Morgan hopes to bounce back Saturday at Norfolk State

November 09, 2012 | WNST Staff

GAME TIME
Morgan State (3-6, 2-4 MEAC) continues the 2012 season play in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference matchup at Norfolk State on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET at Dick Price Stadium.  The Spartans enter the 2012 season under the leadership of eight-year head coach Pete Adrian. The Spartans (3-7, 1-6) are coming off its first conference win following a 33-21 homecoming win against Savannah State. The Bears fell 24-13 at Hughes Stadium against top-ranked Bethune-Cookman.

THE BEARS-SPARATNS MATCHUP 
• The Bears and Spartans will meet for the 25th time since 1965. Norfolk State leads the series 14-10 and has won the last five meetings against MSU.

•  Nov. 12, 2011 – Morgan State took the field at Hughes Stadium Saturday still with an outside shot at a share of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title. But after gamely battling No. 22 Norfolk State throughout the first half, the Bears saw their chances disappear with one utterly forgettable stretch to open the second half.

Morgan allowed 17 straight points in a span of 4 minutes, 26 seconds, turning a close game into a 47-14 rout before an announced 5,329.

• The last time the Bears played at William ‘Dick’ Price Stadium was on Nov. 6, 2010 … Morgan State matched Norfolk State punch for punch, before falling 37-25. Spartan quarterback Chris Walley passed for season highs of 305 yards and four touchdowns and set a single-game school record by completing 20-of-22 passes in the process.

QUICK HITS
•  Travis Davidson currently ranks 2nd in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) in rushing with 851 yards (94.6 avg/g). He also ranks No. 1 the MEAC in scoring (78 Pts).

•  QB Robert Council completed 14-of-31 passes for 121 yards and ran for 16 yards against Bethune-Cookman.

•  Cornerback Joe Rankin registered his 9th interception of his career, picking off Savannah State quarterback Antonio Bostic in the 1st quarter…He currently ranks T-No. in the MEAC in INTs with four in nine games…he also ranks T-No. 4 in passes defended (10), while his freshman teammate DaShaun Summers leads the league with 1.33 average passes defended.

• Twenty-one (21) Morgan State seniors were honored before the start of last Saturday’s game against B-CU.

•  The Bears continue to be among the top scoring offenses in the league, entering Saturday’s contest as the MEAC’s No. 5 ranked scoring offense (23.6 avg/g).

•  True freshman LB Elandon Roberts currently ranks No. 2 in the MEAC in tackles by posting 83 tackles so far this season … he recorded a season-high 16 tackles against Delaware State on Oct. 25.

•  Sophomore defensive end Christopher Robinson currently leads the MEAC with seven sacks in just seven games played. He posted seven nine tackles, a forced fumble and a sack against Bethune-Cookman last Saturday.

SPARTANS THUMBNAIL
• The Wildcats enter Week 10 coming off a 33-21 Homecoming victory against Savannah State. The win snapped the Spartans’ 6-game losing streak and marked its first conference win of the season.

• In 2011, Norfolk State finished with a 9-3 overall record and 7-1 in the MEAC and captured the league championship.

• Norfolk State junior quarterback Nico Flores was named the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week on Monday. Flores got his first start at quarterback in over a month and helped lead the Spartans to a 33-21 win over Savannah State on Saturday. Flores completed 17-of-28 passes for 213 yards and one touchdown. He also rushed 14 times for a career-high 116 rushing yards. Flores totaled 329 yards of total offense. This is the first weekly MEAC award of Flores’ career.

• Through the first 10 games, WR Xavier Boyce (6-4, 220) and Derrick Demps (5-11, 180) have been two of the  leading receivers in the Spartans  offensive attack. Boyce, a junior from Virginia Beach (Va.), has recorded 54 receptions for 574 yards (10.6 avg), including three TDs. Demps, a Tallahassee (Fla.) product, ranks No. 6 in the MEAC with 39 catches for 645 yards (11.2 avg) with six touchdowns.

• MSU’s offense will have to account for the Spartan linebacker Lynden Trail. The junior currently ranks among the league leaders with 66 tackles (ranks 18th), to go along with 5 sacks (ranks No. 6).

• The Bears’ defensive unit will face a Spartan offensive line that ranks No. 5 in the league in rushing by averaging 139.1 per contest.

• Through 10 games, the Norfolk State defense ranks No. 2 in the MEAC in total defense by limiting opponents to 283.8 yards per contest and ranks No.1  in pass defense (136.0/g) and No. 8 in run defense (147.8/g).

JUICE UPDATE
• Travis Davidson needs to gain 61 rushing yards to surpass Craig Nelson at No. 9 on the school’s all-time rushing list.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR THIS WEEK
•  The Bears rushing for 100 yards or more for the ninth consecutive game this season.

•  QB Robert Council needs just 63 more passing yards to reach 1,000 yards for the season.

•  The Bears having a 300-yard passing game for the first time since October 8, 2011. In Week 6, Morgan State defeated Savannah State 44-17 and Seth Higgins, Nate Furrha and Robert Council combined for 16-of-26 passes for 318 yards and five TDs.

•  Cornerback Joe Rankin registering an interception would mark his fifth of the season and the 10th of his career.  He would need to collect six more to surpass Joe Fowlkes for the school record.  Fowlkes posted 15 INTs during his career (1975-78).

•  Travis Davidson needs just 149 more rushing yards to reach 1,000 yards for the season.

NOVEMBER CHILL
The Bears are 10-19 in November games since the start of the 2002 season.

NEXT UP
After Saturday’s contest at Norfolk State, the Bears will host the Hampton Pirates at Hughes Stadium. The matchup is set for Saturday, November 17. Kickoff at 1 p.m.

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