MSU (3-6, 3-2 MEAC) vs. N.C A&T (5-3, 2-3 MEAC)
Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013 – 1 p.m. ET
Hughes Stadium (10,000)
The Bears (3-6, 3-2) will host the North Carolina A&T Aggies in a Mid-Eastern Conference matchup on Saturday (Nov. 9) in Baltimore (Md.). Head coach Rod Broadway leads the Aggies. N.C. A&T (5-3, 2-3) extended to a 2-game winning streak after a commanding 59-12 non-conference victory against Virginia Univ. of Lynchburg last Saturday during the Aggies homecoming celebration. The Bears pulled off a thrilling come from behind 30-27 victory against Hampton at Hughes Stadium. Donald Hill-Eley, ranked third among winning coaches at MSU, enters his 12th year as head coach of the Bears. Game time at Hughes Stadium is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET.
THE BEARS-AGGIES MATCHUP
• The Bears and Aggies will meet for the 79th time … Morgan State leads the series 41-34-3.
• Last time against the Aggies (Sept. 27, 2012) … Robert Council tossed a 32-yard pass to Andrew King to lift Morgan State to a 21-18 win over North Carolina A&T. The Bears’ (2-2, 1-0 MEAC) defense stepped up and forced the Aggies to punt, leaving the Bears with 1:54 seconds and 78 yards to go to win the game.
Council hit Tyrone Hendrix on the sideline, but it was ruled out of bounds. Upon further review, the officials ruled that Hendrix successfully made the catch inbounds. On the very next play, Council hit Travis Davidson over the middle for a 35-yard gain before going out of bounds at the 14. Following an incompletion and an intentional grounding call, the Bears had 3rd and 28 with 18 seconds left.
Council took the snap out of shotgun, bought time in the pocket while avoiding Aggie defenders, and threw a 32-yard strike to Andrew King for the game-winner with 10 seconds to go.
• The last time the Bears were defeated by N.C A&T was on Oct. 1, 2011 …
Mike Mayhew, the Aggies’ junior running back, had his way with the Bears’ defense by recording 26 carries for a career high 233 yards and a touchdown in a 24-3 defeat of the Bears at Hughes Stadium. Seth Higgins completed 22 of 40 passing attempts for 169 yards and two interceptions. He was also sacked three times in the game. His counterpart, Lewis Kindle completed 10 of 21 passing attempts for 144 yards, a touchdown and an interception on the day.
ABOUT THE AGGIES
• Rod Broadway (North Carolina, ’77) enters his third season as the head football coach at North Carolina A&T. The Aggies football program has made tremendous strides under Broadway’s first two years of stewardship. The Aggies experienced a four-win improvement in 2011after going 1-10 in 2010. More improvement followed as A&T posted a 7-4 record overall and a 5-3 mark in the MEAC in 2012. It marked the first time in nine seasons the Aggies boasted a winning record.
• N.C. A&T returns 53 lettermen, including 13 starters from last year’s team.
• In 2012, the Aggies finished with a 7-4 overall record and 5-3 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC).
• R-Senior QB Lewis Kindle (6-2, 190) leads the Aggies offense by completing 94 of 174 passes for 356 yards and three touchdowns. He’s currently completing 54 percent of his passes and has thrown a total of seven touchdowns and five interceptions.
• Freshman RB Tarik Cohen (5-8, 170) broke the Aggies freshman rushing record on Oct. 26 with his 210-yard performance against Florida A&M. He currently leads the Aggies in rushing with 740 yards on 123 carries and has scored five touchdowns.
• MSU’s defense will have to also account for standout WR Desmond Lawrence. The Durham, N.C. product leads the Aggies air attack with 30 receptions for 356 yards (11.9 avg) and has three touchdowns.
• MSU’s offense will have to account for the A&T defenders Travis Crosby and D’Vonte Grant. Crosby, a 5-9, 189 pound DB, leads the Aggies with 70 tackles (43 solo) and has six tackles for loss. Grant, a 5-10, 208 pound, leads the squad with nine tackles for loss, three fumble recoveries, an interception and 69 tackles from his linebacker position.
• MSU will enter the 2013 season with a number of veterans … the Bears’ roster includes 12 seniors and 15 juniors.
• The Bears backfield lost All-MEAC running back Travis “Juice” Davidson to graduation, however the backfield is loaded with talented young players like Lamont Brown III, Herb Walker Jr., Tracy Martin and Orlando Johnson who will compete for the starting RB spot.
• Morgan State ranks No. 2 in the MEAC in running the ball … The Bears are averaging 186.9 yards per game on 406 carries and have scored 12 TDs on the ground.
• Joe Rankin returns as a shutdown cornerback for the Bears and finished with 46 tackles and led the MEAC with five picks in 2012.
• Morgan State ranks 5th in MEAC total offense by averaging 322 yards per game (5.1 per play).
• Morgan State ranks 3rd in MEAC pass efficiency (122.4).
• Redshirt-freshman running back Lamont Brown III ranks No 5 in the MEAC in rushing with 545 yards on 114 attempts and has scored three TDs.
• The Bears added four new coaches to the 2013 staff … the new coaches are: Jerry Holmes (DC), Gordon Gregory (OC), LeAndre Creamer (DB) and Marcus Gladden(OL).
RUN GAME POWERS OFFENSE … Morgan State’s rushing game has powered the team to a No. 2 ranking in the MEAC (186.9 ypg), fifth in scoring (20.7 ppg) and fifth in total offense (322.8 ypg). Morgan State’s 1,682 rushing yards through the first nine games is already more than they recorded during the 2012 season (1,647 yards) … in fact, it’s already the most rushing yards gained in the last four years. With three games remaining on the schedule, the Bears are on pace to eclipse the 2,040 rushing yards they posted during the 2008 season.
TIME IS ON OUR SIDE … The Bears have notched four games with a time of possession of more than 40 minutes. The Bears held a season-high 41:01 – 28:48 advantage in the win at NCCU. The Bears currently rank among the league leaders ranked No. 3 in the MEAC in time of possession (32:01 avg/g).
FINISHING TOUCHES … Morgan State has been pretty good this season when it comes to scoring in the red zone. Through the first nine games, the Bears have scored 23-of-29 (79%) times inside its opponent’s 20 yardline. MSU ranks No. 5 in the MEAC in red zone scoring.
GETTING DEFENSIVE … The Morgan State defense has six players with at least 30 tackles so far this season.
• Junior linebacker Cody Acker leads the way with 75 stops (12th in MEAC), including a season-high 14 tackles against Norfolk State (Sept. 28).
• The next highest is senior Darien Irby who has posted 43 tackles from his starting strong safety position.
NO SACKS FOR YOU … Since allowing 6.0 sacks against Robert Morris, the Morgan State offensive line has allowed just three sacks over the next six games and had a stretch of three games without allowing sack before giving up a sack. The Bears currently rank No. T-3 in the MEAC by limiting opponents to 15 sacks in nine games.
COLLECTING INTERCEPTIONS … The Bears have recorded 11 interceptions through nine games. CB Deshaun Summers leads the way with three, followed by CB Joe Rankin and S Paul Eatman both with a pair of picks, while SS Peterson Janvier and LBs Bill Hill and Cody Acker each have an interception to their credit. MSU currently ranks No. 20 in the FCS in interceptions (No. 4 in the MEAC) and ranks No. 2 in pass defense by limiting opponents to 149.9 yards per game.
NOTABLE NATIONAL NOTES … Here are a few national statistics of note on offense, defense and special teams that pertain to the Bears:
• Morgan State is 20th nationally in net punting (37.8) and redshirt freshman punter Lawrence Forbes ranks No. 3 (45.0 avg) and has dropped 11 of his 37 punts inside of the opponents’ 20-yard line.
• Morgan State is 11th nationally in punt returns (2nd in the MEAC – 13.5).
• The Bears offense ranks 20th nationally in time of possession (32 avg TOP).
• Morgan State 16th nationally in passing yards per completion (13.6).
• Morgan State’s pass defense ranks 4th nationally by limiting opponents to 150 passing yards per game.
• Junior linebacker Cody Acker ranks 23rd nationally in solo tackles (50).
SENIOR DAY … Twelve Morgan State seniors will make their final appearance in Hughes Stadium.
2 Joe Rankin – Germantown, Md.
7 Darien Irby – Renton, Wash.
8 Broderick Gager – Williamsburg, Va.
19 Chris Flowers – Haines City, Fla.
21 Lafredo Brady – Florida City, Fla.
23 Tubotein Taylor – Anaheim, Calif.
34 Wesley Nichols – Bakersfield, Calif.
45 Dionte Holland – Washington, D.C.
53 Stephen Blissett – Pembroke Pines, Fla.
70 Kortlan Jackson – Upper Marlboro, Md.
74 Karim Barton – Los Angeles, Calif.
90 Lucson Noel – Pompano Beach, Fla.