DSU notebook: Hornets aim for modest 3-win season in Saturday’s finale

DOVER — A three-win season is a possibility for the Delaware State football team.

It might not seem like much, but it would be a step in the right direction for the Hornets.

DelState could earn its highest win total since the 2013 season with a victory on Saturday. The Hornets (2-8) host Division II Virginia University of Lynchburg (2-6) at 2 p.m.

The Hornets saw their two-game winning streak snapped last weekend when they were shut out 9-0 at Morgan State.

It was a tough start to the year for DelState, which lost all of its first seven games. But the Hornets won consecutive games for the first time since 2013, when they finished 5-6 overall.

“We don’t differ, we don’t deviate,” said DSU first-year coach Rod Milstead. “We’ve been doing the same thing since day one. The difference is the guys understand the concepts now. They stayed true and trusted the process. They’re seeing the fruits of their labor.”

If the Hornets win Saturday, they’ll match their combined wins over the last three years under coach Kenny Carter, who went 3-30 before being let go at the end of the 2017 season.

Delaware State also only won two games in 2014 in former coach Kermit Blount’s final season at the helm.

And this season could have turned out similarly after the 0-7 start, but Milstead said the Hornets’ intensity at practice never wavered.

“They never quit and continued to work hard,” Milstead said.

To the air

The Hornets have primarily been a running team this year — evident by the fact they are fifth in the MEAC with 176.1 yards per game on the ground.

But DelState does want to throw the ball a bit more. That was hampered by strong winds on Saturday in the defeat to Morgan State.

Sophomore Trey Gross is sixth in the conference in receiving yards. He’s first on the team with three touchdown catches.

Senior Taron Selby is tops in the Hornets with 31 receptions.

“That’s something we want to concentrate more on is to try to get these guys some more catches,” Milstead said. “They work so hard in practice. They give us so much on the perimeter in blocking and things like that.”

“I told them I don’t want them to be known as just blocking receivers,” Milstead added. “They work really hard to make themselves get open. They make the difficult catches. When balls come to them, they know they might be few and in between, so they do everything they can to catch them and get as many yards as they can.”

Punting update

Junior punter Fidel Romo-Martinez was officially ruled out for the season.

Romo-Martinez suffered a shoulder injury Oct. 13 against Howard. He was an All-American candidate headed into this season after finishing the 2017 campaign fourth in FCS in punting yards per game.

Delaware State has turned to his younger brother Jose Romo-Martinez, a sophomore. Jose Romo-Martinez was the Hornets’ placekicker and is now fulfilling both duties.

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