Livingstone-Fayetteville State preview
LIVINGSTONE (2-6, 1-4 CIAA) at FAYETTEVILLE ST. (3-5, 3-2)
Jeralds Stadium — Today, 1:30 p.m.
Live stats available at www.fsubroncos.com
COACHES: Livingstone — Daryl Williams’ record is 15-22, in his 4th season. Prior to joining Livingstone, Williams was an assistant at Alabama State (2001-07) and Texas Southern (2007-2011). FSU — Richard Hayes, Jr. is in his first year as a head coach. Prior to coming to Fayetteville, Hayes was defensive coordinator at Winston-Salem St. He’s used to winning, first in high school programs at Greensboro Dudley and Keenan (S.C.), and then at WSSU. Hayes got his coaching start at N.C. A&T, where he also played before graduating in 1999.
LAST WEEK: The Blue Bears gave up 30 points in the first quarter at Winston-Salem St. and went on to lose, 40-21. Livingstone played much better in the second half, but had dug too deep of a hole. The Blue Bears had three scoring drives but others were disrupted by two turnovers, nine penalties and eight WSSU sacks. Backup QB Thaddeus Bell came off the bench in the fourth quarter and threw a touchdown pass to Everette Ransom.
The Broncos defeated St. Augustine’s in Raleigh, 39-16, their third straight win after dropping the first five games of the season — so FSU is hot. The Broncos rushed for 180 yards against the Falcons, with backs Tony Credle and Stevie Green scoring two TDs each. QB Devin Knudsen completed 12 of 20 passes for 155 yards.
LAST YEAR: Livingstone won a thrilling overtime contest, 42-35, at Homecoming in Alumni Memorial Stadium. The Blue Bears led, 35-21, with 12 minutes to go in the game, but FSU’s Chris Hubert scored two TDs, the second one, a game-tying 90-yard run. Livingstone DB Kevin Williams stopped a last-second FSU drive with an interception.
In overtime, Latrell Flowers punched in a two-yard run for the go-ahead score. FSU, with its possession, advanced the ball to the LC 2-yard line. But on 1st-and-goal, the Blue Bears’ Billy Moore intercepted Derek Bryant’s pass for a dramatic victory.
Livingstone QB Drew Powell passed for 364 yards during the game.
SERIES: The two teams have met 68 times, the second most for any Livingstone opponent, after J.C. Smith (79 games). FSU leads the series, 36-25-2. The first game was in 1929, a 37-0 Livingstone win. The Broncos last won in 2014, 31-28, in overtime. So the last two times these teams have met, they’ve played OT. The two ties were in 1978 (6-6) and 1986 (21-21).
FSU had an 11-game winning streak over the Blue Bears (2004-2014). Livingstone had a seven-game winning streak in the series in 1993-1999.
WATCH FOR: Starting quarterback Xavier Longerbeam, a red-shirt freshman from Panama City, Fla., will continue to try to get the ball to two of the CIAA’s top 12 receivers. Everette Ransom is ranked seventh in the conference with 46 catches for 540 yards and two TDs. Spencer Ludin has 36 grabs for 333 yards and also has two scores.
Knudsen is the CIAA’s 11th-rated passer, completing 55 percent of his 76 passes for 427 yards and four touchdowns. FSU also uses DeMarius Davis at quarterback, and he also has 76 pass attempts for 423 yards but has thrown six interceptions.
Green is the CIAA’s third-leading rusher, averaging 114 yards per game. Last week, Livingstone faced WSSU’s Te’Vaughn Hurse, who averaged 122 yards per game, but the Blue Bears held him under 100. Livingstone’s Richardson has 518 yards in eight games, ranking him eighth in the conference.
The Broncos are ninth in the 12-team CIAA in total offense with 265 yards and 18.3 points per game. Livingstone is scoring 17.5 points per game and averaging 296 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. FSU’s defense is right behind the Blue Bears in fourth, allowing 334 yards each time out.
The Blue Bears continue to be plagued by turnovers. Livingstone has turned the ball over 23 times in eight games (11 fumbles lost, 12 interceptions). The Broncos have 15 turnovers.