Benedict hosts Virginia University of Lynchburg Saturday

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Benedict College pass defense will be put to the test once again when they take on the Virginia University of Lynchburg Dragons in a non-conference battle on Saturday at 2 p.m. in Charlie W. Johnson Stadium.

“They may have the best group of wide receivers we’ve seen this year,” said Benedict head coach Mike White. “They have good skill guys and the defense plays well. It’s going to be a tough matchup for us and we’re going to have to play well.”

The game will be streamed live here, with live stats available here. Tickets are available at the gate and are $15 for general admission.

The Dragons come into the game with a 3-2 overall record, with wins over Louisburg College, a junior college, and Brevard College, a NCAA Division III (non-scholarship) program. But last week, the Dragons stunned Fort Valley State 31-14, which got the attention of the Benedict College coaching staff and players.

“You’d like to think the guys are ready to play whoever, but I do think (seeing that score) gave us a little gas and how well they played against a team we struggled to beat two weeks ago. I do think that pours a little more gas on the fire playing these guys.”

Benedict, 3-1 overall and on a three-game winning streak, will be looking to flex its defensive muscles against the Dragons. Benedict ranks fourth in the nation in total defense (225.8 yards per game), sixth in rushing defense (67.0) and 20th in passing defense (158.8).

Against the Wildcats, the Dragons struck for a pair of big-play scores. They opened the game with a 52-yard touchdown pass. After FVSU cut the lead to 17-7 in the third quarter, the Dragons struck again with a 99-yard touchdown pass, then added a 20-yard pass in the fourth quarter to seal the win. Johnny Rembert had three touchdown receptions, while Javon Green had the 99-yard scoring reception.

VUL threw for 200 yards against Fort Valley State, close to their average for the season. But the Dragons are averaging just 39 yards rushing per game, so White knows the defense will have to be ready to stop the passing game. Last week against Central State, the Tigers intercepted five Marauder passes in their 24-14 victory.

“We hope we can continue to improve on our pass defense. That has not been a strong point of ours,” White said. “That’s definitely what they like to do, throw the football around. They get the ball to those receivers and they definitely have playmakers. We’re going to have to play good sound defense. I think the D-line and the secondary are up to the challenge.”

White said the offense will have to avoid turnovers. In Benedict’s 28-29 win over Fort Valley State in the Palmetto Capital City Classic, the Tigers had three fumbles and an interception. In their season-opening loss to Florida Tech, the Tigers had four turnovers. For the season, Benedict has given the ball away 10 times on five fumbles and five interceptions.

“We’re going to need our offense to take care of the football and not give them a short field. It’s going to have to be a total team effort to slow this team down,” White said.

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