Celebration Bowl: Alcorn State (9-3) vs. North Carolina A&T (8-3), Dec. 21, Noon (ESPN)
Line: North Carolina A&T by 3.
Series record: North Carolina A&T leads 2-1
WHAT'S AT STAKE
North Carolina A&T, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion for the third straight season, will be seeking its fourth Celebration Bowl victory in five years, and third against Alcorn State. The Southwest Athletic Conference champion Braves have reached the championship game for Historically Black Colleges and Universities twice previously, in 2015 and last year, and each time came up short against the Aggies.
Alcorn State QB Felix Harper against the Aggies' defense. Harper has thrown for 2,613 yards and 30 touchdowns with just eight interceptions this season, but will face a defense that registered 11 interceptions and 35 sacks this season. The Aggies have turned 19 forced turnovers into 69 points.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Alcorn State: WR LeCharles Pringle. The 6-foot senior has been a favorite target of Harper's, he has a school record-tying 14 touchdown receptions among his 42 catches. He was the offensive MVP of the SWAC championship game with 145 receiving yards and a touchdown.
N.C. A&T: RB Jah-Maine Martin. He's a big reason why the Aggies average better than 240 yards on the ground. He's gained 1,336 yards in just 11 games and on just 171 attempts, a 7.8 average per carry. He's also scored 21 touchdowns.
FACTS & FIGURES
Alcorn State leads all FCS teams in interceptions (21) and turnovers gained (34). ... Alums of the Braves program include former Tennessee Titans QB Steve McNair, Green Bay Packers WR Donald Driver and OL Dennis Thomas (1973), now the commissioner of the MEAC. ... Placeckicker and punter Corey McCullough owns the Braves program record with 44 career field goals. ... Harper and Martin are among four finalists for the Black College Football player of the year award. ... Nine of Martin's touchdown runs have covered 50 yards or more. ... Noel Ruiz has converted 21 of 25 field goals tries with a long of 52.
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