Morgan State (3-5, 2-3 MEAC) continues the 2012 season play in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference matchup against No. 24 Bethune-Cookman on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET at Hughes Stadium. The Wildcats enter the 2012 season under the leadership of third-year head coach Brian Jenkins. The Wildcats (6-2, 5-0) are coming off a 42-17 win against North Carolina Central. The Bears fell short in the final moments against Delaware State 28-23 at Hughes Stadium.
THE BEARS-WILDCATS MATCHUP
• The Bears and Wildcats will meet for the 28th time since 1986. Bethune-Cookman leads the series 18-8.
• Nov. 5, 2011 – Isidore Jackson rushed for 93 yards and a touchdown, and Jackie Wilson ran for three touchdowns as Bethune-Cookman eased past Morgan State 49-23 before a Homecoming crowd of 9,649 at Municipal Stadium. Wilson finished 10-of-15 for 186 yards for the Wildcats who finished the ballgame with seven rushing touchdowns. Travis Davidson had a 44-yard rushing touchdown and rushed for a game-high 133 yards on 17 carries to lead Morgan State.
• The last time the Wildcats played in Hughes Stadium was on Oct. 2, 2010 … A dominating 69-32 victory over Morgan State extended the Wildcats’ record to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the MEAC. MSU finished the game by committing eight turnovers, four by air (interceptions) and four by ground (fumbles). MSU, held to 247 yards total offense, got touchdowns from Tyrone Hendrix on a 93-yard kickoff return and Nico Scott on a 44-yard interception return and trailed 42-26 at halftime.
• Travis Davidson currently ranks 2nd in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) in rushing with 794 yards (113.4 avg/g). He also ranks No. 1 the MEAC in scoring (72 Pts).
• QB Robert Council started against Delaware State and completed 13-of-19 passes for 68 yards and scored two touchdowns, including a 41-yard touchdown run.
• Cornerback Joe Rankin registered his 9th interception of his career, picking off Savannah State quarterback Antonio Bostic in the 1st quarter…He currently leads the MEAC in INTs with four in eight games…he also ranks No. 3 in passes defended (10), while his freshman teammate DaShaun Summers leads the league with 1.33 average passes defended.
• The MSU defense has collected 10 interceptions (ranked No. 3 in MEAC) through the first eight games of 2012.
• The Bears continue to be among the top scoring offenses in the league, entering Saturday’s contest as the MEAC’s No. 4 ranked scoring offense (24.9 avg/g).
• True freshman LB Elandon Roberts currently ranks No. 2 in the MEAC in tackles by posting 76 tackles so far this season. … he recorded a season-high 16 tackles against Delaware State on Oct. 25.
• Four of the Bears’ losses have been by a total of 10 points – an average of 2.5 points per game.
• The Wildcats enter Week 9 coming off a 42-17 dominant performance against N.C. Central to move into sole possession of first place in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). The win improved the Wildcats to 6-2 overall and 5-0 in conference play.
• In 2011, Bethune-Cookman finished with a 8-3 overall record and 6-2 in the MEAC.
• Bethune’s dual QB threat of Quentin Williams and Brodrick Waters continue to wreak havoc for defenses this season. Williams, a 6-foot, 190-pounder from Tampa (Fla.) has completed 49 of 83 for 655 yards and six touchdowns with an interception. He currenlty ranks No. 2 in pass efficiency (146.8 and No. 8 in passing average (109.2/g). Waters, a 5-11, 195-pounder from Sarasota (Fla.) ranbks No 8 in pass efficiency having completed 26 of 54 passes for 258 yards and four TDs.
• Bethune-Cookman maintained its status as the national leader in turnover margin with its +2.25 per game total.
• Through the first eight games, RB Isidore Jackson (5-10, 205) has been the leading rusher in the Wildcats’ high-octane offense. The junior from Mossey Head (Fla.) has recorded 126 carries for 707 yards (5.6 avg), including seven TDs. He rushed for 158 yards and two touchdowns against N.C. Central last Saturday.
• MSU’s offense will have to account for the Wildcat’s linebacker Jarkevis Fields. The junior currently ranks among the league leaders with 63 tackles (ranks 12th), to go along with 3.5 tackles for loss and a sack.
• The Bears’ defensive unit will face a Wildcats line that leads the league in rushing by averaging 235.1 per contest.
• Through eight games, the Bethune-Cookman defense ranks 3rd in the MEAC in scoring defense by limiting opponents to 19.9 points per contest and ranks 3rd in total defense (317.8/g).
• Travis Davidson needs to gain 107 rushing yards to surpass Craig Nelson at No. 9 on the school’s all-time rushing list. “Juice” currently has 1,537 career rushing yards.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR THIS WEEK
• The Bears rushing for 100 yards or more for the ninth consecutive game and for the 15th straight time since their October 8, 2011 game versus Savannah State.
• 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).
• Running back Travis Davidson rushing for 100 yards or more for the eighth time in his career.
Twenty-one (21) Morgan State seniors will be honored before the start of Saturday’s game.
The Bears are 10-18 in November games since the start of the 2002 season and 3-8 at home that month.
After Saturday’s contest versus Bethune-Cookman, the Bears will hit the road to play against the Spartans of Norfolk State.