Livingstone-WSSU preview box
LIVINGSTONE (2-5, 1-3 CIAA) at WINSTON-SALEM ST. (5-2, 4-0)
Bowman Gray Stadium — Today, 1:30 p.m.
Live stats available at www.wssurams.com
COACHES: Livingstone — Daryl Williams’ record is 15-21, in his 4th season. Prior to joining Livingstone, Williams was an assistant at Alabama State (2001-07) and Texas Southern (2007-2011). WSSU — Kienus Boulware is in his third season and has a 20-9 mark with the Rams, including the CIAA championship last year. Boulware as an assistant at Livingstone in 1997-98, his first position after graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill.
LAST WEEK: The Blue Bears snapped a four-game losing streak by defeating Shaw, 23-12. Livingstone compiled 356 total yards, one of its better outputs of the season. The Blue Bears rushed for 193 yards, led by 117 for junior running back Jarius Richardson. Livingstone also enjoyed a wire-to-wire victory, leading 17-6 at halftime, before extending the advantage to 23-6 early in the third period. WSSU pounded St. Augustine’s, 45-10, behind speedy running back Te’Vaughn Hurse’s 114 yards rushing. The Rams had 424 yards against the Falcons and the game was really never close. Hurse’s 63-yard TD sprint in the third quarter put WSSU up, 31-3.
LAST YEAR: Livingstone suffered a heart-breaking loss to the Rams in Salisbury when Leo Manzo’s 32-yard field goal attempt went wide with 20 seconds left. WSSU’s 23-21 win came on the foot of kicker Will Johnson, who made a 25-yard FG with 6:26 remaining. Johnson had missed a 30-yarder but a penalty gave him another chance.
The Rams led 13-0 and 20-7 before Livingstone came storming back behind QB Drew Powell’s passing and running. Powell and Richardson led the Blue Bears on a 17-play, 57-yard drive to set up the possible winning kick, but it was not to be.
SERIES: WSSU leads, 39-11-1. The Blue Bears had a three-game winning streak against the Rams in 1996-98, when Livingstone had teams that went 8-2, 8-2 and 7-3, respectively. The tie was in 1995 (17-17). The first game was in 1941, a 12-6 Rams’ win. The teams did not play in 2006-09, during the four years when WSSU played at the NCAA Division I level.
WATCH FOR: Starting quarterback Xavier Longerbeam, a red-shirt freshman from Panama City, Fla., completed 17 of 28 passes against Shaw for 163 yards and two touchdowns. It was his fourth straight start and Longerbeam is getting more comfortable each time out. WSSU QB Rod Tinsley completes just 54 percent of his passes and has thrown the same amount of TDs as interceptions — five.
WSSU has the CIAA’s leading rusher in Hurse, who averages 122 yards per game. After missing the Rams’ opener, Hurse has 733 yards in six games. Livingstone’s Richardson has 509 yards in seven games.
Linebacker Kyrell Williamson, from A.L. Brown High, will see action for WSSU.
The Rams are fourth in the 12-team CIAA in total offense with 370 yards and 29 points per game. Livingstone is scoring 17 points per game and averaging 300 yards per game, eighth-best in the conference.
Livingstone’s defense is ranked third in the CIAA, allowing 325 yards of total offense per game. WSSU’s defense is ranked fifth, allowing 331 yards each time out.
WSSU is among the CIAA’s least penalized teams. The Rams have been flagged just 6.7 times per game, compared to 9.3 penalties per game for the Blue Bears.