Starting quarterback Seth Higgins' availability for Morgan State's road game against Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference rival Howard on Saturday is unclear as the junior continues to deal with an injured throwing shoulder.
The Edgewood graduate injured his right shoulder near the end of the first half of the team's 34-22 win against North Carolina Central last Saturday. Although he sat out the second half, Higgins has rejoined the Bears (2-5 overall and 2-1 MEAC) for conditioning sessions, coach Donald Hill-Eley said.
"Right now, he's day to day," Hill-Eley said Tuesday morning during the league conference call. "He's been at everything, and he's moving around. For the game, we'll see how it goes, but right now, he's day to day and seems to be fine."
Asked if he anticipates that Higgins will be able to line up under center against the Bison (2-5, 1-3), Hill-Eley said, "I don't think it was anything severe. So we'll see."
Higgins has sparked the offense. Since being named the starter prior to a 27-21 loss to Norfolk State on Sept. 28, Higgins has completed 22-of-42 passes for 299 yards and thrown three touchdowns with two interceptions. He has also rushed 38 times for 220 yards and four scores.
Junior Robert Council replaced Higgins for the second half against the Eagles and went 2-of-3 for 25 yards. He also carried the ball 11 times for 58 yards and one touchdown.
Hill-Eley expressed confidence in both quarterbacks.
"The good thing – as we've played for the last couple years – is that those guys have been here," he said. "They've both played as well as [freshman] Moses [Skillion]. At one time, rotating the quarterbacks was a thing that was always questioned, but now that experience that they have as we go down the stretch will be to our advantage."
Higgins is considered to be a better pocket passer than Council, who is more elusive. But Hill-Eley said their strengths are similar.
"They both have great intangibles," he said. "It's been week to week. Council is a quick and aggressive runner. Seth is 6-5, 230 [pounds], and Council is 6-4, 220. The week before, Seth had 100-and-something yards, and people said, 'Oh, he's the better runner.' Last week before Seth went out, he had 60 yards rushing. I think they complement the scheme and what the scheme provides. All three of those guys can run the ball, but they can throw the ball as well."
Perhaps refraining from saying much about Higgins' status is designed to keep Howard in the dark about the starting quarterback. But Bison coach Rayford Petty said his defense is not concerned about the identity of Morgan State's quarterback.
"We're just preparing for the system," he said. "The system doesn't change a lot as they change quarterbacks. They continue to run basically the same plays with all of them. So it's not like we're preparing for a great passing one and then a great runner. I think all of them do about the same thing. There's just small differences with the three of them, but not enough to have a game plan for each one of them. We're going with one game plan, and if we have to make an adjustment as we go, then that's what we'll do."