3 in a dominating fashion.

By seasons’ end the Aggies should be contending for their third National Championship in four years. A tall task this season for the Aggies and it will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

 

 

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