Norfolk State Spartans
Location: Norfolk, VA
Coach: Latrell Scott (41-36, overall; 16-28 @ NSU), 5th Season at NSU
Stadium: William “Dick” Price Stadium (Capacity: 30,000)
2018 In A Sentence: Another year, another 4-7 year for the Spartans. This fourth consecutive 4-7 season came despite a very promising 3-1 record to start, the only loss an understandable storm-shortened loss to James Madison 17-0. The Spartans then lost the magic, losing six of their last seven games.
Biggest Shoes to Fill: WR Marcus Taylor was a key part of the Spartans’ balanced passing attack, amassing 585 yards receiving and 3 TDs.
Key Player: The only word that can describe junior QB Juwan “Pootie” Carter is “mercurial”. Suspended for one game against JMU after kicking an opposing player, he displayed flashes of brilliant talent in wins against Delaware State and Howard (a combined 7 TDs, 0 interceptions) and frustrating underachievement in losses versus Savannah State and North Carolina Central (a combined 0 TDs and 4 interceptions). If NSU is to have a winning record this year, good Pootie is going to have to make more appearances than bad Pootie.
Fearless Prediction: The Spartans brutal out-of-conference schedule featuring road games against FBS Old Dominion, FBS Coastal Carolina and Big Sky contender Montana State are brutal, especially since MEAC title contenders Florida A&M and North Carolina A&T loom directly afterwards, though the Spartans face both at home. That two game stretch will likely determine whether Norfolk State will have possible Celebration Bowl (or postseason) dreams, or whether a fifth consecutive 4-7 season could be in the offing.
Chuck has been writing about Lehigh football since the dawn of the internet, or perhaps it only seems like it. He’s executive editor of the College Sports Journal and has also written a book, The Rivalry: How Two Schools Started the Most Played College Football Series.
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