HORNETS (0-3; 0-1 MEAC) vs. Norfolk State Spartans (0-3; 0-0 MEAC)
Sat., Sep. 23, 2017 - 2 p.m.
Alumni Stadium (7,000) - Dover, Del.
Live Video -

Delaware State plays its 2017 home opener against Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference rival Norfolk State in a battle of teams seeking to crack the win column this season. The Hornets are coming off a 59-16 loss to FBS West Virginia last Saturday. Delaware State scored a touchdown on its third play from scrimmage and forced three first half turnovers, but it wasn’t nearly enough against the Mountaineers. The Hornets only trailed 17-10 after a field goal by Wisdom Nzidee (sr.) in the first quarter, but were outscored 42-6 the rest of the way. The Hornets answered West Virginia’s touchdown on the game’s opening drive with a score of their own to stun the home crowd. Delaware State faced a third-and-four on its first possession when freshman quarterback Jack McDaniels found running back Nyfease West wide open near the DSU sideline. West sprinted the final 73 yards to complete the 81-yard touchdown pass to get the Hornets on the board and tie the game at the 12:20 mark of the opening quarter. It was McDaniels’ first career touchdown pass and first career TD catch for West.  The touchdown pass was the longest by the Hornets since Nick Elko hit Travis Tarpley for an 83-yard score against Hampton on Nov. 10, 2012. Delaware State scored the final touchdown of the game on an eight-yard pass from Keenan Black to freshman wide receiver Kwannah Kollie with 5:51 left to play. The scoring pass was the first of Black’s career and Kollie’s first TD catch. The score capped off an eight-play, 82-yard drive that consumed six-minutes-18-seconds. The Hornets had a season-high 301 total yards, highlighted by a season-best 161 rushing in the game. West, a redshirt freshman, had a career day, catching three passes for 108 yards and rushing for 53 on 10 carries. His 161 yards from scrimmage also marked a DSU high this season. McDaniels has started each game at quarterback for the Hornets. He has completed 34-of-70 passes (48.6%) for 435 yards and one touchdown, and ranks sixth in the MEAC in passing at 145.0 yards per game. Brycen Alleyne (jr.) is DSU’s top rusher with 132 yards on 27 carries (4.9 ypc). Alleyne is also fifth in the MEAC in kickoff returns (21.0 avg.) and 10th in rushing (44.0 ypg). Mike Waters (so.) is second on the Hornets with 111 rushing yards (4.1 ypc), while Fatu Sua-Godinet (so.) is the leading receiver on the team with eight receptions for 118 yards (long 42). Defensively, linebackers Malik Harris (sr.) and Brian Cavicante (so.) are 1-2 in tackles with 21 and 20, respectively. Cavicante has a team-high 3.5 tackles for loss. The Hornets have two interceptions this season, matching their total for 11 games in 2016. Delaware State punter Fidel Romo-Martinez is the reigning MEAC Special Teams Player-of-the-Week, Romo-Martinez is tops in the MEAC and third among all FCS punters with a 46.0 yard average.     

Norfolk State The Spartans are looking to bounce back from a 75-14 loss to defending FCS national champs and No. 1 ranked James Madison last week. NSU trailed 16-7 in the second quarter before allowing 52 unanswered points. Norfolk State is averaging 192.7 yards per game this season, 112.0 by the pass and 80.7 on the ground. The Spartans have used two quarterbacks in each game this season. Juwan Carter has completed 20-of-47 throws for 238 yards. He has yet to throw a touchdown pass and has one interception. Carter is also second on the team in rushing with 42 yards on 16 attempts (2.6 ypc). Tripp Harrington has also taken snaps at QB for the Spartans this year. He has completed 14-of-26 passes (53.8%) for 98 yards. He also has one interception, while yet to throw a touchdown pass. Aaron Savage is Norfolk State’s leading rusher with 107 yards on 15 carries for an impressive 7.1 yard average. Marcus Taylor is NSU’s top receiver with 10 catches for 109 yards. Norfolk State is allowing 459.3 yards per game this season, including 728 vs. James Madison last weekend. Linebacker Kyle Archie is the team leader with 32 tackles, including 13 solo stops.        

THE HEAD COACHES Delaware State |Kenny Carter (The Citadel, 90) is in his third season as head coach of the Hornets. This is his first head coaching job. Before signing on at Delaware State, Carter was an assistant coach at Youngstown State University during the 2014 season. From 2010 to 2014, he was an assistant coach under Charlie Strong at the University of Louisville, helping lead the Cardinals to two Big East championships and four bowl appearances. During the 2008 and ’09 seasons, Carter was running backs coach under Urban Meyer at the University of Florida. He helped guide the Gators to the 2009 BCS National Championship. Florida also competed in the 2010 Allstate Sugar Bowl and captured the 2008 Southeast Conference championship during his time on the coaching staff. Carter has also served as an assistant coach at Vanderbilt, Penn State, Pittsburgh and LSU. This is his first game against Norfolk State.

Norfolk State | Latrell Scott (Hampton, ‘99) is in his third year with the Spartans. He is 8-17 overall since taking the job. Prior to accepting the post, Scott was head coach at Virginia State University, posting a 19-4 record and leading the Trojans to two Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Northern Division titles in his two seasons with the team. In 2014, his Virginia State team was 10-3 overall and won the school’s first outright CIAA championship since 1996. VSU recorded its first-ever NCAA Division II playoff appearance and victory that year. Scott was selected as the 2014 CIAA Coach of the Year. This is his first meeting against Delaware State.  

THE SERIES The Hornets and Spartans are meeting for the first time since DSU posted a 13-10 overtime victory in 2014. Delaware State has won the last three contests to open up a 16-6 lead in the series. The Hornets came out on top 14-7 the last time the teams met at Alumni Stadium in 2013.      

Delaware State football