2019 DELAWARE STATE UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL — GAME 1
DELAWARE STATE “HORNETS” (0-0 / 3-8; 2-5 MEAC in 2018)
DELAWARE “BLUE HENS” (0-0 / 7-5; 5-3 CAA in 2018)
THUR., AUG. 29, 2019 (7:00 p.m.)
DELAWARE STADIUM (22,000) - NEWARK, DEL.
Live Video: FLOSPORTS
Live Audio - HSRN.com (DSU broadcast)
Delaware State kicks off the 2019 season at nationally-ranked Delaware in a battle between the state’s two NCAA Div. I programs. The Hornets are in their second season under head coach Rod Milstead, a former DSU All-America offensive lineman and National Football League player. Delaware State won three of its last four games to post a 3-8 overall record (2-5 MEAC) in his first season at the helm in 2018. The three wins were the most by the program since 2013 (5-6). Despite their 2018 late season showing, the Hornets are still picked to finish ninth in the nine-team Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference race this season.
Delaware State returns 31 letterwinners and 12 starters from its 2018 squad. Shayne Smith (jr.), with one career start under his belt, is expected to open the season under center for the Hornets. In his lone career start, vs. Virginia-Lynchburg in the 2018 finale, Smith completed 16-of-19 passes (84.2%) for 212 yards and three touchdowns. Bryant Dallas (sr.) is the team’s top returning rusher with 349 yards, including 308 in the last six games. Trey Gross (jr.) is the Hornets’ top returning receiver with 31 catches for 480 yards and four touchdowns. Preseason All-MEAC First Team tackle Kaiden Crawford (sr.) leads four returning starters on the offensive line. Delaware State’s defense is led by 2019 MEAC Preseason Defensive Player-of-the-Year linebacker Brian Cavicante (sr.). Safety Jahad Neibauer (sr.) is also a Preseason All-MEAC First Team selection. The Hornets are also expected to feature strong special teams. Punter Fidel-Romo Martinez (sr.) and his brother placekicker Jose Romo-Martinez (r-so.) are Preseason All-MEAC Second Team picks, while Kwannah Kollie (jr.) is among the league’s top kickoff returners.
Delaware is ranked No. 22 in the preseason Stats, Inc. FCS Top 25 poll and 23rd in the ESPN Coaches poll. The Hens posted a 7-5 overall record (5-2 CAA) and earned a NCAA playoff berth for the first time since 2010 last season. Delaware is picked to finish fifth in the 12-team Colonial Athletic Association race in the poll of league head coaches and sports information directors. Delaware returns 14 starters from its 2018 squad.
THE SERIES (Delaware leads 8-0)
This will be the ninth meeting between the state’s two Division I teams. Each game has been played at Delaware Stadium. The Hens have won the previous meetings by a combined score of 301-85. UD won the last meeting 22-3 on Sep. 1, 2017 at Delaware Stadium. The Hornets held Delaware to its lowest scoring total in the eight-year history of the series, but it was not enough. The Hens’ previous low against the Hornets was 27 points in 2009 & 2014. Delaware’s defense held DSU to 59 yards rushing and 224 total yards, in addition to forcing three Hornet turnovers. The Hens held a nearly 2-to-1 advantage in time of possession, holding the ball for 39-minutes-50 seconds compared to 20:10 for the Hornets. Delaware was also aided by two second half Delaware State turnovers that put an end to promising drives.
HORNETS, HENS AGREE TO FUTURE FOOTBALL CONTESTS
The football series between Delaware State University and the University of Delaware is scheduled to continue well into the next decade and beyond. Leaders of the state’s two NCAA Division I institutions have announced that the Hornets and Blue Hens have agreed to six games between 2024 and 2030, including contests at Delaware State’s Alumni Stadium for the first time in the history of the series. Under the agreement, the schools will meet on Nov. 23, 2024 and Nov. 22, 2025 on the Delaware State campus in Dover. Since the first DSU / UD football meeting in 2007, each of the eight games between the teams has been played at Delaware Stadium in Newark. Delaware State and Delaware have also agreed to football meetings on Nov. 21, 2026, Nov. 20, 2027 and Nov. 17, 2029 at UD. The agreement also includes a Nov. 23, 2030 contest to be played at the home of the team with the best record in the five meetings between 2024 and 2029.