Morgan State (3-6, 2-4 MEAC) continues the 2012 season play in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference matchup against Hampton on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET at Hughes Stadium. The Pirates are under the leadership of fourth-year head coach Donovan Rose. The Pirates (2-7, 2-5) are coming off a 35-27 loss against Delaware State. The Bears were beat 30-0 against Norfolk State at William “Dick” Price Stadium.
THE BEARS-PIRATES MATCHUP
• The Bears and Pirates will meet for the 62nd time since 1930. Morgan State leads the series 36-23-2.
• Nov. 19, 2011 – the Bears fell, 42-18, to Hampton in a game that knocked the Bears to 5-6 overall and 4-4 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Hampton’s freshmen quarterback duo of Travis Champion and Bradford Hudson were solid. Champion completed 13-of-17 passes for 192 yards and tossed three touchdowns, while Hudson was 6-of-13 for 59 yards and threw a touchdown. MSU posted 311 total yards on offense, while the Pirates finished with 405.
• The last time the Pirates played in Hughes Stadium was on Nov. 20, 2010 … Morgan State managed just 10 first downs and 142 yards of total offense, giving up the game-winning touchdown on a 23-yard pass from David Legree to Javaris Brown with 46 seconds left in a 21-16 loss to Hampton. Morgan appeared to have had the game in hand, taking a 16-15 lead with 1:42 left on a 1-yard sneak by quarterback Delonte Williams, before allowing the Pirates to drive 78 yards on seven plays in under a minute.
• Travis Davidson currently ranks 3rd in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) in rushing with 877 yards (87.7 avg/g). He also ranks No. 1 the MEAC in scoring (78 Pts).
• QB Robert Council had a rough outing for the Bears at Norfolk State … he completed just 4 of 12 passes 38 yards, and was picked off three times, including one that was returned 15 yards by Deon King for a touchdown.
• Cornerback Joe Rankin registered his 9th interception of his career, picking off Savannah State quarterback Antonio Bostic in the 1st quarter…He currently is tied for first in the MEAC in INTs with four in 10 games…he also ranks T-No. 3 in passes defended (10) with his freshman teammate DaShaun Summers (6 pass breakups & 2 INTs).
• The MSU defense has collected 11 interceptions (ranked No. 5 in MEAC) through the first 10 games of 2012.
• The Bears enter Saturday’s contest as the MEAC’s No. 6 ranked scoring offense (21.2 avg/g).
• True freshman LB Elandon Roberts currently ranks T-No. 2 in the MEAC in tackles by posting 88 tackles with one game left on the schedule. … he recorded a season-high 16 tackles against Delaware State on Oct. 25. Roberts was also added to the 2012 Jerry Rice Award Watch List. The selection puts Roberts among the top freshmen players in the country, adding further recognition to the linebacker’s outstanding first season.
• Four of the Bears’ losses have been by a total of 10 points – an average of 2.5 points per game.
• The Pirates enter Week 10 coming off a 35-27 loss against Delaware State to drop to 2-7 overall and 2-5 in conference play.
• In 2011, Hampton finished with a 7-4 overall record and 5-3 in the MEAC.
• Travis Champion leads the Pirates offense this season. Champion, a 6-2, 218-pounder from Moreno Valley (Calif.) has completed 117 of 191 for 1,223 yards and eight touchdowns, including nine interceptions. He currently ranks No. 3 in passing average (174.7 and No. 6 in pass efficiency (119.4/g).
• Through the first 10 games, RB Jeremiah Schwartz (5-11, 235) is the MEAC’s leading rusher (Ranks 12th in the FCS). The true freshman from Orlando (Fla.) has recorded 167 carries for 930 yards (5.6 avg), including nine TDs. He rushed for a game-high 136 yards against Delaware State last Saturday. He has rushed for over 100 yards in six of the last 10 games, including a 201 yard outing against Bethune-Cookman.
• MSU’s offense will have to account for the Pirates’ linebacker Delbert Tyler. The junior currently ranks among the league leaders with 75 tackles (ranks 7th), to go along with 5.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks … he had a season-high 14 tackle outing against Bethune-Cookman.
• The Bears’ defensive unit will face a Hampton line that ranks No. 5 in the league in rushing by averaging 138.9 per contest.
• Through 10 games, the Pirates offense ranks 7th in the MEAC in scoring by posting 21.2 points per contest and ranks 5th in total offense (322.1/g).
• Travis Davidson needs to gain 35 rushing yards to surpass Craig Nelson at No. 9 on the school’s all-time rushing list. “Juice” currently has 1,563 career rushing yards.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR THIS WEEK
• 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.
• Quarterback Robert Council needs just 25 yards to reach 1,000 passing yards for the season.
• 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.
The Bears are 10-20 in November games since the start of the 2002 season and 3-8 at home that month.