The Howard Bison and Morgan State Bears enter their Sept. 24 matchup in a similar position: they’re both 1-2. The game will be played at a neutral site in New Jersey as part of the New York Urban League Classic, giving both schools a chance to get away from their usual confines as they prepare to take their Washington, D.C./Baltimore rivalry up north for the second consecutive year.

Last year, Morgan State trounced Howard 20-3 in what turned out to be another dismal year for a struggling Howard squad. This season however, the Howard Bison have a new look to them.

Armed with a freshman quarterback, Greg McGhee, and a new head coach, Gary Harrell, the Bison could be a formidable opponent this time around. A Sept. 10 win against Morehouse College at RFK Stadium proved that Howard isn’t afraid of the big stage.

The Morgan State Bears lost their first two games this year by a combined score of 100-16, but a narrow 13-12 win over Robert Morris on Sept. 17 appears to have recharged the Bears. Junior running back Travis Davidson led MSU with 87 rushing yards, and Morgan State will need to lean on the junior again against Howard.

While stellar against Morehouse, McGhee hasn’t been up to par in the Bison’s two other contests. The freshman from Pittsburgh threw for 248 yards and three touchdowns in Howard’s lone win but has averaged just 111 passing yards in Howard’s two losses.

Last year’s meeting between the two schools drew an excellent crowd, with many expected to attend again this season for what should be a fierce matchup.

Game Notes: The early weather forecast calls for a 40 percent chance of rain. Morgan State has averaged just 9.7 points on offense this year while Howard averages 16.0.

Click here to read the Morgan vs. Howard Recap


Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO