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Morgan State football using snub in MEAC preseason poll as motivation

When the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference unveiled its preseason poll in the summer, Morgan State was picked to finish last in the 11-team league despite tying Delaware State for third in 2013.

In the aftermath of the Bears' 28-3 thumping of Bowie State on Saturday, senior inside linebacker Cody Acker didn't need any reminding about the team's placement in the preseason poll.

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"Believe me, I know that," he said. "It's just motivation. At the end of the day, I've never seen a preseason ranking dictate what a team does during the season. It's all just speculation. All we have to do is come out and prove those guys wrong. At the end of the day, they don't know what they have in our room. Only we do."

Morgan State's opportunity to prove the doubters wrong will begin Saturday when the Bears clash with conference rival Howard (1-2) in the New York Urban League Classic at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. It is the league opener for both teams.

For his part, rookie head coach Lee Hull wasn't startled by the preseason ranking, surmising that observers did not know much about Hull, who was the wide receivers coach at Maryland.

But Hull said he did not plan to revive talk about the ranking with the players.

"We talked about it in the beginning of the season, and I told them that I would not talk about it again," he said Tuesday morning in a conference call arranged by the league. "We just have to go out and prove people wrong. If that's where they think we are, we've got a lot to prove. But we're not going to sit there and dwell on it because then that becomes a distraction."

Hull did agree, however, that opening the MEAC portion of a schedule with a victory would be beneficial for the players and coaches.

"This is a tough conference," he said. "It will go down to the wire. We've got a lot of great teams, and anything can happen. So, it's important for us and our confidence to get off to a good start.

"Getting a win here would help us and the players with their confidence and believing. As a new coaching staff, you've got to have guys believing in what you're doing and what you're teaching. This would help go a long way in that direction."

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