Home cookin’: Hornets to play record 7 games in Dover this season

Rod Milstead

DOVER — Delaware State University football fans will have plenty of chances to watch the Hornets in person this season.

The Hornets have a modern-day record seven home games on the schedule. The previous high was six home games in 2008.

This is also the first season since 2013 Delaware State is not playing a FBS opponent.

The nonconference portion of the schedule is made up of games against Delaware, Lincoln, Merrimack and St. Francis. Only the Delaware contest is on the road.

This comes after back-to-back years where Delaware State only had four home games. The Hornets did not play a home game last season until the month of October.

The Lincoln game will be DSU’s home opener on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 4 p.m.

The two teams are renewing their rivalry from the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association. They last met in 1960 but played 23 games from 1924 to 1960.

Merrimack is a brand new opponent for the Hornets. Merrimack is beginning a transition from Division II to Division I during the 2019-20 academic year as it moves up to the FBS level.

That game is on Oct. 19 for Family and Youth Weekend at Delaware State.

The final nonconferene home game is on the last day of the regular season, Saturday, Nov. 23 against St. Francis. It is the second year in a row DelState has played St. Francis after the Hornets fell 45-14 on the road last year.

DSU also has Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference home games against Howard (Sept. 21), South Carolina State (Oct. 5), Bethune-Cookman (Nov. 9) and Norfolk State (Nov. 16).

“I’m ecstatic about our 2019 schedule,” said DSU second-year coach Rod Milstead. “I’m most grateful for the seven home games on the schedule because it gives us a chance to connect and build support among our students, fan base and community.”

DSU will open the season at the University of Delaware on Thursday, Aug. 29 at 7 p.m.

It is the first time the instate rivals have played since 2017 when UD won 22-3. The Hornets have never beaten the Blue Hens in nine all-time matchups.

Delaware State’s bye week is the second week of the season on Sept. 7.

The Hornets have played at least one game against a FBS opponent for five years in a row but there are none on the schedule this year.
They played two each during the last two seasons with trips to West Virginia and Florida State in 2017 and visits to Buffalo and Western Michigan last season.

“After being on the road for seven games last season, including two against major college opponents, it’s great for our program to have more exposure at home, fewer long trips and a schedule that gives us an opportunity to be more successful,” Milstead said.

The Hornets are coming off a 3-8 record in Milstead’s first season — their highest win total since 2013.

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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