Five takeaways from Morgan’s 31-20 loss to Norfolk State

The Morgan State Bears remain winless after losing their eighth game of the season.


Edwin Moore

After losing to Norfolk State, Morgan is now 0-4 in conference play this season.

Tariq Turner, Sports Editor

On Saturday, Morgan State’s football team (0-8) lost 31-20 to the Norfolk State Spartans (6-2) in Price Stadium in Norfolk, Va. 

The Bears’ game against the Spartans looked eerily similar to their one against North Carolina Central last Saturday when Central defeated them 28-17.

Morgan scored on their first possession of the game and took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter after running back Jabriel Johnson scored a two-yard touchdown run with 6:32 remaining in the first lead.

Morgan’s next lead of the game occurred when running back Alfonzo Graham scored a 34-yard touchdown with 10:29 left in the third quarter giving Morgan a 20-17 lead.

However, Morgan’s inability to prevent Norfolk quarterback Juwan Carter’s dominant offensive performance and their offensive struggles in the fourth quarter ultimately cost them the game. 

Carter completed 26 of 40 passes for 368 yards and three touchdowns.

Morgan’s next game is on Thursday, Nov. 4, against the Delaware State Hornets at 7:30 p.m. in Hughes Stadium.

Thursday’s game will be Morgan’s final Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) matchup of the season.

The last time Morgan only won one conference game in a season was during the 2017-18 season when they went 1-7 in conference play under the leadership of head coach Fred Farrier.

Their only conference win that season was a 48-28 win against Savannah State University on Oct. 14, 2017.

Here are the top five takeaways from Morgan’s 31-20 loss against Norfolk State.

Morgan struggles to get the passing game going.

Norfolk State had nearly twice as many passing yards as Morgan.

Norfolk State had 368 passing yards compared to Morgan’s 191.

68 of Morgan’s 191 passing yards came from running back Graham after completing a 68-yard pass to wide receiver Kenneth Miller Jr. on a trick play in the first quarter.

The play was only Morgan’s second offensive play of the game.

Morgan quarterback Neil Boudreau completed 14 of 28 passes for 123 yards and had one touchdown pass and two interceptions.

Neil Boudreau thrives on special teams.

In addition to being the team’s quarterback, Boudreau also serves as the team’s punter and holder.

Boudreau had five punts in the game for an average of 43.2 yards.

Three of his punts went inside Norfolk State’s 20-yard line, including one that was downed on the one-yard line.

His longest punt of the day was 69 yards.

Morgan’s defense struggles to contain Norfolk State quarterback Juwan Carter.

Carter completed 26 of 40 passes for 368 yards and three touchdowns.

He could have potentially had two more touchdown passes as two wide receivers dropped two well-thrown passes in the end zone.

In the first quarter, Anthony Williams dropped a pass in the end zone, giving Carter a 15-yard touchdown pass.

In the final seconds of the second quarter, Da’Quan Felton dropped a wide-open pass in the end zone, which would have given Carter a four-yard touchdown pass and his team a 20-13 lead.

Carter is eight yards shy of becoming Norfolk State’s all-time passing leader.

Morgan running Alfonzo Graham continues to play well.

Graham led Morgan in rushing yards with 56 on five carries, including a 34-yard touchdown run.

He also completed a 68-yard pass to Miller Jr., setting up a two-yard touchdown run for Johnson.

Morgan is in danger of not winning a single conference game this season.

After losing to Norfolk State, Morgan is now 0-4 in conference play this season.

The Bears will play their final MEAC game this Thursday against the Delaware State Hornets. 

This season, the Hornets are 1-1 in conference play and defeated Howard University 30-23 on Saturday.

Morgan lost 27-0 to Howard on Oct. 8.