Morgan State’s first win of the season – a 34-21 victory over Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference foe Florida A&M on Saturday – was a cathartic end to the program’s five-game losing streak to opening the year.
Coach Donald Hill-Eley said the Bears’ first win since a 45-6 rout of Savannah State on Oct. 6, 2012 was a just reward for the work the players and coaches had committed through the preseason and regular season.
“It’s always a sense of relief,” he said Tuesday morning during the MEAC conference call. “We started out the season 0-5 and it’s a lot of work. Putting in 16 hours a day that go into it from a coaching standpoint and 20 hours a week for these student-athletes, you want to be able to enjoy some fruit from your labor, and it was a relief to finally put everything together and then let it result in a win. That was the whole key.”
Morgan State will have to wait a week to build on its 1-5 overall record and 1-1 mark in the MEAC, but that may not be a bad thing. While maintaining momentum from Saturday’s victory would seem to be a priority, Hill-Eley said the time between now and an Oct. 19 game against North Carolina Central (3-2, 1-0) will be well spent.
“We definitely need this week off and it comes at a great time,” Hill-Eley said. “We’ve got so many kids that are banged up. We had a bruising schedule at the beginning. We’ve got receivers out, foot injuries, ankles, knees, and it’s not just contained to one segment. It’s throughout the whole team. So it’s much needed. I’m kind of glad that we don’t have a game this week because it’s just a matter of having six games of bruising football. You need some kind of break in there to get some normalcy to get these kids healthy.”