2013 DELAWARE STATE UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL
DELAWARE STATE UNIVERSITY “HORNETS” (4-5; 4-2 MEAC) VS.
FLORIDA A&M UNIVERSITY “RATTLERS” (3-7; 2-4 MEAC)
SAT., NOV. 16, 2013 (2:00 P.M.)
BRAGG STADIUM (25,000) - TALLAHASSEE, FLA.
The revived Hornets visit MEAC rival Florida A&M in their final road contest of the season. Delaware State has won three of its last four games to improve to 4-5 overall and 4–2 in the MEAC. The Hornets are tied with Morgan State and Hampton for third place in the league standings with two games left to play. Bethune-Cookman and South Carolina State are tied for first at 5-1. Delaware State has been idle since a 22-20 win over Howard on Nov. 2. The winning points came on a 26-yard field goal by Mitchell Ward as time expired. The game-winning drive began when DSU's Milton Williams III recovered a perfect onsides kick by Ward at midfield with 1:58 left to play. The onsides kick followed a bobbled snap on the extra point try after the Hornets pulled to within 20-19 on a 33-yard touchdown pass from Cory Murphy to Williams.
Florida A&M has lost three of its last four games to fall to 3-7 and 2-4. The Rattlers are coming off a 25-21 loss to South Carolina State last Saturday. Florida A&M led 14-6 and 21-19 before South Carolina State pulled ahead for good on a late third quarter field goal.
The Rattlers were held to 157 yards in the contest, including 50 on the ground. Florida A&M was also hurt by two lost fumbles in the South Carolina State contest.
This is the 30th meeting between the teams since the series began in 1977. Florida A&M has won the last four games to open up a 22-8 lead in the series. The Rattlers won last year’s meeting 24-22 at DSU’s Alumni Stadium. Florida A&M quarterback Damien Fleming completed 30-of-37 passes for 399 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Rattlers in the 2012 contest. The Hornets pulled to within 24-22 on a five-yard touchdown run by Nagee Jackson with 6:39 left to play. The Hornets attempted a two-point conversion following the touchdown, but Florida A&M's Brandon Denmark foiled the attempt when he tackled DSU tight end Jahmel Bashir short of the goal line on a pass from Nick Elko. Florida A&M held the ball for the final 6:33 of the game, collecting five first downs-two on third down-during the drive. DSU freshman Dae-Hon Cheung rushed for 135 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries in last year’s Florida A&M contest. The last time the teams met at Florida A&M, the Rattlers posted a 34-7 victory in 2011. DSU’s last win in the series was in 2008 in Dover, Del. (35-28 in overtime). The Hornets last won at Florida A&M in 2007. (20-7).
HORNETS STILL ALIVE IN MEAC RACE
Delaware State is still alive in the 2013 MEAC championship race, although the Hornets must win and get lots of help in the next two weeks. DSU is currently tied with Morgan State and Hampton for third in the MEAC standings with a 4-2 record.
Defending champ Bethune-Cookman and South Carolina State are tied for first at 5-1, although Bethune-Cookman holds the tie-breaker by virtue of its win over SC State this season.
Morgan State plays at South Carolina State on Thursday (Nov. 14) and Hampton is at Bethune-Cookman on Saturday (Nov. 16).
Delaware State, a charter member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), is in its 43th season of league play. The Hornets have an all-time record of 128-146-1 in MEAC contests. Delaware State has won or shared six MEAC championships. The Hornets claimed outright MEAC titles in 1985, 1989 and 2007, while sharing the crown in 1987, 1988 and 1991. Delaware State was tied for third place in the MEAC with a 5-3 mark in 2012.