College Football: Livingstone vs. St. Augustine's preview
By Nick Bowton
Livingstone missed out last week on an opportunity to take sole possession of first place in the CIAA Western Division.
The Blue Bears, however, still enter their Homecoming game against St. Augustine’s today with a chance at a conference championship. Livingstone (3-4, 3-1) enters the game after a 41-20 loss to Chowan, the Hawks’ first-ever CIAA victory. St. Aug’s (2-5, 1-3) comes to Salisbury after losing 19-13 to Johnson C. Smith last week.
“I talk about winning a conference championship, and here we are with an opportunity,” Livingstone coach Lamonte Massie said. We got three real tough games. No one’s going to give us any of this. We have to fight, claw, scrape, bite, do whatever.”
More specifically, Livingstone will have to stop the run.
St. Aug’s has two players who average more than 50 rushing yards per game and two more who average more than 30. The Falcons rank fourth in the conference in rushing offense but 10th in passing, as they average just 99.4 yards per game through the air.
“It’s a mentality thing,” Massie said. “What we typically do in our scheme is we bring a safety down into the box on certain running plays. Everybody knows that. We stem our front a little bit to confuse the blocking schemes. They zone block and cut on the backside extremely well. They go to the next level too.
“So our guys, we have got to fill the box up and load it up and make them throw the ball. If we can make them throw the ball, then we’re in a great situation.”
Massie doesn’t expect the Falcons to change their offensive gameplan for Livingstone, either.
St. Aug’s, he said, has stuck with the same offensive identity since a season-opening victory at Catawba. The Falcons and Blue Bears have two common opponents thus far, as St. Aug’s beat Catawba, which then routed Livingstone, and Livingstone beat J.C. Smith, which then defeated St. Aug’s.