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Livingstone-FSU preview box

FAYETTEVILLE STATE (4-4, 3-2 CIAA) at LIVINGSTONE (0-8, 0-5 CIAA)

Homecoming — Alumni Memorial Stadium — Livingstone campus — Today, 1:30 p.m.

Live stats:  www.bluebearathletics.com

LAST WEEK: Livingstone lost at home to Winston-Salem State, 42-14. The game was 7-7 until late in the second quarter. Fayetteville State defeated St. Augustine’s, 34-31, when kicker David Lamb booted a 23-yard field goal with six seconds remaining.

COACHES: Livingstone — Daryl Williams’ record is 15-32, in his fifth season. He is a graduate of Tennessee State, where he was All-OVC as a quarterback. FSU — Richard Hayes is his first season as head coach of the Broncos. Prior to taking charge at FSU, Hayes served as the defensive coordinator for 2015 CIAA champion Winston-Salem State. He joined the WSSU coaching staff in 2010 as an assistant. He also has high school experience in both North and South Carolina. Hayes graduated from N.C. A&T State and played football there.

SERIES:  The Broncos lead, 39-22-3, including a 43-28 victory last season in Fayetteville. In 2015, Livingstone also played FSU for Homecoming and came away with a thrilling, 42-35 overtime victory. The game ended in celebration when Billy Moore intercepted a Broncos’ pass at the Livingstone 3-yard line. That win for the Blue Bears two years ago snapped an 11-game losing streak to FSU. The first meeting ever in this series came in 1929, a 37-0 win by Livingstone. The Blue Bears enjoyed a seven-game win streak against the Broncos in 1993-1999.

WORTH MENTIONING: The most points scored by Livingstone against FSU came in a 67-13 win in 1997. On the flip side, the Broncos beat Livingstone, 62-19, in 2004.

KEY PLAYERS: Livingstone — Senior running back Jarius Richardson, who missed two games with an ankle injury, returned on Oct. 7 in a big way with 124 yards on the ground against St. Augustine’s. The leading rusher for the past two seasons, Richardson now has 313 yards this year, again leading the team.

Sophomore running back Justin Ruffin, of Salisbury, has 300 yards and averages 43 yards per game. Ruffin also has eight catches out of the backfield for 68 yards, including a long of 22 yards.

Quarterback Xavier Longerbeam has missed two games with injuries but has thrown for 584 yards while completing 58 percent of his passes (64-for-111). He has two TD passes and three interceptions. Another QB, Thaddeus Bell, has passed for 543 yards on 65-of-116 throws. Bell has three scoring passes and four interceptions.

Everett Ransom leads the Livingstone’s receiving corps with 30 catches for 365 yards, including a 31-yard touchdown. Spencer Ludin has 26 grabs for 239 yards and one TD. Andrew Gamble has 18 catches for 246 yards and two scores while Jordan Cartwright has 17 for 116.

On defense, safety Jarod Richardson and lineman Armond Cox have 41 tackles each. Cox has 10 tackles for losses and Richardson has nine. Richardson also had a 22-yard interception return for a touchdown against St. Augustine’s.

Defensive back Elems Ukwu has 34 tackles and is tied for the team lead with two interceptions. Freshman defensive back Walter Watkins also has 24 tackles and two INTs. Gregory Hines and Kevin Williams also have two interceptions. Blake Hickman returned an interception for a touchdown last week against WSSU.

FSU — The Broncos boast a strong running game, as top back Stevie Green needs 20 yards to reach 1,000 for the season. Green rushed for 176 last Saturday against St. Augustine’s and scored twice. Donshel Jetton has chipped in with 478 yards.

The Blue Bears know Green well. He rushed for 161 yards and a TD in last year’s 43-28 win by the Broncos in Fayetteville.

FSU quarterback Richard Latimer has completed 53 percent of his passes (48-of-90) for 647 yards and four TDs. He also has four interceptions. Kane Banner and Devin Knudsen have also seen action at QB in three games.

As a team, FSU averages 31.9 points and 329 yards per game. The Broncos have allowed 35 points per game and 429 yards each time out.

Livingstone averages 14.3 points and 260 yards per game. The Blue Bears have averaged allowing 38.5 points and 384 yards per game.

NEXT WEEK: Livingstone will conclude the season at home against J.C. Smith in the annual Commemorative Classic. It’s a 1 p.m. start time. Fayetteville State travels to Winston-Salem State for its regular season finale at 1:30 p.m.

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