Larry Little, the former offensive lineman with the great Miami Dolphins football teams of the 1970s and now the coach of Bethune-Cookman College, is a man who knows what he likes.
"I love winning, and for the past 20 years, I've always been a part of winning," said Little who, in 1984, his second year as coach, guided the Wildcats to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship.
This week, as Little prepared for today's 7:30 p.m. meeting with Howard at Welch Stadium in Daytona Beach, Fla., he has been constantly referring to one game that stands out in his memory. That game, however, was not one of the many victories of which he has been part.
"I've been trying to remind these guys all week that two years ago, Howard won only one game," said Little. "And that game was us."
If the Bison (0-2) come close to duplicating that feat Saturday, it would be a major surprise.
Bethune-Cookman (1-1) beat Virginia State last week, 14-13, in the final 22 seconds. The Wildcats' loss, 39-37 to Central Florida, came as the result of a 55-yard field goal with no time left.
The Wildcats possess one of the most potent passing combinations in Division I-AA in senior quarterback Bernard Hawk, a two-time all-MEAC selection, and wide receiver Sebastian Brown.
Brown, a swift 6-foot, 175-pound senior, has had a hard time making a public impact, but he sure has put dents in opposing secondaries.
Last year, he caught 55 passes, one fewer than teammate Leon Gonzales. Gonzales ended up with the Dallas Cowboys; Brown did not even make all-conference.
The Bison have been outscored, 81-12, in their losses to Maine and Rhode Island. Most frustrating for Coach Willie Jeffries has been his inability to motivate his players.
"The shutout (46-0 to Rhode Island) was quite a surprise because I still believe we have a good offensive football team," said Jeffries. "It was the same story of too many mistakes. Our players just did not play hard as they usually do. Rhode Island outhustled us, just like Maine did the week before.
"We just have some players not giving their all, but I guarantee we will find out who they are, and they will end up sitting on the bench. I think we have some good athletes, but at this time, we just don't have the chemistry."
This week, Jeffries dismissed junior reserve defensive end Arnold Tucker from the team for violating disciplinary rules. Inserted late in the game last week at Rhode Island, Tucker was credited with six tackles and broke up two passes. He was chosen Bison player of the game by Howard's radio broadcast team, and was even praised for his effort by Jeffries in a midweek news conference after being released.
The Bison again will start sophomore quarterback Leon Brown, whom Little said he tried to recruit and was sorry to lose. Jeffries said freshman Lee DeBose will be inserted quickly if Brown does not move the offense.