TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- They had done it before, so the Morgan State Bears -- America's homecoming team -- believed they could do it again.
But after spoiling Florida A&M;'s homecoming last season with a rare road victory, Morgan State fell victim to a faster, stronger FAMU team yesterday.
The Bears' 47-9 loss to FAMU, the top-ranked team in the Sheridan Black College Poll came, before 27,767 at Bragg Memorial Stadium and kept Morgan winless in five Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference games.
FAMU was intent on erasing last season's shocking 24-20 loss to Morgan State, which also happened on FAMU's homecoming. But Morgan coach Ricky Diggs, whose team was a homecoming opponent for the second straight week, thought Florida A&M; was a little too intent.
Diggs and Rattlers coach Billy Joe verbally jousted after the game because Diggs took exception to Florida A&M;'s last touchdown, a 61-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Mario Allen to little-used receiver Tremayne Bridges that provided the final margin with 1:01 left in the game. Bridges caught the ball on a short crossing pattern and eluded several defenders for the score.
As Diggs and Joe shook hands in the Galimore-Powell Fieldhouse, Diggs told Joe: "I don't appreciate that pass at the end. A minute-something left and you're beating me by doggone 31 points, I would never do a thing like that."
Joe told Diggs that his reserves were in the game. Then, as Diggs spoke with reporters in the hallway, Joe's booming voice could be heard shouting "Hubba Hubba!" and vociferously defending the play to whoever would listen.
After about a minute, a visibly perturbed Diggs said, "Let me get out of here."
Joe said after the incident: "Shame on coach Ricky Diggs for not allowing our reserves to go out and play football."
Morgan State lost its fourth straight, and Florida A&M; won its sixth straight. The Bears (1-7, 0-5) are allowing an average of 38 points in each conference game -- including a season high for FAMU (7-1, 4-0).
Morgan State was able to move the ball only through the air. A constantly harried Michael Moore completed 23 of 40 passes for 385 yards -- 99 on a school-record touchdown completion off a short pass to Otis Covington.
But FAMU stuffed the Bears for minus-29 rushing yards and sacked Moore five times.
Next for Morgan
Site: Seibert Stadium, Birmingham, Ala.
When: Saturday, 1 p.m.
Yesterday: Beat Alcorn State, 20-9.