Nov. 7, 2013
This is it. It is, quite literally, a win-or-go-home situation. If the Broncos (6-3 overall, 5-1 CIAA) knock off Winston-Salem State (8-1, 6-0) on the road on Saturday, it is FSU which is going to the CIAA championship game against Virginia State next week. If FSU falls, its season is over.
The task is quite daunting, to be sure. In order to prevail, the Broncos must knock off last year's national runner-ups. But FSU coach Lawrence Kershaw believes, at this point of the season, history is meaningless.
"None of that matters," Kershaw said. "Only thing that matters is they're 6-0 this year, we're 5-1 this year. If we go down there and win that game, we go to the CIAA Championship. All that history, all that stuff, it doesn't matter."
Changing recent history has been a goal of Kershaw's. Thus far, it's working. Last season's two-win team seems like a distant memory. Part of that goes to the fact that, despite any struggles of the past, the expectations were not diminished.
"We don't get up at 4, 4:30 in the morning. The players don't get up at 5 o'clock in the morning and we're not at meetings at six o'clock in the morning; we're not out on that practice field at 8:30 in the morning, we're not lifting weights early in the morning to not have expectations," Kershaw said. "Our expectations are to be in the conference championship game and win the conference championship. That's what our expectations are. That's why we work so hard to achieve that.
"We told the guys, `At the end of the day, you don't get a chance to build a program for four or five years.'"
After early-season struggles and an 0-2 start, the Broncos have corrected mistakes and won six of its seven games since.
Topping the Rams could come down to limiting two top playmakers. There may not a better player in the conference this year than WSSU's sensational quarterback, Rudy Johnson. Nobody's completed a greater percentage of passes (62.8 percent) or thrown as many touchdown passes (21) in the CIAA. And nobody's had much luck getting him to make mistakes. He's thrown just four interceptions.
Offensively, the Broncos will have to account for defensive lineman Donnie Owens. Owens ranks third in the conference with eight quarterback sacks. He has five alone in the last four games.
Winston-Salem State hasn't lost a conference game in three seasons. To change that, FSU figures to need big-time production from quarterback Derek Bryant. Bryant completed 17 of 35 passes for 280 yards and a touchdown in last week's win against Livingstone. Also factoring in will be senior wide receiver Dwayne Lorick, who caught five passes for 105 yards last week. In his last three games, Lorick has hauled in 16 passes for 317 yards and three touchdowns.
"He's been playing great," Kershaw said. "He had to (initially) learn his way. ... He's been dominant."
At Wednesday's press conference, Kershaw praised his team's comeback win against Livingstone.
"We showed the will, the heart and the desire not to lose," Kershaw said.
Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem.
FSU Broncos to Host Bowie State Saturday at 1 pm
This weekend will be the 30th overall meeting between the FSU Broncos and BSU Bulldogs. FSU leads...
Missed Opportunities Cost FSU Broncos in 40-47 ...
FSU had three opportunities to tie the game. The first fell incomplete before VUU called a...
FSU Broncos Trio of Smith, Green and Peele...
Kick returner Brandon Smith will return to the P.O.W. list for the second time this season....
Stevie Green Scrambles 250 yards in FSU Broncos...
Stevie Green (Washington, NC) was named the 20th Down East Viking Football Classic Most Valuable ...
Coach Hayes Preview of Upcoming FSU-ECSU Matchup
Fayetteville State Broncos Head Football Coach Richard Hayes discusses the previous week's game...
FSUBroncos.com interviews Assistant Coach Chip ...
Assistant Football Coach Chip Vaughn sits with FSUBroncos.com host Brian Barber to discuss his...
De La Rosa nabs a Pick-6 as Fayetteville State ...
Fayetteville State’s drops home-opener 31-21 to Wingate University
Fayetteville State Wins First Season-opener...
The Broncos will celebrate a long sought after victory after defeating Chowan University 24-21.