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WSSU will come back home to Bowman Gray Stadium on a two-game winning streak

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Winston-Salem State didn’t all of a sudden find a miracle cure now that it’s on a two-game winning streak.

Instead, the Rams have done it with a simple solution.

“We’ve stopped turning over the ball,” Coach Robert Massey said on Tuesday in his weekly news conference. “When you give your opponent less chances with the ball, good things can happen and they’ve happened for us in our last two games.”

After beating Shaw 17-10 two weeks ago, they dismantled St. Aug’s in Raleigh 41-14 behind a strong running game and mistake-free football from freshman quarterback Bryce Jackson. The Rams have had just one turnover in the two wins, a formula that will need to continue.

Offensive lineman Jalen Dickerson, a graduate transfer from Wheeling University, was part of a line that racked up nearly 500 yards of offense on Saturday.

“I think it was just us coming together and sticking to the game plan,” Dickerson said. “When we are able to do that we can produce big plays and that’s what we did.”

The Rams have come a long way since starting the season 0-5, but the spark of winning two games in a row has brought some pride back. They will close their season with home games against Johnson C. Smith and Fayetteville State over the next two weekends.

Winston-Salem State Shaw Football

Coach Robert Massey and Winston-Salem State have a two-game win streak heading into Saturday's 1 p.m. game on Bill Hayes Field at Bowman Gray Stadium.

Through their first five games they amassed 17 turnovers, including six in a loss at Livingstone.

Simply cutting down on the mistakes has meant a lot to a young offense.

Freshman running back JahTwan Stafford had 185 yards on 21 carries last week to have his breakout game.

“We haven’t shied away from being a running team and we want to run the ball and when we can do that it opens up our passing game,” Massey said. “We’ve had our ups and downs (this season) but with our running game and the way our defense has been playing I like where we are right now.”

WSSU (2-5) will be facing a resurgent Johnson C. Smith (2-4). WSSU, however, has beaten Johnson C. Smith 20 times in a row. The last time Johnson C. Smith won was 14-6 in 1996.

Jackson has helped the Rams win two in a row

Defense keeps getting better

During the two-game win streak the Rams’ defense has been up for each and every challenge. Part of the reason it has played so well is it hasn’t been on the field as much.

Massey said defensive coordinator Markus McElveen has the Rams playing at a high level.

“For what we’ve been able to do with our defense has really helped us,” Massey said.

In the last two games the Rams have created a combined five turnovers. In Saturday’s win, Deiontae Jones and Narique Smith each had interceptions and Karron Jeter was in on a game-high four tackles.

“Those guys are swarming around the ball and making things happen and we did that for the most part earlier in the year but now with how productive our offense has been it’s just a lot easier,” Massey said.

A good way to finish the year

The Rams can head into spring football feeling a lot better about themselves with two more wins to close the season. The schedule sets up for them well with two home games.

“Considering we are on a two-game win streak our alumni and our student body get to see how we’ve progressed and these two games are winnable,” Massey said. “But we have to make sure we are on our game and not get too comfortable just because we are home. We have to do what we’ve done the last two weeks.”

The Rams play at home on Saturday at 1 p.m. against Johnson C. Smith

CIAA weekly honors

Because the Rams haven’t had too many victories this season, players haven’t been recognized often by the CIAA.

That changed last week in the Rams win over St. Aug’s as Keith Quick (offensive lineman), R.J. Mobley (wide receiver) and JahTwan Stafford (rookie) all were honored. Quick helped Stafford, who is a running back, rush for 185 yards on 21 carries and scored two touchdowns. Stafford averaged 8.8 yards a carry.

Mobley helped the Rams generate a season-high 456 yards of offense as he scored two touchdowns on passes from quarterback Bryce Jackson.

336-727-4081

@johndellWSJ

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