Norfolk State football looks to stretch win streak to 4, hosts VUL for homecoming

Juwan Carter Norfolk State football.png
Posted at 8:20 AM, Oct 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-16 08:20:50-04

NORFOLK, Va. ( - The Norfolk State football team (3-2) looks for its first four-game winning streak in 10 years when the Spartans face Virginia University of Lynchburg (0-6) for Homecoming this week. Kickoff is at 2 p.m. at Dick Price Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+ and Blazin' Hot 91.1 FM.

• NSU had last week off following its third win in a row, a thrilling 47-44 overtime triumph at Hampton on Oct. 2.
Juwan Carter threw two touchdown passes and ran for a career-high three more, including the game-winning 1-yarder in OT to propel the Spartans to victory in the first Battle of the Bay since 2017.
• Carter accounted for 386 yards of total offense - 294 passing and a career-high 92 rushing.
Justin Smith caught five passes for a career-best 144 yards and a score, while the Spartan defense forced a season-best four turnovers - two on interceptions by Justin Toler.

• This marks the first meeting between NSU and Virginia University of Lynchburg.
• The Dragons compete as members of the National Christian College Athletic Association.

NSU has won three games in a row, a feat it also accomplished in 2019. The Spartans haven't won four straight since the MEAC championship season of 2011, though those wins have since been vacated. Officially, the last time a Spartan team won at least four straight was in 2007, when NSU won five games in a row en route to a MEAC runner-up finish.

• NSU rushed for more than 300 yards in back-to-back games for the first time since the last two games of the 2010 season.
• The Spartans ran for 322 yards against ECSU and a season-high 323 at St. Francis.
• NSU currently leads the MEAC and ranks 13th in the FCS with 227.0 rushing yards per game.
• Six Spartans rank in the top 10 in the MEAC in rushing, with J.J. Davis ranking second with 74.2 ypg.

NSU has dominated the MEAC weekly football awards following its last four games, winning a combined 11 for performances against Wake Forest, Elizabeth City State, St. Francis and Hampton.
• NSU quarterback Juwan Carter was named the MEAC Offensive Player of the Week after the Wake, ECSU and Hampton games, throwing for a combined nine touchdowns in the three games (five vs. ECSU, a career high).
• LG Jalen Powell (Wake), C Colby Byrd (ECSU) and RG Justin Redd (SFU, Hampton) won four consecutive Offensive Lineman of the Week awards, a streak only broken because NSU had a bye last week.
• RB J.J. Davis was named MEAC Rookie of the Week twice: after rushing eight times for 121 yards and two touchdowns (including a 72-yarder) vs. ECSU, and rushing 14 times for 93 yards vs. SFU.
• DL Chris Myers was tabbed Defensive Player of the Week after the ECSU win after registering two of NSU's eight sacks and helping hold the Vikings to negative-49 rushing yards.
• DB Justin Toler was selected Co-Defensive Player of the Week after notching two interceptions at HU.

• Virginia Lynchburg fell to 0-6 with a 56-6 loss at Delaware State last Saturday. The game was scoreless after one quarter, but the Hornets scored 42 points in the second quarter en route to the victory.
• VUL amassed 172 total yards in defeat, about one-third of which came on a 59-yard TD pass from Darrius Sample to Joshua Gray.
• VUL has also faced U.Va. Wise, Mars Hill, Virginia Union, Duquesne and Erskine this year. The Dragons have games remaining vs. Tennessee Tech and Howard.

• Senior receiver Justin Smith is climbing NSU's career statistical charts. Smith is 52 receiving yards away from cracking the top 10 in that category. He has 1,390 in his career, good for 12th, just behind Robert Powell (1,394) and Gary Morris (1,441).
• With 13 career TD receptions, Smith is tied with Chris Bell, Delvin Peeks and Marty Connor for 10th in school annals, one behind Isaac White and Leonard Hopkins, who are tied for eighth with 14.

NSU's most recent football season was a record-setting one on the offensive side of the ball for the Spartans (see below), and the Spartans are picking up right where they left off. NSU currently leads the MEAC in scoring offense (32.8 ppg), total offense (440.0 ypg) and rushing offense (227.0 ypg) - that despite two of its first five opponents coming from the Football Bowl Subdivision (Toledo, Wake Forest).

NSU is requiring all attendees to present proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID test within 72 hours of attending.