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Morgan State football falls to Albany, 26-0

Morgan State logo
(Handout)

It had been 27 years since Morgan State football lost two straight shutouts, but the Bears matched that feat Saturday, falling to Albany, 26-0, in their home opener at Hughes Stadium.

Last week, Morgan State lost, 10-0, at Towson. The last time the Bears (0-2) were blanked in successive games was 1990, when the Bears were held scoreless in three straight games on the way to finishing 1-10.

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"We can't harp on this. It's all about how you bounce back," quarterback Elijah Staley said. "The defense is playing great; the offense has to get on its toes. We just have to put some points on the board."

Adding insult, Marylanders scored all three Albany touchdowns. Karl Mofor, of Greenbelt, rushed for 98 yards and two scores, and Jordan Crockett, of Fort Washington, caught a 34-yard pass to give Albany a 7-0 lead at halftime.

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Former Mississippi State QB Elijah Staley is a big personality with a big throwing arm.

"It was so relieving to be across the [state] border and into Maryland," said Mofor, a freshman whom Morgan State had recruited and had 10 relatives rooting for him in the announced crowd of 3,789. The victory squared Albany's record at 1-1.

The Bears hung tough for the first half, but the Great Danes bust out for 16 points in the third quarter as Morgan State's defense, notably stronger than last year when it allowed 113 points in the first two games, tuckered out.

"Yes, we were out there too long, but Albany didn't do anything we didn't think they would do," Bears defensive back Eric Alvis Jr. said. A redshirt senior from Houston, Alvis had six solo tackles, including a sack, in his best showing.

As always, he dedicated the game to his family, still struggling in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Was Alvis happy with his effort?

"No," he said. "The stats may say different, but a loss is still a loss. But it's a long season and I trust my guys [on offense] to get it together."

Staley completed 18 of 40 passes for 170 yards, much of it toward the end. Albany smothered the Bears' running game, holding them to 64 yards on the ground. Herb Walker Jr., the expected go-to back, gained eight yards on 11 carries. Three years ago, he rushed for a school-record 1,408 yards.

Walker confessed that Morgan's scoreless streak "plays on our minds a little bit."

What to watch for when Morgan State plays Albany in football on Saturday.

"But we can't think about that," he said. "We have to execute, and I've got to play my game."

Ditto, Staley, the ballyhooed 6-foot-7 transfer quarterback who'd started his college career at Mississippi State.

"Eli is absolutely still the guy. Our job is to find a way to make him more effective," Morgan State coach Fred Farrier said. Last week, Staley threw a lot of roll-out passes. On Saturday, he adhered to the pocket. The Bears are still scratching their heads.

"There was a lot of excitement and anticipation built around having a quarterback who, we feel, should make us more successful," Farrier said. "We've got to do a better job of taking advantage of the talents our guys have, devise a game plan that will help us score points, and ultimately keep our defense off the field.

"Defensively, we're a lot different from last year, but, sitting here at 0-2 it's difficult to find moral victories after being shut out in two games."

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