Dover, Del. (Jan. 12, 2017) --- Visits to two Football Bowl Subdivision powers and the reigning Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion, along with four home games at Alumni Stadium highlight the 2017 Delaware State University football schedule announced today.
The Hornets will draw national attention next season during contests at West Virginia on Sep. 16 and Florida State on Nov. 18. West Virginia was 10-3 overall and 7-2 in the Big 12 in 2016. The Mountaineers fell to Miami in the Russell Athletic Bowl, and were ranked 17th in the final FBS coach’s poll and 18th in the media poll this past season.
Delaware State will close out the regular 2017 season against the Florida State Seminoles. FSU was No. 8 in the final national polls after finishing with a 10-3 overall record and 5-3 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2016, which ended with a dramatic 33-32 victory over Michigan in the Orange Bowl.
The Hornets’ 11-game 2017 slate begins on Thursday August 31 at the University of Delaware in the debut of new Blue Hens head coach Danny Rocco. It will be the eighth meeting between the state’s two Division I football programs. Each of the previous games in the series has been played at UD’s Tubby Raymond Field. DSU is seeking its first win in the series. A member of the Colonial Athletic Association, Delaware was 4-7 overall and 2-6 in the CAA in 2016.
Delaware State’s 2017 home schedule begins on Sep. 23 against Norfolk State in the first meeting between the teams since 2014. The Hornets have won their last three games against the Spartans to open up a 16-6 series lead.
The annual homecoming contest is set for Oct. 14 against Howard. The Hornets and Bison have met each year since 1958, and a total of 73 times overall. Howard won last year’s meeting, although DSU is 13-5 in the last 18 battles to lead 37-35-1 in the series.
The Hornets will welcome South Carolina State to Alumni Stadium for the 45th meeting between the teams the following week on Oct. 21.
Delaware State will close out the 2017 home schedule on Nov. 11 against Morgan State. DSU will try to snap a four-game skid against the Bears, who hold a 36-24 lead in the series.
The Hornets’ 2017 road schedule also includes a visit to Hampton in the MEAC opener on Sep. 9.
DSU will also hit the road for MEAC contests against North Carolina A&T on Oct. 7, North Carolina Central on Oct. 28 and Savannah State on Nov. 4.
North Carolina A&T was 9-3 overall and 7-1 in the MEAC last season, coming up short of a third straight conference title with a loss to NC Central in the regular season finale. The Aggies were selected to compete in the 2016 NCAA FCS Playoffs, falling to Richmond in the opening round.
North Carolina Central won its first outright MEAC title in school history and competed in the second annual Celebration Bowl last season. The Eagles, 9-3 overall and 8-0 in the MEAC last season, shared the 2014 and 2015 league titles.
The Hornets and Savannah State renew their series after a two-year break. Delaware State is 4-0 all-time against the Tigers, including a 35-10 victory the last time the teams met in 2014.
Delaware State 2017 game times will be announced at a later date.