The Morehead State Eagles take on the Mercer Bears meet for the first time ever as the college football season kicks off on Saturday, August 27.
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The game (7 p.m. ET start time) won’t be on TV, but anyone in the US can watch Morehead State vs Mercer live on ESPN+ right here:
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Morehead State vs Mercer Preview
Morehead State and Mercer enter the season with high expectations as the first-ever clash between the two schools on the gridiron awaits on Saturday.
Mercer earned a preseason top-25 ranking in the FCS poll at No. 18, a program first. The Bears went 7-3 last season and took second in the Southern Conference.
“This is a new team. It’s the ’22 team. ’21 team is no more. But a lot of the experiences we had last year hopefully will help us. But there’s a lot of things that go into winning, and it’s a fickle thing, and you got to go play really good. You got to have the ball bounce your way. You got to have a few breaks and stay healthy. But I really like my football team, I really do,” Mercer head coach Drew Cronic said via WMGT’s Shaaz Peerani.
Morehead State meanwhile comes off a 7-4 season in 2021 where the Eagles took second in the Pioneer League.
“Every team in the country is talking about the same thing, winning a championship,” Eagles head coach Robert Tenyer said via Fox 56. “We expect to win, we expect to be successful, and we hope to get to that point week seven or week eight where we’re going to have a chance to compete for a championship again.”
New Eagles quarterback Grady Cramer will face a tough Mercer defense with stars Lance Wise and Isaac Dowling. Mercer has a veteran quarterback in Fred Payton, and he will have to avoid Eagles star defensive back Cooper Krezek.
Mercer, which has a 34-18 record all-time at its current home field of Five Star Stadium, can’t look past Morehead State though a bigger challenge awaits next week. The Bears take on Auburn a year after facing Alabama.
“We want to compete our tails off, just like we did against Alabama last year,” Cronic said via The Telegraph’s Micah Johnston. “If you just go play hard and good, you never know what will happen.”
The Bears then begin their quest to win the SoCon.
“Now, we can build off those experiences. We’ve gotten much better in the last two years,” Cronic said via Johnston. :But at the beginning of every season you’re starting at the bottom and you’re having to climb your way to a certain point, so we’re not going to automatically just start where we ended up last year.”
Morehead State also faces a big test before Pioneer League play. The Eagles face 2021 FCS runner-up Montana State.