DSU notebook: Hornets gain confidence with effort at West Virginia

DOVER — The Delaware State football team didn’t return to Dover from West Virginia as winners.

But the Hornets did bring back a boatload of confidence.

While Delaware State wasn’t close to pulling off a monumental upset, the Hornets showed they could hang with an FBS team for spurts. This came a year after they fell 79-0 to Missouri in a game where both teams agreed to shorten the second half to 10-minute quarters.

That was not the case in the 59-16 defeat at West Virginia this past weekend.

“We needed that game for our players to understand, ‘You know what, we can be a good football team.’” said DSU coach Kenny Carter. “That’s what they got out of it.”

Now the Hornets hope to bring that confidence into their home opener on Saturday against MEAC foe Norfolk State at 2 p.m.

Despite the 0-3 record, Carter thinks the Hornets have made a positive impression on their fans this year. The losses include a tightly-contested game with Delaware, a game where the Hornets were winning against Hampton and finally the defeat to an FBS team.

But Carter knows the positive performances need to start adding up to wins. The Hornets have the longest losing streak in Division I at 16 games after Austin Peay snapped its 29-game streak last week.

“Obviously when you’re 0-3 that’s not where you want to be, but everybody can see where we’re going,” Carter said. “So with that excitement of coming home and the team playing so much better, now it’s time to go win football games.”

Of the positives from the West Virginia game, Carter was most happy with the improvement of the DelState run-game.

The Hornets also forced three turnovers in the first half. They also caught a pair of touchdowns on pass plays, one for 81 yards by Nyfease West and another for eight yards by Kwannah Kollie. Both West and Kollie are freshmen, as was most of the offensive line.

“We loved the way our team played,” Carter said. “When you go into a game against a top-25 opponent and you out-rush them, minus sack yardage, that’s saying a lot. Especially when you do it with an offensive line that’s center was a sophomore, both guards and both tackles were freshmen. It was very encouraging.”

Extra points

It will be Hall of Fame Day at Delaware State on Saturday. The Hornets will be honoring the 10-year anniversary of the 2007 MEAC championship team. The 2007 Hornets posted a school-best 10-1 overall regular season record and a perfect 8-0 mark in the MEAC to capture the sixth league title in team history. In addition, the leader of the 2007 Hornet offense, quarterback Vashon Winton, is among this year’s individual DSU Hall-of-Fame inductees.

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