NCCU vs. S.C. State
The last time South Carolina State came to Durham for an ESPNU game in 2013, the Bulldogs won 44-3. But the Eagles won the last meeting in 2014 48-35 in Orangeburg. NCCU is looking to keep its 15 game conference streak and nine home game win streak going tonight. It's going to be a long night with all these TV commercials.
Bulldogs get the ball first. Going into a no-huddle offense to start. SCSU driving on its first possession. At Eagles 30. Bulldogs have several players with the same numbers. Instead of changing numbers, the stats people have to add a 0 to the number. Fumble by Bulldogs, Davanta Reynolds picks it up and rumbles 85 yards for TD. 7-0 Eagles with 10:14 left in first quarter. First NCCU defensive TD of the year.
Turnovers are killers! Eagles defense is fired up now. SCSU QB Dewann Ford Jr. almost had an interception on a deflection but just out of reach. Bulldogs forced to punt. TD has changed the mood of the game.
And NCCU returns the favor after roughing the kicker, which is a 15-yarder. Bill Hamilton, SCSU's SID, said they don't have another punter as their punter Cliff Benjamin Jr. is helped off the field. Someone said their wife watched it on ESPNU and it looks like his ankle is bad.
Wow, Ford is sacked by Alden McClellon who almost drove him through the turf. 4:21 left in first quarter.
OK, Jabari Nelson hits the SCSU returner before the ball got there. A big, hard hit. Penalty on Eagles. Nelson was called for targeting and has been ejected. Bulldogs take over at NCCU 35. Touchdown Bulldogs! Ford hits Kendall Cobb for 20-yard TD. And we're tied at 7 with 22 seconds left.
End of first quarter and still tied at 7.
Bulldogs playing inspired ball. Blocks NCCU punt and recovers at 21. We have a game here folks.
Ford hits Quan Caldwell who runs to the NCCU 5. First down. Touchdown Bulldogs. Ford runs it in from the 9. 11:47 left in half. A member of the SCSU media in the press box just said the score should be 21-0, and he's right. Bulldogs have really dominated the game so far. Turnovers are killers; how may times can I say it.
NCCU QB Michael Zanders is holding his left arm/shoulder. I think we'll be seeing Chauncey Caldwell soon. Eagles yet to earn a first down in the game.
Eagles are self-destructing. Two roughing the QB penalties have kept Bulldogs drive alive. The second one was a third down. Coach Jerry Mack is not happy. Would not want to be in the locker room at halftime.
Touchdown Bulldogs. Ford to Caldwell second connection of the night. 21-7 with 8:46 left in half.
As expected, Caldwell is in the game. RB Isaiah Totten just broke for a 22-yard run. Caldwell gives Eagles just their second first down of the game with 6:08 left. Eagles looked rejuvenated.
Now it's SCSU's time to make mistakes. Personal foul on Caldwell as he was going out of bounds. Eagles at SCSU 23 with 4:09 left.
Touchdown Eagles! Caldwell hits Jordan Fieulleteau for a TD on a 9 play, 76-yard drive. 21-14 with 2:48 left. It's already 8:49 at night and the first half is still going.
Halftime: 21-14 SCSU leads. And it's 9 p.m. At least it's a good game.
Neither team has 200 offensive yards. NCCU has 81 yards in penalties, most of them stupid ones that helped SCSU score.
NCCU forced to punt on first possession of third quarter. Now it's Bulldogs time to do something silly by roughing the kicker. Ball at NCCU 37. Eagles back at it. Bet they score this time.
Caldwell has two straight carries. Ball at 18. He has completely changed the game. I feel so old. I covered him in JV at Hillside.
Eagles forced to kick a 35-yard field goal. And it's GOOD! 21-17 Bulldogs lead with 9:51 left in third. Again I'll say it: turnovers are killers.
So NCCU's Ja'Quan Smith is being helped off the field with an injury and the Sound Machine breaks out with a song. Everybody knows you don't play when a player is being helped off the field. HBCU bands, it's all about them. Geez!
You can sense a shift in momentum on the Eagles side. NCCU has the ball again in Bulldogs territory at 38. Everybody in the booth is talking about Caldwell's performance so far. Still Eagles forced to punt.
Fumble by Bulldogs. Randy Anyanwu forced the fumble and recovered by Antonio Brown at SCSU 25. 5:36 left in third. Turnovers are killers!
Eagles can't get in the end zone but hit another FG, this one a 41-yarder to trail by 1 with 4:06 left in the third.
After several 3-andouts, Bulldogs driving. Helped by a personal foul penalty, SCSU at NCCU 15. Touchdown Bulldogs Ford runs it in from 9 yards. 7 plays, 76 yards, 3:50, SCSU leads 28-20 with 5 seconds left.
End of third quarter. Defenses were the star of the show in the third. Here we go.
Caldwell is taking over the Eagles offense with his legs. Back-to-back third down conversions on the run. Eagles at SCSU 44 with 12:36 left.
Eagles go for it at fourth-and 2 at SCSU 36. Just made it on Caldwell's run. You can tell the Bulldogs defensive line is spent. He's running them ragged. Caldwell comes out and Naiil Ramadan comes in. Eagles first down at 19. Will Mack go for two if they score.
Touchdown Eagles! Ramadan to Jacen Murphy in 14 play, 70-yard drive. 8:10 left. Going for two. Time out. Ramadan stopped by a vicious hit that should make ESPN's Top 10. 28-26 with 8:10 left in game.
Eagles hold on defense. Should get ball in good field position. And they do. At SCSU 39 with 6:15. Only a FG is needed for the win.
Touchdown Eagles! Caldwell hits Josh McCoy over the middle wide open. I could have run that play. 38-yard TD. 33-28 with 5:24 left. Some comeback by the Eagles. If this score holds, SCSU will bemoan that fumble for a TD at the Eagles 15. Score could be 40-21 right now.
Bulldogs begin drive at own 20 with 5:20 left. Eagles defense fired up.
SCSU are 3-and-out. Ford is getting rushed on every pass. 4:22 left.
Bulldogs defense holds. Get the ball one last time with 2:28 left and at the NCCU 21.
First down: Reggie Hunter knocks down Ford's pass.
Second down: 9 to 18 for a 7-yard loss.
Third down: Ford stopped at line of scrimmage
Fourth down: Bulldogs come up 3 yards short.
Game over with 20 seconds left. NCCU's conference streak extends to 16 and home streak to 10.