Morgan State at a glance

September 08, 2000|By Christian Ewell

Coach: Stanley Mitchell (second season)

Last year: 2-8

Conference: Mid-Eastern Athletic

Radio: WEAA (88.9 FM) Offense: Pro I

Defense: 4-3

Key returnees: WR Anthony Collins; WR Marc Lester; LB Justin Patton; DB Melvin Coleman; DB Micah Ramseur

Key newcomers: QB Custavious Patterson; OT James Roberson; OT Kevin Smith; LB Albert Gamble

Strengths: Despite Ramseur's one-game suspension for violating team rules, Morgan State's defensive backfield should be pretty strong, led by Coleman. The same goes for the linebackers. Collectively, the receivers could be as good as any in the conference. Fullback Ali Culpepper could be good if he stays healthy.

Weaknesses: None of the quarterbacks had practiced at Morgan State before Aug. 18. Patterson will open at starter. Offensive line and special teams continue to be areas of concern.

Toughest opponent: Florida A&M (Sept. 9). Florida A&M is expected to be the best team in this conference, and may also contend for a national title in the Division I-AA ranks. Against Morgan State, the Rattlers have failed to score 40 or more points only once since 1990.

Key game: Howard (Sept. 23) There's a possibility that the Bears could get over .500 for the first time since Sept. 1997 with a win in this game. The matchup, free of a long road trip to wear Morgan State down or a inter-area rivalry to motivate, could also be a more accurate gauge of any strides the program has made since last year.

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