Saturday's 38-14 loss at Bethune-Cookman eliminated Morgan State from contention for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title that the program had shared last year. But that doesn't mean that the team has nothing left to play for in 2015.
If the Bears (3-5 overall, 3-3 in the league) can win a pair of home games against Florida A&M (1-8, 1-5) on Saturday and Norfolk State (3-6, 3-3) on Nov. 21, they will post back-to-back .500 campaigns for the first time since the program went 6-6 in 2008 and 6-5 in 2009.
Coach Lee Hull said he is not worried about player morale now that the team doesn't have a shot at the MEAC championship.
"The guys have been up in the office Sunday and Monday," he said Tuesday morning during his weekly conference call organized by the league. "They're in good spirits, and we talked about us finishing strong and having a winning season. … So our team morale is high, and they understand the position we're in and that we just need to finish strong and go into the offseason on a positive note."
Curiously, Hull continued to insist that the team can finish the season at 6-5 as he is still clinging on to Morgan State's 61-0 victory over Virginia-Lynchburg on Sept. 19. That result is not recognized by the NCAA after it was determined this past summer that Virginia-Lynchburg did not meet the collegiate body's accreditation standards and is on the NCAA's list of non-countable opponents.
"I still count the other one," Hull said, using that logic to argue that the Bears can finish with back-to-back winning records for the first time since 2002 and 2003. "So I count us at 6-5. Regardless of what that is, we played the game and we won the game. I look at it that way. If you want to go that route, 2008 and 2009, it would be the first time we had a winning season and a non-losing season back-to-back. For us, we count that because we won the game, and that's how we look at it."
Hull maintained that the team will continue to play for the present and will not give time to younger or little-used players to gauge their talent for the future. Specifically, he said he is not considering benching senior quarterbacks Moses Skillon and Seth Higgins for redshirt sophomore Chris Clack or freshmen Khalil Trotman and Rudy Norwood.