Morgan State-North Carolina A&T on Saturday could determine MEAC frontrunner

Two games in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference this week pit one league leader against another.

On Thursday, Norfolk State (4-5 overall and 4-1 in the league) will visit No. 20 Bethune-Cookman (7-2, 4-1). Two days later, Morgan State (5-4, 4-1) will tangle with North Carolina A&T (7-2, 4-1).


Both games – along with South Carolina State (6-3, 4-1) playing host to Florida A&M (2-7, 2-3) on Saturday – will go a long way toward sifting out the contenders from pretenders, and the significance of Saturday's game is not lost on Bears first-year coach Lee Hull.

"It's a very important game," he said Tuesday during his weekly conference call organized by the MEAC. "Obviously, if we want to win the MEAC – which is our goal – North Carolina A&T right now is leading. They're 7-2 and a very good football team. This is a very important game just like the next two after this. But we're not worried about that. We're just worried about concentrating and putting together a good game plan and going down there and playing our best game of the year."

Conversely, Aggies coach Rod Broadway tried to turn down the hype on Saturday's game.

"It's just the next game," he said. "One game doesn't make a championship. It's your body of work that makes a championship. It's a big game because it's the next game and Morgan State's playing well.

"They're hot right now. So we need to play well and we need to prepare well and we need to play well to have a chance against those guys. We're looking forward to the challenge. It's a great opportunity for us."

Hull admitted that he wasn't entirely sure that he envisioned Morgan State – which was voted to finish last in the conference's preseason poll – elbowing its way to a five-way tie for first place in the league after nine games.

"It's where I had hoped to be," he said. "Didn't know coming into my first season how the players would handle the new type of discipline and the new offense, new defense, new special teams, new schemes and how they would pick it up. But I'm very pleased with how they picked it up. They've always talked about wanting to be accountable for everything they did and they wanted to win. They've just been working hard. I'm just pleased with where we are and I hope to continue our success."