Morgan State was just about a minute away from another incredible victory over a non-conference opponent. Still, the game was ripped from their hands as Akron returned a late fumble for a touchdown to crush the Bears’ upset dreams 24-21.
MSU offensive coordinator B.T. Sherman, substituting for head coach Damon Wilson in the MEAC Coaches’ Conference, explained that the Bears’ objective is to treat a loss the same way as they would a big win, such as their 17-10 opening weekend victory over Richmond.
“We’ve got our 24-hour rule; 24 hours to celebrate a win, 24 hours to flush a loss,” Sherman said. “Now we’re looking forward and preparing for Towson.”
The Battle of Baltimore will take place at Hughes Stadium Saturday at 6 p.m. It’s a game the Bears are looking forward to.
“This has been a rivalry game for a while. They’re 5-10 minutes down the street from us, so it should be a packed house,” Sherman said. “We’re just trying to get in the win column.”
Morgan State’s routine against Akron was slightly similar to their Richmond script, a slow start that turned into a late lead thanks to the Bears’ defense. Junior quarterback Duce Taylor and senior receiver Treyveon Pratt combined for touchdown passes of 31 and 12 yards in the final four minutes of the third quarter to open up a 21-17 lead for Morgan.
That lead held until 55 seconds left when a hand-off hit the turf, and Zips linebacker Bryan McCoy scooped up the ball and raced Akron away from the jaws of defeat from 13 yards away.
“An unfortunate situation happened; it’s something you can’t plan for,” Sherman said. “The worst-case scenario happened. We just can’t let that beat us two weeks in a row.”
With an entire season ahead and much more at stake, Sherman believes the Bears will be prepared for Towson and all other opponents moving forward if they stick to their game plan.
“Just got to go back and see what you could’ve done better to not be in that position. Just continue to get work and get better each and every day.
“The easiest way to do it is have a plan and have your players be tough each play,” he explains. “If you can do that, you end up being a tough team. Just trying to focus on the details of football and playing the right way. You do that for 60 minutes. You give yourself the best chance to win.”