After two straight weeks and wins against Coastal Athletic Association contenders, North Carolina Central head coach Trei Oliver is happy the Eagles got the most out of their non-conference schedule.
Now they’ll have a week to rest and regroup before a Thursday night showdown against Morgan State on Oct. 19 on ESPNU.
“When I put the schedule together some years back, the big thing was playing a tough non-conference schedule. We were going to be battle-tested coming into conference play,” Oliver said of the Eagles’ 34-23 victory at Elon last Saturday. “We played a really good team in a great environment. We got off to another slow start, but we settled down; the difference of the game was the middle eight minutes – the last four minutes of the first half first four minutes of the second half – I was pleased with how our guys played.”
Davius Richard passed for 171 yards and ran for 114 more, along with three rushing touchdowns and a scoring pass. Latrell Collier also had a 63-yard touchdown run for Central, now ranked No. 9 overall in all of FCS.
Oliver is fine with his team’s non-conference success, but the main objective remains to defend the MEAC and Celebration Bowl championship trophies.
“We’re 5-1 right now, but we could lose a game and be out of it. I told my associate AD, I’d rather be 0-5 and then run it off, win the next six, and win the conference,” he says. “If we get caught up in the media hype and rankings and then stub our toe, we’ll be out of it. Every week is a championship game for us. I like where we are now. We have a hungry football team, and they have something to prove.”