The Eagles smother Howard's running back on the field. Photo by Darryl Bazemore/Echo Sports Editor

Eagles, Aggies prep for battle

November 17, 2016

The Eagles, undefeated in conference play, face their toughest competition as they host the North Carolina A&T Aggies on Nov. 19.  The winner of the match will claim the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title.

The rival matchup will be the 88th between the 20th-ranked Eagles and the 9th-ranked Aggies (9-1, 7-0 MEAC).

“This is school history, just the possibility being able to beat A&T three times in a row means a lot,” said senior quarterback Malcom Bell.

Malcom Bell had 223 yards on Nov. 12 against Howard University. This moved him to second on NCCU’s career passing list with 5,916 yards. Bell became second in the school’s career leaders with 7,258 yards of total offense thanks to his performance against the Bison.

Bell’s 122 rushing yards versus Howard were the most by an NCCU quarterback since 1999.

“We’re going to face a very talented lineup coming up; so we have to be ready and understand how important is to execute at a high level,” NCCU football Head Coach Jerry Mack said during a press conference after the Howard game.

“It is very important that we take the next seven days very seriously to refine our play since it all matters next Saturday.”

Offense played a key part in helping the Eagles to a victory over Howard. Wide receiver David Miller had three grabs for 36 yards, including a diving catch in the end zone.

“This win is just another step in winning the national championship, we have been waiting for this rematch since last year,” said Miller.

Last year around November, the Eagles won the Aggie-Eagle Classic, but they tied with N.C. A&T for the National MEAC Championship.

Both universities had to share the title last year. If they win Nov. 19, they’ll remain undefeated in the conference play and will be sole champions.

“Coach told me last year when we beat A&T and tied for the championship that he wanted us to win it out right next year.

So I took it upon myself and the defense to make sure we are ready for anything, next Saturday,” said red shirt senior linebacker LeGrande Harley.

Telling players not to jump ahead and focus on each game day by day, Mack is trying to prepare the teams for its showdown with the Aggies.

He said he hopes his team can make improvements, before the matchup.

“Every week presents a different challenge, and finally it all leads up to this final challenge where our guys have put it all on the line,” said Mack.

The Aggie-Eagle Classic is set for Saturday, Nov. 19 at NCCU’S O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium at 2 p.m.

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