Kentucky State University football will travel south to face off with SIAC east division member Morehouse College on Saturday at B.T. Harvey Stadium, with kickoff set for 4 pm ET.
A year ago, KSU fell on the road to MC, 14-3. The KSU offense struggled throughout having two touchdowns called back due to penalties. The defense kept the Thorobreds in the game, only allowing 57 yards of total offense in the second half, and not allowing the Marron Tigers to add to their lead with points in the final two frames.
The Thorobreds (2-2, 1-0) are coming off back-to-back wins against Kentucky Wesleyan College and Central State University, and have started off conference play with 1-0 mark for the second time in three seasons. The Maroon Tigers (2-0, 1-1) dropped their latest contest with Miles College 27-24, but share a similar SIAC victory with KSU, as they defeated CSU 35-33 on Sept. 16.
For KSU, the victory against the Marauders showcased what the offense is capable of on any given Saturday. Behind career performances by both junior quarterback Paul Campbell and sophomore running back Brett Sylve, the Thorobreds marched to 475 total yards of offense, moving the ball at will within Lucas Oil Stadium. Campbell currently ranks as the No. 5 quarterback in the SIAC, averaging 161.5 yards per game, and is No. 4 in passing yards with 646. Sylve still sits atop the conference in all-purpose yards at 219.8 yards per game and ranks as the No. 3 rusher with an average of 78.8 yards per game.
Entering Saturday’s game, MC ranks as the No. 1 defense within the SIAC, while only allowing 260.8 yards per game. One of the strengths for the Maroon Tigers has been their ability to win the battle in the trenches sacking opponents 15 times through the first four games of the season.
Over the last two weeks, the KSU offensive line has worked to adjust its lineup to protect Campbell. In the first two games of 2017, Slippery Rock University and McKendree University totaled 10 sacks against the Thorobreds front five. In week three against KWC, junior James Brace shifted to center, while junior Tommy Craig was moved to right guard. Along with the flipping of Brace and Craig, freshman Eliezer Hernandez was inserted at the starting left tackle position. After the tweaking, KSU has only allowed two sacks over the last two weeks, resulting in back-to-back wins, and back-to-back games of over 30 points on the scoreboard.
For fans making the trip to Atlanta, Georgia, tickets are still available. Those who won’t be heading south to the Peach State can follow the game via twitter @KYSUFB for live updates.
by Eric Mathews