GREENSBORO – N.C. A&T finished nationally ranked in both the NCAA Coaches’ Poll and the STATS Media Poll for the second straight season.
Both polls had N.C. A&T finishing 20th in the nation after the Aggies finished 9-3 overall and 7-1 in the MEAC. The Aggies also reached the postseason for the second straight season with an at-large bid to the 2016 NCAA FCS Playoffs where they were defeated by Richmond. The 2016 season marked the first time the Aggies reached the NCAA playoffs via an at-large bid.
The Aggies finished a season nationally ranked in either the coaches’ poll (formerly sponsored by the USA Today) and or the media poll (formerly sponsored by Sports Network) for the 10th time in school history. This marks the third time they have done it back-to-back years. The 2015 and 2016 seasons mark the first time they have finished nationally ranked two consecutive years since 1999 and 2000. During the 2016 season, the Aggies ranked as high as eighth in the media poll and went as far up as ninth in the coaches’ poll.
2016 included the program’s first-ever win over a Division I Football Bowl Subdivision school with their quadruple 39-36 overtime win over Kent State. After a loss to Miami Beach Bowl Champion in FBS Tulsa (10-3), the Aggies ran off seven straight conference wins by an average margin of 23.9 points.
Senior running back Tarik Cohen ran for 200 or more yards in three straight games on ESPNU including breaking the all-time MEAC rushing record with a 62-yard touchdown run against Norfolk State on Oct. 13.
Cohen broke multiple school records, including single-season school records in total touchdowns (19), all-purpose yards (1,927) and rushing (1,588) and tied the single-season mark for rushing touchdowns (18). He also became the school’s all-time leader in total touchdowns (59), rushing touchdowns (56) and all-purpose yards (6,564).