Celebration Bowl Matchups Within: A&T's O vs Alcorn's D
Now we will go into the intriguing matchup between the Aggie Offense versus the Alcorn State Defense. This will be the polar opposite of what the other offensive and defensive clash is. North Carolina A&T is the epitome of ground “chuck”. Led by Running back Jah-Maine Martin the total rushing attack has an eye-popping 2,654 yards. Martin has accounted for 1,336 yards on the ground, averaging 121 yards a game. This rushing attack will run out of nearly any formation; I, jet sweeps, and spread. Accompanying him in the rushing total is the signal caller, Kylil Carter, with 483 yards. This is not by accident as the Aggie Offense will design runs for Carter, who looks more like a fullback with his 5’10, 225-pound frame.
Looking at film, during the Bethune-Cookman game, the Aggies only threw three passes in the first half, but still amassed 47 points in the win. As a team, A&T has thrown for 2,134 yards……literally. Wide Receiver Elijah Bell is still the teams’ leading receiver, but his touchdown numbers are not the same considering the change at QB and offensive philosophy. All three quarterbacks have played and depending on offensive strategy the offensive brain trust will bring in Jalen Fowler, who is more of a passing threat. Carter is not the passer former Quarterback Lamar Raynard was, as he is only completing 53% of his passes. Accuracy has also come into question when it comes Carter, who has struggled in the deep passing game. Nonetheless, Carter continues to be the general that leads the Aggie Attack.
Alcorn State has a stingy, opportunistic defense. They are a slightly undersized unit, but are feisty, and have a knack for getting to the football. They are led by Linebacker Solomon Muhammad, who has 81 tackles on the year. He is relentless to the football and is a threat to intercept passes as well. Schematically, they rely on pressure from any and every angle. Getting pass rush with just the front four does not happen on a regular basis so this defense will bring Corners, Safeties, and Linebackers.
The Front Four for the Braves is solid, but not spectacular, as they have given up major yards in the running game. Quarterbacks also have the opportunity to run if they so choose, but the secondary is probably its most outstanding unit. The entire defense has 21 interceptions. They are led by Defensive Backs Qwynnterrio Cole and Taurence Wilson, with five and four respectively. This defense takes every opportunity to take away the ball from opponents. The coverage is set up to sit on the short and intermediate routes, interrupting the short passing game. The question for this contest is whether or not this defense can stop the power running game of A&T. Some may call it “boring” but it has always been effective. We will see on Saturday.