The Bears lose big to Rutgers, while looking ahead to MEAC Schedule

Tramon Lucas

For the third straight game the Morgan State Bears were held scoreless, as the Rutgers Scarlet Knights defeated the Bears, 65-0 Saturday afternoon at High Point Solutions Stadium.

This Big Ten-MEAC clash marked the final non-conference game for the Bears, as they open conference play next week.

Coming into this game, Bears head Coach Fred T. Farrier benched starting quarterback Elijah Staley for the first quarter due to an internal disciplinary issue. Sophomore quarterback DeAndre Harris took the start. Running back Herb Walker Jr., also joined Staley on the sidelines for the first quarter.

“We tried to rotate them both [Staley and Harris] to figure out who would get a hot hand, obviously neither one of them really got a hot hand,” Farrier said on Staley coming into the game.

Filling in for Walker was senior Eric Harrell.

Both Bears’ quarterbacks combine, went 8/23 for 65 yards and 3 INT’s. RB’s Harrell and Walker combined for 23 carries for 61 yards.

A loss was warranted for the Bears as they went up against Rutgers in the good ole ‘big school takes on small school’ paycheck buster, but a shutout in three straight games couldn’t have been predicted. However, all isn’t lost.

The Bears have a couple small victories they can take away from in the three non-conference contests they had to start the season. Morgan’s defense looked very impressive, essentially carrying the entire team. Stand outs like DL Jai Franklin, LB Brandon Griffin, and DB’s Carl Garnes and Darius Johnson, have anchored the defensive unit and kept the team competitive in the first two games, earning them the sixth spot in top FCS defenses in the country. Another small victory would be the start of conference play. There’s something about playing teams you’re familiar with that brings your confidence level up and your nerves down.

As the Bears come home, we look ahead to the next game when the North Carolina A&T State Aggies make a stop at Hughes Stadium. A&T finished the 2016 season with a 9-2 record. They would get ousted by the University of Richmond in the FCS playoffs.

Aggies redshirt junior quarterback Lamar Raynard is the focal point of the Aggies impressive offense. He set a career high with 321 yards passing, and set a new school single-game record by completing 86.3 percent (19 of 22) of his passes.

The Aggies (3-0) currently sit second in the MEAC standings. It will be an interesting match-up between the Bears’ defense and the Raynard led Aggie offense. Hopefully the Bears’ offense can successfully move the ball and score its first points of the 2017 season.