Chicago, IL---The two schools are 45 minutes and have played each other 75 times since 1899. They have played in Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC. They have played in East Rutherford, NJ and they have played as far away as San Diego, CA. But no matter where they play each other, it is almost always an exciting affair.
Last year fans were treated to another one of the many thriller in this rivalry when Morgan State won the game on a field goal with 17 seconds remaining to give the Bears a 38-35 win over Howard in the New York Urban League Classic at MetLife Stadium. The win gave Morgan State a 39-33-3 edge in the series.
This game was originally scheduled to be played at MetLife again but it was cancelled. It appeared that it would turn out to be a home game at Greene Stadi8um, but the Chicago Classic officials came in and offered the teams the opportunity to participate in the Chicago Classis at Soldier Field. The game will kick off at 4:32 EST and will be aired live on ESPN3 and broadcast via tape delay on ESPNU.
"The Chicago Football Classic offers a best in class matchup as Morgan State and Howard showcase the East Coact rivalry for a Mid-West audience," said Ron Collins, executive director of the Chicago Football Classic. "What better way for the Bison to challenge the reigning champions (MEAC) than on a neutral site in front of a football-hungry audience."
The Bison (0-3, 0-1 in the MEAC) are coming off a 37-19 loss to Hampton in their MEAC opener last week in the AT&T Nation's Football Classic at RFK Stadium.
Howard had its best offensive output of the season, amassing over 300 yards but they were done in by turnovers (5) and missed opportunities. Aquanius Freeman
provided most of the spark by rushing for 129 yards and a TD while also catching six passes to lead the team in that category. Red-shirt junior quarterback Jamie Cunningham was a bit rusty in his first start of the season, but he should be much more comfortable with a game under his belt.
Defensively, the Bison allowed the high-powered Pirates over 400 yards of total offense, but there were some standouts on the unit. Junior cornerback Travon Hunt
picked of two passes, junior linebacker Jalen Day
recovered two fumbles and red-shirt senior defensive tackle Ibrahima Kebe
forced two fumbles.
Senior punter/placekicker John Fleck
continued his all-conference level of play, knocking two punts inside the 20-yard line while recording two touchbacks and a fair catch.
The Bears (0-2, 0-0 in the MEAC) will be playing their first conference game of the season after dominating Virginia-Lynchburg, 61-0 in a game that was officially called non countable.
Morgan State relies on the leadership of its veteran quarterback Moses Skillon, who Morgan State head coach Lee Hull calls "the best quarterback in the conference" and the running of Lamont Brown.
"It is an important game for us if we are going to stay in the hunt for the MEAC title," said Howard head coach Gary "Flea" Harrell, in his fourth season. "We saw improvement last week and we are looking to get better this week, cutting down on our mistakes."
He continued. "This game is in Chicago, it's a classic, it's on ESPN3, it's a rivalry and it's a conference game. It doesn't get any better than that."
Added Morgan State second year head coach Hull, "Howard is a good football team. They had a tough outing in their first two games, but we expect them to be ready to play. Anyone that saw last year's game can expect an exciting, hard-fought contest."
NEXT UP: The Bears travel to Dover, DE to take on the Hornets of Delaware Syatye next Saturday at 2 pm. Howard finally gets to play in Greene Stadium next Saturday when it hosts Norfolk State at 1 pm in homecoming.Click Here
for Game Notes