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Home Sports College Originally published October 06, 2013

Special Teams Mistakes Hurt Howard in Loss to North Carolina Central

Howard University Football

by Perry Green
AFRO Sports Editor

    Howard University Bison Football. (Courtesy Image)
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Junior quarterback Greg McGee threw four touchdowns and racked up 328 passing yards but Howard still fell short to North Carolina Central University (NCCU), 37-28 in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) game on Oct. 5 at Greene Stadium in Washington, D.C.

The loss came in Howard’s first home game of the season as the Bison looked to end a two-game losing skid following their win over Morehouse in the Nation’s Bowl Classic at RFK Stadium three weeks ago. But two costly special teams mistakes negated their explosive efforts on offense.

Howard kept pace with North Carolina Central early in the game. But the Bison allowed an 89-yard punt return for a touchdown just after halftime that gave NCCU a 23-14 lead in the third quarter. Not long afterwards, Howard had a field goal attempt blocked and returned 50 yards giving up another special teams touchdown, pushing NCCU's lead to 30-14.

Howard went on to score two more touchdowns in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Central’s comfortable lead.

“We did not ensure protection on the special teams,” said Howard head coach Ray Petty. “We did some good things on defense and we moved the ball and scored some points but the two special teams mistakes in the third quarter were crucial because we were never able to recover from it. We have to find a way to bounce back.”

In addition to McGhee’s stellar performance in Howard’s offensive efforts, sophomore receiver Jonathan Booker caught most of McGhee’s passes, finishing with 10 catches for 154 yards and three touchdowns.

Howard (1-4, 0-1 MEAC) will face Bethune Cookman on (4-1, 1-0 MEAC) on Oct. 12 in Washington, D.C.