COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Benedict College Tigers return home to take on the Central State Marauders on Saturday
evening. And while the Marauders come into the game with a 0-4 record, Benedict head coach Mike White
is expecting a tough game.
Central State comes into the game ranked 95th in the nation in passing yards per game, throwing for an average of 203 yards per game. That has proven to be a weak spot for the Benedict defense this season, giving up an average of 233 yards per game, which ranks near the bottom of the SIAC. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. in Charlie W. Johnson Stadium. The game will air on WXLC Kiss 103.1 FM and a web video stream is available for viewing.
“They are a very explosive offense, they put up a lot of numbers. They can throw the ball, they can run the ball. They’re a very wide-open offense with a very good quarterback. We’re going to have our hands full with their offense,” Benedict head coach Mike Whitesaid.
The Tigers are coming off a heartbreaking 31-28 double overtime loss on the road at Fort Valley State last week. The Tigers gave up 358 yards passing to the Wildcats last week, including a pair of long first-half touchdowns that gave Fort Valley a 21-0 halftime lead.
White said the Tigers have been working on improving their pass defense and getting healthier in the secondary. He said Benedict’s starting two cornerbacks have been battling injuries this season, but are now on the mend.
“I’m hoping this week they’re feeling better and hoping we play a lot better,” White said. “Defensively, we need them to play well for us to be a good football team. We know our cornerbacks are better than that and our safeties are better than what they’re playing. We’ve had those conversations since then and I expect them to play better this Saturday.”
The Tigers, on the other hand, are hoping to exploit Central State’s defense, which ranks near the bottom of NCAA Division II schools, giving up an average of 478 yards per game.
“They’ve given up a lot of yardage, given up a lot of points. I hope our offense can take advantage of them, especially early in the game and get us on the board early,” White said.
Benedict erupted for 374 yards of total offense in last year’s meeting in Ohio, their second-highest output of the season. George Myers Jr. set a modern era school record with 235 yards on just 13 carries.
“He had some big runs in that game. He must have had three or four huge runs in that game. Really, if you look at the game last year, even though we beat them pretty soundly, we had a couple of defensive touchdowns. I don’t think the total yards between the two teams was even 10 yards,” White said. Benedict had 374 yards but gave up 367 to the Marauders.
“So, for us again, and I’ve talked to the team about it, it is about us,” White said. “We’ve got to execute offensively and defensively. We can’t go into the game making those same mistakes. So we’re going to work on the things we didn’t do well — pass defense and tackling. We’re going to work on the things we didn’t do well offensively — catching the ball and driving with our feet and staying with our blocks, and trying to kick that back out and get him on the run so we can execute a little better.”
The Tigers also get to return home, where they are 2-0 so far this season.
“It’s always good to play here at your home stadium. One of our goals coming in was to make it tough for any team that comes in here and let them know it’s going to be a tough day here,” White said.