ORANGEBURG, S.C. -- Morgan State's defense did a fair job of containing South Carolina State's offense. But the winless Bears could do nothing to contain the South Carolina State defense in a 42-0 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference loss to the Bulldogs yesterday.
S.C. State's defense, which led the MEAC by yielding only 179.3 yards per game, scored on a blocked punt and an interception and set up two more touchdowns with another interception and a fumble recovery.
"Our offense has sputtered like that during the first quarter all year," Bulldogs coach Willie Jefferies said. "The defense really held us in the football game and gave us an opportunity to score when they didn't score themselves."
The Bears' offense gave up the first touchdown when punter Michael Andres' kick from the Bears' end zone was blocked by defensive back Eugene Brown and Kendall Mobley recovered for the touchdown.
William Wrighten's kick gave the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead with 5 minutes, 39 seconds remaining in the first half.
Just 21 seconds later, Brown tipped a Morgan State pass to Ricky Hill, who returned the interception 27 yards to the Bears' 7. Two plays later, John Brown scored on an option to the left. Wrighten's kick was wide left, giving the Bulldogs a 13-0 lead with 4:24 remaining.
With 32 seconds left in the half, S.C. State took possession on its 33-yard line and scored with time to spare. A 17-yard pass from reserve quarterback Ronald York to Quincy Miller set up York's 20-yard touchdown pass to Daryl Mendenhall with three seconds left. A fumbled snap thwarted the extra-point attempt, leaving the Bulldogs with a 19-0 halftime lead.
"That would take a lot out of anybody," Morgan State coach Edmund Wyche said. "We were playing them nip and tuck, then all of a sudden you turn around and it's 19-0."
The Bears' woes continued. The Bulldogs intercepted three passes, recovered two of the Bears' four fumbles and tackled the Bears nine times behind the line of scrimmage. Morgan State crossed midfield twice.
Until a 9-yard run late in the third quarter, the longest run by a Bear was 4 yards.
"We moved the ball a little better with the passing game," Wyche said. "We moved it a little better rushing, but as soon as we get it moving, we get a turnover.
"Defensively we played well, but then we'd have a couple of breakdowns."