Morgan State head football coach Tyrone Wheatley feels he has a recipe for success, but his team is struggling to execute it so far this season.
The Bears travel to Orangeburg Saturday searching for their first victory of the season. MSU opened MEAC play last week with a 27-0 loss to Howard. Despite an 0-5 record, Wheatley feels his team is close to a breakthrough.
“We keep talking to our guys about the process, and trusting the process,” Wheatley said. “The process is consistent and doesn’t vary. Our players are more focused on the outcome, they are trying to understand that the game changes, it evolves, but the process stays the same.”
Wheatley said his team got caught up in the “Friday Night Lights” against Howard.
“We have to be more disciplined,” Wheatley said. “We’re trying to get our guys to understand discipline plays a huge part in the process. It’s like my grandma’s apple pie recipe, you just put in what she tell you to. You may think it needs an extra pinch of salt, but if you add it, it can ruin everything.”
Wheatley said his players are pressing, trying to do too much when they take the field rather than just playing their position. Against Howard, running back Alfonzo Graham took a reverse hand off 76 yards for a touchdown, but a holding call negated the play and the Bears were forced to punt.
“We had a chance to get points on the board and get undisciplined penalties,” Wheatley said. “All you have to do is your job, get in the right place and we score. Right now, guys are getting outside the process.”
Wheatley said he appreciates that his team is playing hard, but he hopes to dial it back and have them focus on what they are supposed to do on the field.
“We’re close,” Wheatley said. “That was a really good Howard team we played, we just have to put some points on the board.”
Morgan State enters Saturday’s contest averaging eight points per game. The offense is averaging just over 285 yards per game led by dual-threat quarterback Neal Boudreau who has thrown for 574 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 50 yards.
“Execution is the base point of the process,” Wheatley said. “The recipe is the recipe, you don’t have to put in any more or less. The process doesn’t require you to do any more than we as coaches ask you to do.”
SC State head coach Buddy Pough said Monday that Morgan State can “smell blood in the water,” after his team’s 30-7 loss to Florida A&M. Wheatley knows the Bulldogs will be prepared as they open MEAC play.
“SC State had an uncharacteristic game (against FAMU),” Wheatley said. “Normally, they put up a lot of points, and their defense is stingy and very athletic. There’s nothing more dangerous than a wounded animal, they are very vicious, plus they will be looking to defend their home territory.”
The Bulldogs will be celebrating Homecoming Saturday against Morgan State. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. and can be viewed live on ESPN3 with a re-broadcast at 10:30 p.m. on ESPNU.