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After loss to Richmond, Aggies now face Hampton

By Semaj Marsh, Peacemaker Sports / October 26, 2023

A&T freshman quarterback Kevin White (#10) breaks free for a 50-yard gain against Richmond.
White finished with 10 carries for 79-yards. He was just 8-of-14 in passing for 37 yards and threw
two interceptions. Photo by Joe Daniels/ Carolina Peacemaker.

The angst inside Truist Stadium was palpable even before the final seconds ticked off the clock during A&T’s 33-10 loss to Richmond last week.

Once again, the Aggies had a strong defensive showing – allowing just 13 offensive points and limiting the Spiders to 3-of-13 attempts on third down – but were again stymied by an anemic offense.

This time A&T was able to generate just 37 yards passing and suffered three interceptions – including two that were returned for Richmond touchdowns.

It was the same sad song that’s been playing on a constant loop for the entire 2023 season.

“Anytime you turn the ball over four times you’re probably not going to win the football game,” said A&T head coach Vincent Brown at his weekly press conference this Monday. “We stress all the time offensively – ball security; protect the football. We actually talk about ‘what’s the most important thing in football?’ It’s the ball. And we were too reckless with the ball on Saturday.”

The Aggies (1-6 overall, 0-4 in the CAA) will be looking to find some new sheet music this weekend when they travel back to the Tidewater area of Virginia to face former MEAC rival Hampton, in what will be the Pirates’ homecoming. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.

Hampton (3-4 overall, 1-3 in the CAA) enters the contest on a three-game losing streak after consecutive conference losses to Campbell (27-30), Monmouth (10-61) and 7th ranked Delaware (3-47).

The Pirates are led by the CAA’s second leading rusher Elijah Burris, who currently has 567 yards and two touchdowns. But like A&T, the Pirates have been plagued by an inconsistent passing attack. Redshirt junior quarterback and Greensboro native Chris Zellous was injured in the loss to Monmouth two weeks ago and his status against A&T is still unknown.

“They have some really talented players,” said Brown. “They can run the football and [Zellous] is a local kid with a very strong arm who’s talented and tough to bring down.”

The last time the Aggies made the trek up I-64 resulted in their lone win of the season – a thrilling 28-26 victory over Norfolk State on September 30.

That game was the coming out party for true freshman quarterback and Newport News native Kevin White Jr. He exploded for two long touchdown runs of 65 and 40 yards, helping the Aggies enjoy their best offensive production of the year.

However since that victory, White has come back down to earth passing-wise and struggled with his accuracy and ability to protect the football. He’s now averaging just 46.0 yards through the air and has committed five turnovers in four games.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Eli Brickhandler came in late this past Saturday replace White in the Richmond loss and proceeded to throw a pick six on his first play from scrimmage. It was indicative of the struggles experienced by every A&T quarterback that’s seen action this season.

Through seven games the A&T offense has still not produced a passing touchdown this season or had a quarterback throw for more than 100 yards in a contest.

Brown knows the Aggies must improve rapidly on offense if they hope to get back into the win column, but he’s confident that their toughest opponents on the schedule are now in the rearview mirror.

“Do we have a way to go offensively? Absolutely. We’re nowhere close to where we need to be. But as I shared with our staff, if you look at our schedule – no one in the conference has played a tougher slate of conference games than we have. We’ve played the top four teams in the CAA.”




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