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North Carolina A&T (6-2, 4-1 MEAC) vs. Morgan State (1-8, 1-5 MEAC)
Date:
Saturday, November 9, 2019
Date:
Friday, Nov. 8
Time:
1 p.m.
Series:
Morgan leads, 43-38-3
TV Stream:
ESPN3  
E
SPN Triad Radio: Donal Ware (play-by-play), Al Swann (analyst)
Radio Stations: 1320 AM/93.7 FM Greensboro; 1230 AM/104.9 High Point; 920 AM/104.5 FM Burlington

The Aggies are well aware they cannot overlook the Morgan State Bears on Saturday. There are many reasons it would be wise for the North Carolina A&T football team to take the Bears seriously. One, the postseason is on the line. The Aggies control their own destiny and if they win out there is nothing stopping them from advancing to their fourth Celebration Bowl in five years and their third straight overall.

With Florida A&M ineligible for postseason play and a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) championship, the Aggies are in a good position if they can keep winning. Two, the Bears defeated the Aggies last season in Greensboro, N.C. The Bears got two clutch field goals in the fourth quarter to beat N.C. A&T 16-13 when the Aggies were ranked fourth in the nation following wins over FCS power Jacksonville State and FBS opponent East Carolina.  

Three, the Bears have been super competitive this season against some of the top teams in the MEAC. With last week’s blowout loss to Norfolk State being an outlier, the Bears were within two touchdowns of S.C. State, Florida A&M and Bethune-Cookman. N.C. A&T coach Sam Washington said he cannot figure out why Morgan State does not have a better record because they look like a formidable team on film.

The Aggies are coming off an enormous win on Saturday where they rallied from 10 points down to defeat S.C. State 22-20 in Orangeburg, S.C. The win put the Aggies in a first-place tie with Bethune-Cookman leaving their hopes of a Celebration Bowl berth very much alive. N.C. A&T quarterback Kylil Carter had a career day throwing for 267 yards and a touchdown on 21-for-38 passing. He also rushed for 73 yards and compiled 340 yards of total offense. Carter posted career highs in passing yards, completions, pass attempts and total offense.

His target was Elijah Bell who caught 11 passes for 107 yards. N.C. A&T running back Jah-Maine Martin did not put up his normal gaudy numbers, but he was effective in pass protection, run blocking for Carter’s quarterback keepers and he rushed for 63 yards and a touchdown. Cornerback Amir McNeill had a key interception in the fourth quarter and the Aggies held the Bulldogs to only 50 yards rushing.

The Aggies come into Saturday’s game against Morgan State ranked No. 1 in total offense, total defense, rushing offense, rush defense, scoring offense and scoring defense.

Morgan State has struggled with turnovers this season. They have minus-16 turnover margin and have thrown 17 interceptions to only eight touchdowns. They do have a big-time receiver in Manasseh Bailey who has 637 yards receiving and five touchdowns on 37 receptions.

News & Notes

  • Elijah Bell had another 11 receptions on Saturday. He now has 191 receptions in his career and is tied sixth all-time in MEAC history in receptions with Florida A&M’s Rooservelt Kiser. If Bell earns nine more receptions, he would become one of only six players in MEAC history with 200 or more receptions. If Bell compiles 286 more yards receiving, he will become one of only five receivers in conference history to have 3,000 career receiving yards.
  • Junior placekicker Noel Ruiz booted two more field goals through the uprights last Saturday to give him 16 on the season. That breaks a single-season school record for field goals made. Previously, Cody Jones and Yonnick Matthews held the single-season record with 15. Ruiz needs 13 made field goals to break the school’s career mark held by Jones at 42.
  • A big day today could yield Martin the Aggies single-season rushing touchdowns record. Martin needs three rushing touchdowns to break Tarik Cohen’s single-season mark of 18 set in 2016. He needs four total touchdowns to break Cohen’s single-season total touchdowns record.
  • Last week’s win guaranteed the Aggies their eighth straight winning season. The Aggies are in the middle of the program’s most prosperous tenure. But they still need three more consecutive winning seasons to break the school record of 10 straight winning seasons set from 1955-64.

TALE OF THE TAPE (per game)

Statistical Category

A&T

Morgan State

Total Offense

444.4

276.8

Total Defense

303.2

441.9

Rushing Offense

235.2

109.2

Rushing Defense

80.2

246.3

Pass Offense

209.1

167.3

Pass Defense

223.0

195.6

Scoring Offense

34.5

14.3

Scoring Defense

20.8

35.3