Inability to stop Howard on fourth downs haunts Morgan State in Saturday's loss

Morgan State prevented Howard from converting 10 of 17 third downs Saturday, but the Bison went a perfect 5-for-5 on fourth downs in their 28-14 win in Washington.

Those fourth-down conversions led to two touchdowns and 15 points for Howard (3-5, 2-3 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference}, and Morgan State coach Donald Hill-Eley said missed tackles were the culprit.

“You make contact behind the line of scrimmage, and you’ve got to make the stop,” he said.

“You get to the point where if you get one of them, you get momentum. We didn’t get them, and they just constantly kept getting momentum. When those types of things happen, you breathe life into these offenses.”

The Bison converted four fourth downs on their first possession of the game. They succeeded on fourth-and-1, fourth-and-2, fourth-and-2 and fourth-and-1 with three rushes by freshman running back Anthony Philyaw and one by junior quarterback Greg McGhee.

Howard coach Rayford Petty said he believed enough in the offense to get those conversions against the Bears (2-6, 2-2).

“It was a situation where it was short yardage,” he said. “Knowing what they’ve been doing all year on defense and what we knew we’re capable of doing, we felt that it was a spot there where we could get two or three yards at any time if we wanted to.”

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