Wednesday, August 28, 2019

25 Bearish Questions

For you Browns fans, this is HOFer Leroy Kelly as a Bear.
What is their body of work?

Morgan State is a HBCU with a strong football history dating back to when college football was segregated.  In fact, 4 members of the HOF played at Morgan State.  In 2014 they made the FCS playoffs, but are 12-31 since then.  They were 4-7 last year.  Tyrone Wheatley, the Michigan standout, is their new coach.  BG beat them 58-11 in 2011 at the Doyt in their only matchup.

How many seniors and juniors on the two-deep?

They have 22...which is a young team.

Who are their returning statistical leaders?

Donte Small was #9 in nation in passes defended and is second-team pre-season ALL-MEAC
TE Xavier Garette is first-team pre-season ALL-MEAC
LB Rico Kennedy is first-team pre-season ALL-MEAC
OL Stefan Touani is second-team pre-season ALL-MEAC
LB Ian McBurrough is second-team pre-season ALL-MEAC

What was their turnover ratio?

They were even last season.


How is their QB play?

DJ Gollatt took over with injuries to the starter last year and will start the BG game.  He's 6'3" and 225 pounds, which is a good-sized QB.  He completed 54% of his passes at 11 ypc, which is nothing special.  He had 6 TD/4 INT and is a sophomore.  He also averaged 4 yards per run, with loss plays included.  On positive plays, he was probably nearer 6.

What is their scoring and yards per play?

They were 8th last year in the MEAC in scoring offense at about 18 per game and 8th in yards per play at 4.6.  They return 7 starters from that offense.
Elbows on the table?  Really?

Can they run the ball?

They were 7th in rushing last year in the MEAC at 3.8 yards per carry and return their top RB.

Do they pass the ball?

See above.  They return their #1, #3 and #4 receivers.

How is their run/pass balance?

They ran on 60% of their plays last coach this year, so who knows.

Do they convert on 3rd Down?

They were 5th in the MEAC.

Do they score in the red zone?

They are OK at 4.7 per trip.  They had only 26 red zone trips.

Do they protect the quarterback?

They give up sacks on 9.4% of their pass attempts, which is very high.


Topline: Scoring and yards per play.

Morgan State was good as they were last year due to defense.  They finished 4th in scoring defense in their conference at 25.6 per game and 6th in yards per play at 5.6.  They return 8 starters on that defense.

Did they defend the run effectively?

They were #5 in the MEAC at 4.5 yards per carry.

Can they be passed on?

They were #5 in MEAC.  They allowed just under 50% completions but 13.6/completion, which is a lot.  They had 14 picks over 15 TD.

Do they get off the field on 3rd down?

They were excellent.  They were 3rd in the MEAC at 30.4%

Do they defend in the red zone?

They were very good at 4 points per red zone trip.  Note that the 3rd down and red zone account for the difference in ranking in yards per play and scoring.

Do they pressure the QB?

They led MEAC in sacks at 29, which is almost 8% of total passing attempts.  Their top two sackers return.

Special Teams:


Not good.  The guy they used last year was 8th in the conference at 31 net per punt.  They gave up 3 blocked punts and 1 TD return.

Punt Return?

Their top returning PR got about 7 a return on 11 attempts.  No TDs for the team and no blocks.


Hard to tell, last year's kicker has graduated.


They were 6th in KOR in the MEAC.

Kickoff Return?

They defended the KO very well, 2nd in MEAC.

Miscellaneous: Overall atmospherics and intangibles.

Well, here is the deal.  First, FBS teams schedule FCS teams for a guaranteed win.  Over its last 3 FCS games, all at home, BG is 2-1 and the aggregate score is tied at 96.  Not too much farther to go, except that I don't think anyone can assume this as a guaranteed win.

Sometimes you get an advantage when you have a new coach, but in this game, both teams have new coaches.

Also, both teams have question marks at QB, though Morgan State's have certainly played more games than BG's has.

The first game usually gets a decent crowd of students, so hopefully there will be some people at the game.  BG should win this game, but I don't think there are any sure wins on our schedule.  A loss is a horrible start for BG...let's hope they can figure it out.

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