Winless Morgan State absorbs Rattlers' venom in 55-6 loss

November 03, 1991|By David Lee Simmons | David Lee Simmons,Special to The Sun

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Morgan State was a homecoming guest for the fifth time this season and couldn't have had worse timing.

Florida A&M, coming off a stinging loss last week, has been trying all season to build some momentum. In front of 27,132 at Bragg Stadium, the Rattlers did it with room to spare, routing the Bears, 55-6, yesterday.

The Rattlers scored 41 first-half points and coasted, as Travis Green came off the bench to pass for three touchdowns and run for one.

The Bears fell to 0-9 and 0-4 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Florida A&M improved to 4-4 and 2-2.

Morgan State appeared to be out of the game from the start, giving up a 93-yard return to David Lucas on the opening kickoff zTC to fall behind, 6-0. With three kickoff returns for touchdowns this season, Lucas tied the major-college record (divisions I-A and I-AA) and broke the Division I-AA record of two shared by 18 different players.

Morgan State also gave up a 68-yard punt return by Tyrone Davis in the first quarter that set up the Rattlers' second score.

"In the first quarter, our special teams put us in trouble right off the bat," said Morgan State first-year coach Ricky Diggs. "When you talk about a team having a difficult time trying to build momentum . . . that sets you back."

Actually, Morgan State struggled before the game even began. Though he wouldn't provide details, Diggs said the team had trouble with its hotel reservations after arriving in Tallahassee Friday afternoon.

"We didn't get secured in until about 7 or 8 p.m., and we got in at 1 p.m.," said Diggs. "We had several distractions, I'll put it that way. It was not a smooth trip."

Just ask Bears quarterback Orlando Purcell, who started the season as the fourth-stringer. Purcell was sacked eight times by Florida A&M, which gave up its lowest point total of the season.

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