Sports With Walter Moore

Countdown To SSU Football 2017

Savannah State is just a few days away from their first game of the season. This article will provide readers with a breakdown of the Tigers weekly opponents. Only four of the opponents had winning records last season.

September 9 at Appalachian State

This is the second meeting between the Mountaineers and SSU. In their only meeting in 2011, ASU won 41- 6. App State went 10-3 last

season and beat Toledo in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl. The Mountaineers, who are picked to win the Sun Belt this season, return 2016 Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year running back Jalin Moore. The junior is a preseason candidate for the Doak Walker Award and the Maxwell Award after running for over 1,400 yards and 10 touchdowns a year ago.

September 16 at Montana

This is the first meeting between the schools. The Grizzlies were 6-5 last year and missed the playoffs for only the third time in the past 24 years. Montana was picked to finish sixth of 13 teams in

the Big Sky this year. David Reese (6-7, 298) returns to anchor the offensive line.

September 23 Florida A&M

The Rattlers slipped past SSU 19-14 last year and finished the year with a 4-7 record. FAMU leads the series 8-1 with the Tigers lone win coming in 2015. Senior wide receiver Brandon Norwood will lead the offense.

September 30 at Bethune- Cookman

SSU defeated the Wildcats 16-10 in overtime a year ago. It was the Tigers first

win in the series, that dates back to 1925, since 1992. B-CU leads the overall series 38-9-2. Bethune was a disappointing 4-6 last season under Jesup native Terry Sims. Larry Brihm is back at quarterback for the Wildcats.

October 7 Hampton (Homecoming)

In seven tries, the Tigers have never defeated Hampton. Last year, SSU got close before falling 28-24. The Pirates were 5-6 last season. Running back Yahkee Johnson returns to power the HU running attack.

October 14 at

Morgan State

SSU is also winless against Morgan State. The Bears hold a 9-0 edge over Savannah State and won the 2016 match up 35-24. MSU was 3-8 last year. Morgan State is counting on running back Herb Walker to lead the offense and lineman Jai Franklin to anchor the defenders.

October 21 at Charleston Southern

The teams have not met since 2009, a 47-10 win by CSU. The Bucs lead the overall series 6-0. Along with Kennesaw State, CSU was tabbed as the preseason favorites to win the Big South this season. The Bucs are coming off back-to-back Big South titles and return 16 starters from a 2016 squad that went 7-4 and beat three ranked teams en route to a second consecutive playoff appearance. 2016 Big South Defensive Player of the Year Anthony Ellis (6- 1, 245) returns to anchor the defensive line.

October 28 at Norfolk State

Savannah State surprised the Spartans with a 31-14 victory last year at home. It was just the second victory in the series with NSU leads10-2. Norfolk State posted a 4-7 record last season. Tight end Demetrius Ferebee, defensive lineman Chris Lee and linebacker Kyle Archie are the top returnees.

November 4 Delaware State

The teams have not met since 2014 but the Hornets have stung SSU each time in the past, holding a 4-0 edge in the series. In the last meeting, DSU won 35-10. The Hornets were picked to finish last in the preseason poll. Joshua Fala and Cade Pedro are solid offensive linemen while running backs Mike Waters and Brycen Alleyne and receiver Mason Rutherford lead the skill position players. Linebackers Malik Harris and Brian Cavicante return for the defense as well as defensive back Keyjuan Selby.

November 11 at North Carolina A&T

This will be the third meeting between the teams but

A&T has outscored the Tigers by a combined score of 75-14 in their previous matchups in 2013 and 2014. The Aggies were 9-3 last season and played Richmond in the first round of the FCS playoffs. The Aggies had ten players selected to the conference preseason team. Lamar Raynard returns at quarterback and his top targets will be wideout Elijah Bell and tight end Leroy Hill. Darriel Mack and Brandon Parker will provide protection on the offensive line.

November18 South Carolina State

Since 1915, Savannah State has had a hard time containing the Bulldogs. Last year was no different with SCSU walking away with a 32-0 win. The Bulldogs finished the season with a 5-6 record. SC State leads the series 18- 1. Savannah State’s lone win came in 2001, a 14-9 shocker. Darius Leonard, the MEAC preseason Defensive Player of the Year is back at linebacker for the Bulldogs.

Bethune Coach Receives Contract Extension

Bethune-Cookman University Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Lynn W. Thompson recently announced that women’s head basketball coach Vanessa Blair-Lewis has been rewarded a contract extension after leading the Wildcats to consecutive Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) regular-season championships. Blair-Lewis’ new deal runs through 2021, guaranteeing that she will remain in Daytona Beach at the helm of the Wildcats women’s hoops program the next five years. In her ninth season at the helm of the Wildcats women’s program, Blair-Lewis led the Maroon and Gold to a 21-11 overall record – the program’s highest win total since the 1984-85 team went 21-5 – and picking up a program-best 15-1 mark in league play. The Cats advanced to the MEAC Tournament championship game for the first time since 1992 and made a second consecutive WNIT appearance. She was named the BoxToRow National Co-Coach of the Year and was a finalist for 2017 HBCU Awards Female Coach of the Year presented by HBCU Digest.

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