They've only played two games, but time is running out on the Morgan State football team.
The Bears dropped to 0-2 last week with a 21-7 loss to Bethune-Cookman. It was an improvement on the opener, a 50-point shelling at Central State, but the Bears' only points came on a blocked punt. Bethune-Cookman was supposed to be Morgan State's competition for the basement of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
Saturday (1:30 p.m.) at Hughes Stadium, the Bears will play Bowie State.
There is only one home game after that, and Delaware State, the Oct. 20 homecoming foe, is after its fourth MEAC championship in the last five years. Senior flanker Glenny Moore is out three to four weeks with a bruised thigh, and junior defensive back Robert Johnson could miss as many as three games with a sprained ankle. They are two of the Bears' best.
Morgan State must turn things around quickly to prove that last September wasn't an aberration. The Bears have gone 1-8 since last year's 3-0-1 start. In the previous five years, from 1984-88, they won three games, none against Division I-AA competition.
"I knew we were going to have some problems because of a lack of depth, particularly on the defensive line," third-year coach Ed Wyche said. "People are getting experience, and we did play better last week than we did in week one, but we've got to be more productive offensively."
Wyche is committed to David Partin, a freshman from Lakewood, Calif., at quarterback. The Bears had 17 yards total offense last week -- despite fierce pressure, Partin didn't throw an interception -- and Wyche has changed his whole line. He's also giving that young unit less to learn.
"We're taking some things out of the offense," Wyche said. "People know we're going to pass and our offense is still going to be wide open, but right now we're just trying to simplify things until we get more experience."
* Peter Rono's on-again, off-again relationship with Mount St. Mary's is on again.
Rono came to Emmitsburg from Kabsabet, Kenya, in January 1987. The following summer he stood tall among the world's middle-distance runners, claiming the gold medal in the 1,500 meters at the Seoul Olympics. In the spring of 1989, he was second to teammate Kip Cheruiyot in the NCAA 1,500, and a year ago dropped out of the NCAA cross country championships with a minor injury.
Rono was not on campus for the spring 1990 semester and had a typically busy summer on the European circuit, but he's in good academic standing now and anticipates competing for the Mount next month.
The NCAA cross country championships are Nov. 19 at Tennessee. Rono also will be eligible all next year.
* There are only 23 games on the Washington College basketball schedule, and Tom Finnegan thinks anyone ducking his Shoremen is making a mistake. "This would be a good year to play us," Finnegan said.
Last year Washington went to the Division III Final Four and finished 25-6 overall. Five of the first six players were seniors, and that hard-nosed group was 82-28 over four years.
A lot of good, young big men rode the bench the last two years, so Finnegan went recruiting for perimeter players. This year's freshman class includes Geoff Rupert, a 6-foot-4 swingman out of South Carroll, and Greg Rogers, a 6-1 guard from Orange, N.J. Alan Lester, a 5-11 junior from Philadelphia, transfers in after spending the last two years at Eastern.
* QUICK TAKES: Chad Johnston, a 6-7, 225-pound center from Vancouver, has decided not to attend UMBC to play basketball . . . The Bowie State football team was strengthened when senior Tim Styles, a return specialist, rejoined the team after sitting out last year . . . Loyola's Gina Iarocci, a senior from Potomac, is the MAAC Player of the Week in volleyball.