"Easy as pie," is how B-CU running back and Classic MVP Isidore Jackson summed up one play, but that was kind of the overall aura afterward. The celebration was somewhat muted following a fairly business-like 21-16 victory.
But there wasn't a lingering party on the Citrus Bowl field, like Classic games are accustomed to having. Within minutes of the trophy presentations and accompanying hoopla following the game, the field was nearly clear of all team personnel.
It seemed something was missing; something more than the FAMU band.
But this is what Bethune-Cookman head coach Brian Jenkins preaches to his players. They are expected to go out and win games, take care of business.
Jackson didn't exactly tear up the field Saturday, and he kind of brushed off the fact that he won game MVP. What he did in bursts at opportune moments, however, was exactly what the Wildcats needed.
"All I did was I went out, and I did what I was supposed to," said Jackson, who ended up with 77 yards on 13 carries and added 41 more yards on 3 receptions. "My offensive line blocked great for me, and I did exactly what a running back is supposed to do.
"I didn't know I was going to win [MVP.] I only had 77 yards. What is that? That's nothing, really."
Jenkins called Jackson's number on a key fourth-and-3 play in the third quarter and the 5-foot-9, 190-pound junior answered, taking advantage of a block on the outside by receiver Eddie Poole to run untouched for a 41-yard touchdown that gave BC-U its first lead of the game at 14-10.
Jenkins didn't hesitate on the fourth-down call and Jackson said the outcome was not surprising.
"We [had] seen that they only had one man out there and the safety was in the box," Jackson said. "That's one of our best plays and he called it. . . . Eddie Poole with a great block on the outside and it was just easy as pie."
Jenkins did not hesitate on another fourth-down play at the FAMU nine-yard line in the fourth quarter, and that, too, paid off, with Andronicus Lovett taking two plays to get into the endzone for what proved to be the deciding margin.
"I didn't consider kicking it at all," Jenkins said of the fourth-down play to Lovett. "I knew that we could get it. We practice that type of situation all year. ... I had total confidence in Lovett running the ball and our offense ... they wouldn't let me make the call to go for the field goal.
"They wanted to go for it and when your team is biting at the bit like that and they got confidence in themselves, you got to have confidence in them as a head coach."
B-CU also had a nice performance from quarterback Quentin Williams, who will be facing off with fellow quarterback Damien Fleming of FAMU for a few more years. Williams, a redshirt freshman, directed the Wildcats with 86 rushing yards and another for 120 yards on 12-of-18 passing, including a first-half, 1-yard touchdown pass to Poole.
"This is more about the team than what I did out here," Williams said. "We just executed the game plan and that's pretty much all it was I love my team and we did it together as one."
One person he did single out was Jackson, the MEAC's leading rusher heading into the contest. Jackson needed 85 coming in to get to 1,000 yards rushing on the season, falling just eight yards shy.
"That's Big Fresh, man . . . I love that boy to death," Williams said of Jackson. "That's a great player right there."
Fleming also had decent numbers, passing for 166 yards and a 37-yard touchdown pass to Dwayne Harvey that got FAMU within striking distance with 8:04 reaming. He completed 18-of-23 passes.