Winless Hornets welcome MEAC slate after rout by Missouri

DSU football coach Kenny Carter

DSU football coach Kenny Carter

DOVER — The MEAC conference schedule is a welcomed sight for the Delaware State University football team.

The Hornets would like to forget about what happened last weekend. They suffered a 79-0 defeat at Missouri in their first-ever matchup against an SEC school.

“We moved on before we even got on the plane,” said DSU coach Kenny Carter. “We moved on when we were in the locker room.”

After another disappointing nonconference part of its season, the Hornets (0-3) open up MEAC play this weekend with a trip to Morgan State (1-0 MEAC, 1-2 overall) on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Despite the winless start to the season, Carter still thinks the Hornets can compete for the MEAC title. DelState was predicted to finish in ninth in the conference’s preseason poll.

“The parity is there again,” Carter said. “Quite honestly, we tell our team every game is a championship game right now. None of what happens at Missouri, Delaware or Monmouth ultimately matters. At the end of the day our primary goal is to win our conference.”

Morgan State has won the last three meetings between the two squads. DelState’s last victory over the Bears came in 2012 when the Hornets 28-23 on a Thursday night game in Baltimore.

Morgan State is coming off a thrilling 28-24 victory over Howard in its first MEAC game. The Bears needed a late touchdown with 30 seconds left to take the lead.

The Bears finished last season at 4-4 in the conference after winning a share of the MEAC title in 2014. Morgan State defeated Delaware State 26-6 in Dover a year ago.

Meanwhile, Delaware State has won just one of its last 13 MEAC games. The Hornets do have a one-game winning streak against conference opponents, they defeated Howard in the 2015 season finale for Carter’s first career coaching win.

But the Hornets will be happy to compete in the MEAC again, after last week’s defeat at Missouri, they still have yet to win a nonconference game since the opener of the 2012 season.

Carter said Delaware State’s young team had to learn a few things while at Missouri. At one point, the Hornets had eight freshmen on the field while playing defense.

“That opens your eyes really quick when you’re a true freshman,” Carter said.

The Tigers totaled 698 yards in the contest against that DelState defense, 430 by the pass and 268 rushing yards. Delaware State’s offense gained only 140 yards.

Carter said he knew the possibility of a blowout existed when the Hornets traveled to Missouri, who has the No. 5 offense in all of Division I.

“In football, just like class, you’re going to pass or fail a test and we failed the test,” Carter said. “Luckily for us, our semester is just starting. We learned a lot of things out there and we just got to keep working.”

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