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WSSU will go for two wins in a row in Raleigh against St. Aug's on Saturday

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Armed with a new lease on life thanks to its first win of the season, Winston-Salem State is hoping for more on Saturday in Raleigh against St. Aug’s.

The Rams finally got to play on their home field last week. Bill Hayes Field at Bowman Gray Stadium never looked better after a 17-10 win over Shaw. Now, the challenge is to keep momentum going with three games left in the season.

Rams had been winless but beat Shaw 17-10 at Bowman Gray Stadium

Coach Robert Massey, who got his first victory after signing a four-year contract extension last spring, finally had something positive happen.

“One of the things we echo, is when something good happens keep playing and when something bad happens, keep playing,” Massey said. “And I think our guys showed that on Saturday. And that was a big reason why we won the game.”

Another big reason they won was the outstanding play of the defense, which is playing at a high level.

While the offense is still a work in progress, it’s evident that there is plenty of young talent on defense and that’s going to bode well for the rest of this season and beyond.

“It never changes, but you win championships with defense. And as great as it is if you have a big-time offense, you very seldom see teams go the whole season and blow everybody out,” Massey said. “That’s why having a solid defense is so important, and I like how our guys have responded.”

Here are three things to watch in Saturday’s game.

Winston-Salem State Shaw Football

Quarterback Bryce Jackson started out the season as fourth string on the depth chart.

Improvement from Jackson

Bryce Jackson, a freshman quarterback who made his second career start last week, played the whole game in the win over Shaw. While he didn’t have to win the game in a shootout, he didn’t lose the game either. He did have one fumble but didn’t throw an interception and wasn’t sacked.

If anybody should have more confidence heading into this game it should be Jackson. When the Rams can run the ball, which they did against Shaw, that makes Jackson a much better option at quarterback.

St. Aug’s is no pushover

St. Aug’s surprised a lot of people around the league last weekend with a 28-25 win over resurgent J.C. Smith.

The Falcons haven’t had much luck against the Rams in the last 10 years. The Rams are 9-1 with the lone loss a 17-14 setback in Raleigh.

Still, the Falcons come in with confidence after getting that first victory of the season, and they have speed on the outside. If the Rams can jump ahead early they could make it a long day for the Falcons.

Rams running game should be strong

The Falcons have given up the most points in the CIAA and allow 220 yards rushing per game, which is last in the CIAA. They are giving up 52 points a game, and as WSSU’s running game has been gaining steam, that should bode well for Saturday’s game.

If the Rams can keep their turnovers down, they should be able to run at will against the Falcons. The Rams had only one turnover last week, but two weeks ago had six turnovers in a loss to Livingstone.

“If we can stay away from turnovers then our offense is that much better because we then aren’t giving opponents more chances,” Massey said. “We have to keep that same formula.”

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@johndellWSJ

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