Overlooked defense buoys Morgan State football in win Saturday over Bowie State

In 28-3 victory over Bulldogs, Bears don't surrender a touchdown for first time since 2011

September 14, 2014|By Edward Lee | The Baltimore Sun

Lee Hull didn't need any convincing that his Morgan State defense was physical. What he had been waiting for was proof that the unit could stop opposing offenses.

Hull got what he wanted in the Bears’ 28-3 rout of Bowie State at Hughes Stadium on Saturday. A defense that had surrendered a combined 60 points and 53 first downs in back-to-back losses allowed just a first-quarter field goal and 19 first downs overall.

After the Bulldogs (0-2) went 69 yards on their first drive to convert a 37-yard field goal, they had only one longer series, and that ended in a fumble Morgan State (1-2) recovered.

“I feel like we started slow,” said senior inside linebacker Cody Acker, who leads the team in tackles with 25.5. “We let them get a little too much on the first drive. But we responded well. We saw how the offense struggled, and in the last two games, the offense has really been carrying us. I told our guys last week that the losses were really on us, as a whole. So we definitely rose to the occasion today.”

The three points were the fewest allowed by a Bears defense since a 12-0 shutout of Delaware State on Oct. 24, 2011. That’s also the last time Morgan State did not allow a touchdown.

Hull said what he most enjoyed was watching the defense stick to its fundamentals.

“The biggest thing I was telling those guys is we’re physical, and everybody says that we can hit, but we haven’t been very disciplined and gap-sound,” he said. “So that’s what we worked on, making sure that everybody was in the right gaps. They did a great job today of being more disciplined. It was bend-but-don’t-break. [Bowie State] moved the ball. They ran the ball a little bit more than I would like to see, but when we needed to make stops, they made stops. That was a big emphasis, too.”

Perhaps the day's only blemish was the Bulldogs' game-high 318 yards. Even though they needed 83 plays to amass that total, an average of 3.8 yards per play, junior outside linebacker Christopher Robinson said the defense remains a work in progress.

“I feel as though we did OK,” the Dunbar graduate said. “We could’ve done better. Give Bowie some credit. They came in and did some good things. They’re a solid team. We’re grateful, but unsatisfied.”

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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