Howard University put on their best all-around performance of the season in a 40-6 win over Texas Southern in a non-conference game on Nov. 16 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas.
On the Bison’s second possession, running back Anthony Philyaw capped off a 75-yard drive with a 30-yard run that left the Tigers—and his own teammates—shaking their heads. The 6-foot, 1-inch, 210-pound freshman took the handoff from junior quarterback Greg McGhee deep in his own backfield and started to his left, only to run into a crowd of several players. Within seconds, he somehow emerged from the pile and raced 30 yards for the game’s first touchdown.
Texas Southern (2-9) answered with a short drive, but Howard’s defense stiffened and forced Tigers freshman kicker Eric Medina to make a 43-yard field goal to make the score 7-3 with 3:49 left in the first period.
That was as close as the Tigers would get. From there, the Bison (5-6) began to take control of the game. Sophomore placekicker John Fleck, who had been in a slump, nailed a 26-yard field goal, and Philyaw later capped off a short drive with his second touchdown of the game to give Howard a 17-6 advantage. The touchdown was Philyaw’s 10th rushing score of the season.
“The effort of the special teams was there,” said Howard Coach Ray Petty. “They covered well. They stayed in their lanes and they played with a lot of discipline. Offensively, we did a good job of controlling the ball and putting the ball in the end zone and the defense forced turnovers. I was pleased with the all-around effort.”
The Bison would strike again when McGhee connected with senior wide receiver Brandon Flanagan from seven yards out. It was only fitting that Flanagan would finish off the drive; the 5-foot, 8-inch receiver had set up the score with a 72-yard punt return, the longest of his career.
But Howard was not finished. On its last possession before the half, McGhee connected with junior receiver Stewart Hartman for a 19-yard score to take a comfortable 30-6 lead to the locker room at halftime.
The Bison went on to score 10 more points as they cruised through the second half for the win.
“We had a great day today,” said redshirt junior safety Cameron Alston, who leads the team in tackles. “I was pleased with the secondary. We got great pressure from the D-line and we also made plays when we had to in the secondary. I caught a lot of pressure from my coaches about not making plays early in the season. I was expected to be a great player and leader on the team, so I have been really focusing on ball drills lately.”
Alston also had an interception, his third in the past four games.
The Bison racked up 458 yards of total offense and accumulated 248 yards on returns. McGhee was 14-of-29 for 190 yards and gained 68 yards on 12 carries.
Texas Southern redshirt sophomore quarterback Homer Causey led all rushers with 159 yards on 18 carries and added 105 passing yards.
NEXT UP: The Bison will close out the 2013 season on Nov. 23 when they travel to Hampton, Va. to take on the Hampton University Pirates at 1 p.m.