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HBCU Football

Tarik Cohen was a beast in N.C. A&T’s surprising win at Kent State

The senior running back led great performances in week 2 of HBCU football

Tarik Cohen has played some outstanding football on the big stage for North Carolina A&T State University. Cohen rushed for 295 yards and scored three touchdowns to lead the Aggies to a big win over Alcorn State University in the Celebration Bowl last season.

But Cohen, the Aggies’ brilliant running back, put on a great performance against a big school in the most impressive historically black college (HBCU) win on Saturday. The 5-foot-6, 179-pound senior had 24 carries for 133 yards and scored a touchdown to lead N.C. A&T to a 39-36 win over Kent State University in four overtimes.

The Aggies (2-0) pulled off a huge win over the Golden Flashes (0-2), an FBS opponent. Cohen was a big reason that N.C. A&T was able to get it done in spectacular fashion. He has played well throughout his career, but Cohen — one of the top FCS players in the country — really stepped up against Kent State. Besides providing a terrific ground attack, he led the Aggies with nine catches for 125 yards.

Cohen was recently named to the Senior Bowl watch list. His profile continues to build as one of the best all-around running backs in the country.

Top HBCU performances:

  • Hampton University wide receiver Rashawn Proctor had eight receptions for 61 yards and one touchdown in the Pirates’ 24-14 loss to the College of William & Mary.
  • North Carolina Central University safety Josiah Dailey performed at a high level. Despite his team’s 70-21 loss to Western Michigan University, Dailey had 17 total and 11 solo tackles.
  • University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff running back Dante McDonald had 20 carries for 122 yards, but the Golden Lions dropped a 20-16 decision to Oklahoma Panhandle State University.
  • Alabama A&M University quarterback De’Angelo Balla had 15 carries for 78 yards and two rushing touchdowns. Balla also completed 11-of-24 passes for 140 yards and one passing touchdown in Alabama A&M’s 35-16 win over Mississippi Valley State University.
  • Southern University had a rough time with Tulane University, losing 66-21. But wide receiver Willie Quinn was sensational in grabbing seven receptions for 129 yards and one touchdown.
  • Grambling State University gave the University of Arizona a run for its money. The Wildcats edged the Tigers, 31-21, but wide receiver Chad Williams had a big day with 13 receptions for 152 yards.
  • Bowie State University wide receiver Nyme Mann caught six passes for 103 yards in a 52-0 victory over Johnson C. Smith University.
  • Winston-Salem State University running back Te’Vaughn Hurse had 10 carries for 103 yards and one touchdown to help the Rams post a 23-17 win over Catawba College.
  • Tuskegee University quarterback Kevin Lacey completed 11 of 19 passes for 250 yards and three touchdown passes to lead the Golden Tigers to a 28-18 victory over Albany State University.

Donald Hunt, a writer for the Philadelphia Tribune, is a longtime ESPN contributor who has covered Historically Black Colleges and Universities.