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Local college football preview: Morgan State faces North Carolina A&T

Morgan State cornerback Donte Small (#1) intercepted three passes in a 30-27 loss at Albany a week ago. The Bears will try to slow North Carolina A&T on Saturday.
Morgan State cornerback Donte Small (#1) intercepted three passes in a 30-27 loss at Albany a week ago. The Bears will try to slow North Carolina A&T on Saturday. (Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun)

MORGAN STATE (0-3, 0-0 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) @ NORTH CAROLINA A&T (3-0, 0-0)

When: Saturday, 6 p.m.

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Site: BB&T Stadium, Greensboro, N.C.

TV: ESPN3

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Radio: WEAA 88.9 FM

Series: Morgan State leads 42-36-3

What’s at stake: Morgan State remains winless after Saturday’s 30-27 loss at Albany, but showed some life after getting outscored 77-17 in its first two games. An 88-yard touchdown catch with 6:54 left in the fourth quarter prevented the Bears from beating the Great Danes for the first time in two attempts. Morgan State’s first MEAC-opening win since 2016 will rest on its ability to upset a North Carolina A&T team that captured its ninth conference championship last season. The Aggies are ranked No. 4 in the latest STATS Football Championship Subdivision poll after upending then-No. 6 Jacksonville State, 20-17, and Football Bowl Subdivision program East Carolina, 28-23.

Key matchup: The red zone for both sides could be critical. North Carolina A&T has scored a touchdown in all eight trips it has ventured inside the opponents’ 20-yard line, leading the MEAC in red zone offense. Conversely, Morgan State ranks second in the league in red-zone defense, allowing a touchdown 41.7 percent of the time (five of 12).

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Player to watch: The Bears lead the conference in interceptions with seven, and cornerback Donte Small finished with three of them — one shy of the school record set by Craig Spencer in 1977 — against Albany. The 6-foot, 195-pound sophomore, who returned one 45 yards for a touchdown, was named the MEAC’s Defensive Player of the Week.

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