ATLANTA (WTVD) -- NC Central opened the college football season on a national stage Saturday night in Atlanta for the MEAC/SWAC Challenge -- all odds were stacked against the Eagles as they took to the field for the first time in 644 days in Atlanta.
"We knew this was coming," said head coach, Trei Oliver. "This ain't 2019. It's a different day and you tell Lee Corso not so fast my friend."
"We knew the type of team we had so it was just about putting it out there," said defensive end Jessie Malit. "We know the players we have and it just puts a lot of our players who want to go to the next level and want to do better things on another platform so they can see us."
After a slow start, Central found a way to fight back and win 23-14 for the team's first win since November of 2019.
The Eagles shocked not only Alcorn State but the entire cast of College GameDay who unanimously picked the Braves to win.
Jesse Malit's time in the spotlight started before he took the field on Saturday. He was featured on Good Morning America earlier in the week for his charitable efforts -- more specifically, for a book drive, he organized to create a library in his mother's village in Kenya.
"Football is only one aspect of our lives," Malit said. "This doesn't last forever so we have to be able to give something back. A lot of people gave back to me to be in the position I am so I just want to lend a hand to those people."
Malit said he's thankful for the platform to share his story and that he's already had a lot of people reach out to him asking how they can donate books.
Central next plays at Marshall on September 11.