Click here for complete 2009 schedule
DOVER (May 8, 2009) – Delaware State University released its 2009 football schedule today. The 2009 campaign features the team’s traditional rivals for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) as well as historic meetings with an in-state FCS football power and a traditional FBS national power. Consisting of 10 games, DSU will play six games on the road and host four contests at Alumni Stadium.
"This is going to be the most challenging schedule that we have had since I’ve been here at Delaware State," said Head Coach Al Lavan. "Playing teams like the University of Delaware and Michigan along with our challenging conference schedule will be a good test for our guys this year and give our team a chance to grow. Our ultimate goal is to get back to the top of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and this schedule is a spring board towards achieving that goal, not only for this year but years to come."
The Hornets will begin the 2009 season with a trip to Tallahassee, Fla., to face the Florida A&M Rattlers (Sept. 5). It will mark the second-straight campaign and third in the last four years that DSU begins the season versus the Rattlers. Last year, the Hornets downed FAMU, 35-28 (OT), on national television (ESPNU). The Labor Day weekend contest will mark the 27th meeting all-time between the two teams.
Following an open date, the Hornets will then travel to Newark, Del., for an historic regular-season battle with the Delaware Blue Hens (Sept. 19). The Week Three game will be the first-ever, regular-season meeting between the state’s two Division I schools. DSU and UD met for the first time in 2007, facing each other in the first round of the FCS Playoffs (Nov. 23, 2007). The Blue Hens finished last season with a 4-8 record (2-6 CAA).
DSU continues its three-game road swing to start the season with a Sept. 26 game at Hampton. The Hornets will be looking to avenge a 17-14 loss to the Pirates last season (Oct. 4, 2008) at Alumni Stadium. Hampton (6-5, 5-3 MEAC last year) will host Delaware State in the 35th-meeting all-time between the two schools and the first-ever with new HU Head Coach Donovan Rose.
Delaware State’s home opener will take place on Oct. 10 as the Hornets host the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats. Coming off a 26-20 win in Dayton Beach, Fla., last season (Oct. 11, 2008), the Hornets own a 20-13 advantage in the all-time series history with B-CU. DSU has won four-straight against Bethune-Cookman. B-CU finished 8-3 (5-3 MEAC) last year.
DSU hits the road the following week, traveling to Ann Arbor, Mich., in the team’s first-ever meeting with the Michigan Wolverines (Oct. 17). With a capacity of 106,201 Michigan Stadium will be the site of the largest crowd to ever witness a Delaware State football game. Michigan is coming off a 3-9 record (2-6 Big Ten) in 2008. The game will mark DSU’s first-ever game with a member of the Big Ten Conference.
As the result of the Oct. 17 Michigan game, an unintended scheduling conflict arose with the MEAC schedule. As a result, DSU will default a game with North Carolina A&T that was also scheduled for Oct. 17. This will appear in the 2009 regular season standings as a loss for DSU and a win for North Carolina A&T.
Morgan State is Delaware State’s opponent for Homecoming 2009. The Hornets host the Bears on Oct. 24 and will look to rebound from a 20-3 loss at Morgan State last year (Oct. 25, 2008). MSU holds a 28-22 edge in the series history with Delaware State winning three of the last four meetings.
The Hornets return to the road for a two-game swing away from Alumni Stadium, starting with an Oct. 31 outing at South Carolina State (10-3, 8-0 MEAC in 2008). The defending MEAC Champions downed DSU last season (23-17 on Nov. 1) and hold a 23-15 advantage in the series history. A week later, Delaware State will travel to Winston-Salem, N.C., to take on Winston-Salem State (Nov. 7). The Hornets own a 4-3-1 record versus the Rams, following last season’s 27-26 loss on Nov. 8, 2008. The last meetings two between DSU and WSSU have been decided by a combined four points.
Two-straight home games close out the 2009 season. On Nov. 14, the Norfolk State Spartans come to Dover. DSU has won six-straight games versus NSU, including last season’s 34-28 comeback victory at Dick Price Stadium (Nov. 15, 2008). The Hornets trailed by 21-points late in the first half before rallying for a six-point win over the Spartans. The Hornets close out the year with their traditional meeting with the Howard Bison on Nov. 21. Last season, DSU defeated Howard, 10-6, on Nov. 22, 2008. During the game, DSU forced a season-high six turnovers en route to the team’s fifth conference win of the year. The Hornets have faced the Bison more than any other MEAC school (DSU leads 35-30-1).
Delaware State returns 12 starters and 41 letterwinners from its 2008 squad, which won its last two games to post a 5-6 overall record and 5-3 mark in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
Season tickets can be purchased by calling 1-302-857-TIXX or toll free 1-866-378-2845.