Saturday's 20-17 loss at North Carolina Central saddled Morgan State with a two-game losing streak in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, a 3-4 overall record and a 3-2 mark in the league.

With four teams with one MEAC loss or fewer and just three games left on the schedule, the Bears' hopes of repeating as conference champions are dwindling. Coach Lee Hull didn't try to sugarcoat anything when he noted that the team can't afford to slip any farther behind No. 20 North Carolina A&T (6-1, 4-0), Bethune-Cookman (6-2, 4-1), North Carolina Central (4-3, 3-1) and South Carolina State (4-3, 3-1).

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But Hull also pointed out that Morgan State finished in a five-way tie for first place in last year's standings with a 6-2 league record and captured the title via tiebreakers.

"Obviously right now, we can't give any more games away," he said Tuesday morning during his weekly conference call organized by the MEAC. "But if you look at last year, we had five teams with two losses. So obviously, we're at that critical point right now where we have those two losses, and we can't have another loss. If we do that, then yeah, we're mathematically out of it. So we're going to prepare to try to win the next three games.

"If you look at last year, we were in a similar situation. We need some help from some other teams, and these other teams are playing each other. So it's important that we take care of business and we get better at taking care of the football and giving ourselves the best opportunity to win a football game and stay in the race."

The Bears will have a bye week to watch their competition on Saturday and also put the microscope on themselves. Hull said the coaches will scrutinize, among other topics, the team getting outscored 31-10 in the first half, losing seven turnovers, and gaining just 124 rushing yards in the past two losses.

"The focus is that we're banged up a little bit," he said. "So try to get our guys healthy for a stretch of three tough games left. Also work on our fundamentals and technique. We're a young football team, so we're still working on those fundamentals and techniques. Also working on the mindset of our guys. We've got to start fast. In our last three games, we've been down. So we have to figure out a way to get our guys to start faster. Also work on ball security. We had three turnovers in this game and four in the game before. So we're really going to work on that and emphasize like we did in the first four weeks of protecting the football."

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