This is a non-conference, FCS matchup between the Bison of Howard University from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and the Crusaders of Holy Cross from the Patriot League. This is the season opener for both teams.
Howard University is coached by Carey Bailey (University of Tennessee, ‘92), who is in his fourth season. Holy Cross is coached by Tom Gilmore (Pennsylvania, ’86), who is in his seventh season at the helm.
This is the first meeting between the two institutions.
The game will be video streamed live over Crusader Vision for a fee of $8.95. Details on how to purchase the game can be obtained by visiting www. GoHolyCross.com. The game can also be heard over the Internet free of charge by also going to the website.
The Crusaders are the defending Patriot League champions and come into this game ranked Number 25 in both the FCS Coaches and The Sports Network polls. Holy Cross averaged 32.2 points per game last season and returns senior wide receivers Luke Chmielinski (63 receptions, 807 yards), Freddie Santana (46 receptions for 601 yards) and Bill Edger (49 receptions, 818 yards), who combined for 156 receptions and 17 TDs. Defensively, the Crusaders are led by senior linebacker Sean Lamkin, a first team FCS All American preseason selection, senior defensive end Mude Ohimor, a first team all-conference selection and senior strong safety Anthony DiMichelle, who was also a first team all-league selection.
OFFENSE HAS NEW LOOK
When the Bison line up on offense, they will have a new look. Under new offensive coordinator, Brad Bernard, Howard has installed the triple option offense. Bernard was very successful in the same capacity at Bethune-Cookman when the Wildcats ranked among the top rushing teams in the FCS. Other new additions on the offensive side of the ball include Raymond Gross, a former standout quarterback at Georgia Southern, who will coach the wide receivers, and Kenneth Ray, who will work with the offensive line.
IMPROVED UNIT UP FRONT
of the offensive line, it was one of the most inexperienced units
on the team last year. Because of injuries to some of the veteran
players, many of the younger players were thrown into the mix and
they took their lumps. But along the way, there was marked
improvement with each snap of the ball. The gained experience along
with a rigorous off-season conditioning program and thus, the line
could be the most improved unit with the return of red-shirt
sophomore Terrell Hawkins at center, red-shirt sophomore Terell
Killings and red-shirt junior Chatman Young at the guards and the
inclusion of red-shirt sophomore Davin Morris and red-shirt junior
Corey Gwinner at the tackles. There is also much more considerable
depth there, something that was missing last season.
CONTINUES TO IMPRESS
When Willie Carter burst onto the scene as a freshman, few outside of Denmark, SC knew much about him. But it did not take long for Carter to put everyone on notice that he was a forced to be reckoned with. The 6-3, 190-pound talented wide receiver caught 44 passes for 477 yards and 6TDs in the first 5 games of his freshman season. But then as fate would have it, Carter injured his knee in the sixth game against Morgan State and was forced to miss the rest of the season. Following a successful rehab program, Carter was determined to prove that his freshman season was no fluke. Not only did he lead the team in receiving with 46 receptions for 630 yards and 5 TDs last season, he emerged as a dangerous return specialist, averaging 10.0 yards per punt return and 26.0 on kick returns, including a 92-yard jaunt for a TD, the first of his career. He is a first team All-MEAC pre-season selection and a player to watch in the FCS.
MAINTAINING A TRADITION
Howard has long been known for having outstanding linebackers. But this year’s group could be the best in recent history. Leading the way is red-shirt sophomore Keith Pough, who was on his way to conference rookie of the year before suffering a knee injury in the 9th game that cut short his season. The rangy, 6-3, 235-pound native of Orangeburg, SC still managed 57 tackles, including 12.5 for losses and an interception. Red-shirt senior Jermell Ellis (6-0, 240) had his best season with 47 tackles, 3.5 for losses, red-shirt junior Patrick Jean Mary (6-2, 230) tallied 29 tackles and sophomore Anthony Whitlow (6-0, 210) had his best season with 21 tackles, 3.5 for losses and 2.5 sacks. Add to the mix, transfer Curt Mangum, II and 6-1, 239-pound sophomore transfer from the University of Washington and it has the makings of a special group in the Bison defensive scheme.
Much of the success of the Bison’s kicking game will fall on the legs of freshmen Bryan Jackson and Parker Munoz. Jackson is a 6-1, 175-pound freshman from the Southern Lab School in Baton Rouge, LA, which has a reputation for producing some fine kickers in the past. Munoz is a 6-1, 180-pound freshman from San Diego, CA, who has shown tremendous accuracy in the pre-season.
BISON REPRESENTING IN THE NFL
Howard currently has five former players who are on NFL rosters: Defensive tackle Marques Douglas (Miami Dolphins) is entering his 12th season; linebacker Tracy White (Philadelphia Eagles) is in his 9th season; cornerback Ronald Bartell, Jr. (St. Louis Rams) is in his 7th season; safety Antoine Bethea (Indianapolis Colts) is in his 6th season; and cornerback Geoff Pope (Philadelphia Eagles) is now in his 4th season. Bethea is a two-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time Super Bowl participant, including one championship.
returns home for its conference opener against rival, Hampton
University next Saturday at 1 pm in Greene Stadium.