NCCU: Rookie coaches to lock horns at Savannah State
Dwayne Foster and Earnest Wilson III have had better football seasons as assistant coaches.
Foster and Wilson are in their first campaigns as college head coaches, with Foster leading N.C. Central into Savannah State’s homecoming game today (2 p.m., NCCUEaglePride.com).
NCCU lost its own homecoming game last weekend to Morgan State 34-22.
Wilson is aiming to give Savannah State’s alums a happier homecoming experience. But he said he’s not counting on NCCU to be vulnerable coming off two Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference losses that will make it tough for the Eagles to meet their highly anticipated goal of winning a league title.
“With our current record — and we don’t have a bunch of people — right now, we’re the ones that are vulnerable,” Wilson said.
An MEAC championship guarantees a Football Championship Subdivision playoff berth. A MEAC team with two league losses generally is out of contention for the title, so the deck is stacked against both Savannah State (1-7, 0-4 MEAC) and NCCU (3-4, 1-2 MEAC).
Wilson was Hampton’s offensive coordinator a year ago, and Foster’s primary role of coaching NCCU’s offensive linemen was expanded when he was named interim coach after Henry Frazier III was fired in preseason.
Both coaches have many years of experience as assistant coaches, and both are former college players, Foster at Delaware State and Wilson at Texas Tech.
NCCU will need to play solid football in order to keep Savannah State from getting its first MEAC win of the season, Foster said. The Tigers don’t have a very good record, but they can play, he said.
“The ball hasn’t bounced their way a ton,” Foster said. “They’ve got the ability to score some points.”
Tigers quarterback Antonio Bostick (6-1, 202) is a senior who has completed 54.5 percent of his passes this season. He’s thrown for 1,073 yards and 10 touchdowns.
But Bostick’s eight interceptions also stand out, and NCCU has some players in its secondary — particularly freshman Michael Jones (four interceptions) — who are pretty good pickoff artists.
NCCU will be looking to lock down the run against Savannah State after giving up 288 rushing yards to Morgan State
“They’re a formidable group,” Foster said of Savannah State. “It’s their homecoming, and we’ll certainly get their best from them.”