Hens to play Hornets in Dover as part of new deal

Once a matchup that was notable for never being played, the football rivalry between Delaware State and Delaware now has a future at least for another decade.

The state’s only two NCAA FCS Division I programs announced on Monday afternoon that they have signed a six-year contract, starting in 2024. And, for the first time, the Blue Hens will play football in Dover.

All of the previous eight UD-DSU meetings have been played at Delaware Stadium in Newark.

The two squads were already slated to play this season and in 2020. They will now play back-to-back games in Dover in ’24 and ’25, followed by dates at Delaware Stadium in ’26, ’27 and ’29.

The host of the sixth game of the contract will be determined by the first five meetings. The team with the most victories in that five-game stretch will host the sixth game.

“It’s exciting for each school and the state that our football series will continue into the next decade and beyond,” said Delaware State coach Rod Milstead. “I’m also pleased that at least two of the games are scheduled to be played in Dover, allowing fans in central and southern Delaware a better opportunity to attend.”

“We are looking forward to this series with Delaware State and to celebrate our state’s two major universities,” said Delaware coach Danny Rocco. “This agreement will create a lot of excitement and enthusiasm for the fans of both universities.”

Starting with the historic first meeting in the 2007 NCAA Division I-AA playoffs, the Hens are 8-0 against the Hornets in football. Between the two schools, nearly 50 players who are Delaware natives are slated to suite up for the 2019 contest.

““This football series agreement provides another opportunity for Delaware’s major public Universities to engage while also bringing together state and local officials, alumni and fans of each school, constituents and our communities,” said Delaware State Director of Athletics Dr. D. Scott Gines. “We are excited to be a part of this showcase for our great institutions and the First State.”

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