Eagles looking for answers as they head out on road
Morgan State had largely wrapped up Saturday’s win against N.C. Central when backup Eagle quarterback Malcolm Bell entered with 8:46 left to play.
Bell, a redshirt freshman, completed 6 of 12 passes for 78 yards and a touchdown.
“That guy’s a good player,” NCCU redshirt-senior wide receiver Lamar Scruggs said.
Jordan Reid started under center for NCCU and was 12 of 22 for 124 yards in the 34-22 loss.
That was NCCU’s second straight loss in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, where the margin for error to remain in the running for a league title pretty much maxes out at two defeats.
Reid didn’t throw any touchdowns and tossed two interceptions, but the job appears to still be firmly his as the Eagles (3-4, 1-2 MEAC) head to Georgia for a date at Savannah State (1-7, 0-4 MEAC) on Saturday (2 p.m., NCCUEaglePride.com).
“Malcolm has been in several games throughout the season,” NCCU interim coach Dwayne Foster said. “He provided a spark for us, and that’s what we wanted.”
Reid hasn’t looked as sharp lately as he did earlier in the season, but there’s enough blame to go around, Foster said.
“He’s made some mistakes along way,” Foster said about Reid. “But, again, we have to do a better job of, certainly, protecting him so he can feel a lot more comfortable in the pocket so that he can do some things with his arm.”
The legs supporting NCCU’s running game aren’t carrying much of a load, sputtering for 44 yards against Morgan State.
The Eagles’ ball carriers average 102.71 yards per game with a rushing attack that has not been reliable.
Reid this season has rushed for 123 yards and actually leads NCCU with 74 carries, while running back Idreis Augustus is the team’s top rusher with 319 yards on 73 attempts.
What sticks out about Reid’s ball carrying is the 169 yards he has lost running for cover when plays have broken down. It’s a good snapshot of what Foster said needs fixing.
NCCU throws for 171.86 yards per game. The Eagles have been getting 274.6 yards of total offense per game, while surrendering 453.3 yards a game to its opponents, who for the season have outscored NCCU by 11 points.
The Eagles can boast about having the top tackler in MEAC in Tazmon Foster. The senior from Henderson has 81 takedowns, the third-highest total in the Football Championship Subdivision.
“They’ve got the No. 1 linebacker in our conference right now,” S.C. State coach Earnest Wilson said about Foster. “They’ve got some pretty good football players over there, and they’re going to be ready to play us.”
An even shinier bright spot for NCCU has been its special teams that feature explosive return man Adrian Wilkins, who this season became the only player in school history to score touchdowns on a kickoff return, a punt return and a reception in the same season.