North Carolina A&T quarterback Connell Maynor has averaged only 16 passes per game in the Aggies' first six contests. Even though he will be facing Howard, the second-ranked pass defense in Division I-AA Saturday at Greene Stadium, it will be no surprise if Maynor comes out throwing.

"After watching the films of the Virginia State game, I think he will be throwing a lot more this week," said Bison junior cornerback Walter Price.

Last week, Howard (5-1) had a nine-game winning streak ended by Division II Virginia State, 19-14. Howard was listless throughout the game, and its secondary, which had been a source of pride through the first five games, was beaten for three touchdown passes.

In fairness to the secondary, it also was the first time this season that the defensive line did not have a sack. Virginia State quarterback Gregory Moore, out of Theodore Roosevelt High School, was rarely pressured as he threw for 197 yards and was not intercepted.

All three touchdowns came against Howard's usual man-to-man coverage, but Coach Steve Wilson said no changes would be made for Saturday's homecoming meeting with the Aggies (5-1), who also are coming off their first loss.

"Even with the big plays they had, those didn't beat us," said Wilson. "We didn't tackle and make the plays we normally do on the drives that led to those big plays."

Wilson has not said anything special to his secondary this week. Nor has he had any talks with junior right cornerback Joe Olidge, who had a particularly rough day after being one of the season's brightest surprises through five games.

"There is not a lot you can say to a defensive back after they've been beaten," said Wilson. "I believe when a youngster makes a mistake, you have to put them right back out there. I've been in that situation before. From my experience of 10 years in the NFL {as a defensive back with the Cowboys and Broncos}, I know what it feels like. But in the NFL, it gets so that other kids don't want to play with your kids and your neighbors don't even want to talk with you."

The loss has resulted in more focused practices this week.

"Sometimes it takes a loss to wake you up," said Price. "We are awake now. It has been much more intense in practice this week. There was more joking around last week. At meetings this week, it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. We are back to doing the things we did to get 5-0."

Price, a 5-foot-11, 175-pounder from Pittsburgh, is the leader of the secondary. Each week, he draws the opponent's best wide receiver. He makes big plays and he rarely gets beat for long gains.

Price said he has been beaten for touchdowns only three times in the past two years, but one came before 46,000 people at the Los Angeles Coliseum in Howard's 26-21 victory over Southern University in this year's season opener. However, with 1:22 remaining in that game, Price intercepted a pass at the Howard 4 to end Southern's potential game-winning drive.

Jeremiah Castille, a defensive back for seven NFL seasons with Tampa Bay and Denver before becoming a Howard assistant coach this season, says Price's serious approach to the game makes him a solid college player and potential pro prospect.

"He is strong for his size, but I think it is his personality that makes him a good player," said Castille. "It is the intensity he plays with. We ask our players to do a lot of things, and he is just fundamentally sound."

Price says he has learned something important from Castille. "The thing that had the most impact on me is that he says a defensive back is only as good as your last play," said Price. "When you are a defensive back, you can never relax and celebrate what you just did."

Bison Notes:

Howard is No. 3 in I-AA total defense; A&T is No. 4. . . . The Bison have won five straight homecoming games, with the last loss in 1984 to A&T.