North Carolina A&T is banned from postseason play this year as part of sanctions that were handed down by the NCAA for poor Academic Progress Rate showings.
This is State's final regular-season non-conference game before eight consecutive WVC games beginning with Concord at Lakin Field on Sept. 22.
"It'll be a big difference," said Long, who had never played back-to-back FCS teams during his career (2009-12). "Now, you're playing against 11 great athletes. Once we come back in the conference, it'll be sprinkled with a few athletes.
"It's like a high school team playing small colleges before they go play back at the high school level. I feel after we play these two games, we'll be a whole lot better in our conference."
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STATE AVOIDED any significant injuries against the Phoenix last week, and hope the same can be said for Saturday's meeting.
Sophomore linebacker T.J. Austin won't suit up against Elon because of a tender hamstring, marking the only injury State suffered in last week's trip.
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at richstev...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4837.