Morgan State nearly made Lee Hull's debut as head coach a memorable one, but the Bears fell short in a 31-28 loss to Eastern Michigan on Saturday night.
A three-point defeat to a Football Bowl Subdivision program might normally be viewed in a favorable light, but the Bears, who play in the Football Championship Subdivision, aren't looking for moral victories.
“They were upset because they thought they were the better football team,” Hull said of his players Tuesday morning during his weekly conference call organized by the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. “They outplayed them. We had 479 yards of total offense to their 391. The defense felt that they needed to stop the run a little bit better, but the players after the game were very emotional because they felt they should’ve won the game.
"They poured their hearts and souls out for this game because they wanted to win it for Marquese Meadow, [a freshman defensive lineman who died on Aug. 24 due to complications from heatstroke]. But right now, they’re upbeat. They understand that there were some mistakes that they made, and they weren’t anything that Eastern Michigan did. It was all on us. We made a few mistakes and left a few plays out there that we could’ve made and could’ve been the difference in the game.”
After the Eagles took the 31-28 lead just 79 seconds into the fourth quarter, Morgan State had three offensive possessions to either tie the score or regain the advantage. But the first drive ended in Bears’ territory, the second series was wiped by a lost fumble, and the third possession culminated in a 60-yard field-goal attempt by redshirt sophomore kicker Chris Moller that sailed wide right as time expired.
Hull said the game should serve as a reminder that the Bears need to learn how to produce in the fourth quarter.
“We’ve got to learn how to win, and being in those tough games like we were against Eastern Michigan, you’ve got to use those as a learning experience,” he said. “You’ve got to be in those types of games and go through that before you learn how to win. That’s what we’re doing right now. These guys are hungry, and they want to win. So they’re soaking up everything fast that we as coaches are trying to teach them. We’ve just got to be in games like that and learn how to win those tight games and learn how to focus and play in those tight games. The more you’re in those types of games, the more you’re going to learn and hopefully, we’ll get some confidence from those tight games and learn how to win.”Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun