football-d2 flag

Wayne Cavadi | | September 7, 2019

How Kentucky State upset FCS Robert Morris for its first win since 2017

WATCH: Minot State's inconceivable 104-yard touchdown from DII football's opening night

Kentucky State opened its 2019 football season in stunning style. The Thorobreds upset FCS opponent Robert Morris 13-7 on the road for their first win of 2019.

In fact, it's their first win since Oct. 28, 2017. Let's take a look at how Kentucky State ended its 12-game losing streak before it opens its DII football slate next week.

ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO DII FOOTBALL WEEK 1: Schedule, results, games and players to watch

The Thorobreds used their rushing attack to control the tempo

Run, run, and then run some more. That's what Kentucky State did on Saturday against the Colonials. The Thorobreds ran 61 plays, and 51 of them came on the ground.

DII FOOTBALL 2019 PREVIEW: Harlon Hill watch list | 5 bold predictions

That helped Kentucky State control the clock, winning the time of possession battle 36:49 to 23:11. The Thorobreds averaged 4.2 yards per carry and lost one yard all game. They outrushed Robert Morris 214 to 123, converting 12 of their 15 first downs on the ground.

Brett Sylve led the way gaining 87 yards on 20 attempts, a much-welcomed addition to the offense after missing just about the entire 2018 season. Quarterback Jaylen Myers added 65 yards on the ground. He only completed four of his ten passing attempts for 70 yards and a touchdown. That touchdown went to Sylve.

Kentucky State's defense stuffed the Colonials

In the Thorobreds 0-10 season a year ago, their defense allowed 377.8 yards per and 31.2 points per game. That was quite the opposite on Saturday.

Kentucky State held Robert Morris to just 217 total yards. It held the Colonials to less than 100 yards passing and just 123 yards on the ground. It wasn't fancy by any means. The Thorobreds didn't record a single sack or force either of the Robert Morris quarterbacks to throw an interception. But despite going down 7-0 just about halfway through the first quarter, Kentucky State clamped down a shut the Colonials out for the final 54 minutes of regulation.

NFL 2019: Former DII footballers on 53-man rosters

Head coach Charlie Jackson has the magic touch

Jackson took over a team that hadn't had more than four wins in a season since 2013. The former Atlanta Falcons assistant coach known for his defensive prowess is now perfect in his Thorobreds' career. 

He seems to have quickly changed the culture overnight. Per the Kentucky State website, "only eight student-athletes of the 44 listed in the two-deep roster have even played a snap for Kentucky State". Jackson certainly picked the right combo in his DII football head coaching debut. The Thorobreds also snapped a four-season opening game losing streak, recording their first win since defeating Kentucky Wesleyan 41-21 in the 2014 opener.

Jackson gets his first shot at a win in DII football against Tuskegee on Saturday, Sept. 14. We'll see if he can get another perfect start in his career going then.

Every HBCU player ever selected in the NBA Draft

A complete history of HBCU players in the NBA draft, including the 351 HBCU men's basketball players selected since 1950.

Every HBCU player, coach and more in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame

A total of 19 HBCU affiliates have been inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame alongside the most prestigious figures in basketball history.

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from and our partners