Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl
Who: Alcorn State vs. North Carolina A&T
Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia
Time: 11 a.m.
Last meeting: Alcorn State, 16-13 on Sept. 11, 2004.
ALCORN STATE BRAVES
Season record: 9-3
Best win: Alcorn State’s 49-21 victory against previously Grambling State, which went into the game 9-0 in conference play in the SWAC Championship Game on Dec. 5 secured the school’s second straight conference title. Another impressive win was the Braves’ 48-7 win at Southern on Oct. 31. Lenorris Footman threw two touchdowns and rushed for four more as he piled up 345 yards of total offense in place of injured started John Gibbs Jr.
Worst loss: Alcorn State blew a pair of 14-point leads and missed a potential game-tying extra point in a 35-34 overtime loss to Grambling State on Oct. 17.
Running back Darryan Ragsdale: He rushed for 191 yards and one touchdown in the SWAC Championship Game. For the season, Ragsdale totaled 1,144 yards on the ground and eight touchdowns.
Quarterback Lenorris Footman: Since replacing John Gibbs Jr., he has posted a 5-1 record in six regular season starts. Footman has rushed for 961 yards and 11 TDs while throwing for 962 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Defensive back Warren Gatewood: He had three interceptions, including an interception for a touchdown that earned him defensive MVP honors in the SWAC Championship Game.
Stat to note: The Alcorn State defense has allowed just eight passing touchdowns this season.
NORTH CAROLINA A&T AGGIES
Season record: 9-2
Best win: Running back Tarik Cohen amassed 116 rushing yards and a 33-yard touchdown during a 24-14 victory over Bethune-Cookman on Oct. 17. Bethune-Cookman would finish the regular season 9-2, (7-1 MEAC) in a three-way tie for the MEAC regular season championship.
Worst loss: N.C. A&T was only able to muster 302 total yards of offense in a 21-16 loss to in-state rival North Carolina Central in the final game of the regular season that snapped an eight-game winning streak.
Running back Tarik Cohen: He rushed for 1,248 yards and 12 touchdowns during the regular season that led to him being named the MEAC Offensive Player of the Year. Cohen, a 5-foot-6, 172-pound junior, set a school record with 3,735 yards during his career.
Quarterback Kwashaun Quick: The senior has thrown for 512 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions in nine games this season coming off an Achilles injury. Quick rushed for 336 yards and four touchdowns.
Offensive lineman Brandon Parker: The 6-foot-7 lineman was named MEAC Offensive Lineman of the Year. Parker is second player in school history to win the award.
Stat to note: Return specialist Khris Gardin just needs two yards to break the FCS record for punt return yards in a season. If Gardin averages 54.7 punt return yards against Alcorn State, he also will break the NCAA return record.
Alcorn State 34, North Carolina A&T 21