|Hampton running back Jeremiah Schwartz rushed for 201 yards in a losing effort versus Bethune-Cookman.
HAMPTON, Va. – The rivalry between Norfolk State and Hampton is one of the more fierce rivalries in HBCU football. Saturday’s “Battle Of The Bay” will mark the 50th times the two Tidewater-based schools have met. Heading into that game, NSU holds a 25-23-1 lead over HU. But as the teams prepare to meet up in Hampton’s Armstrong Stadium, they will both have the same goal in mind–ending four game losing streaks.
The Pirates (0-4, 0-2 MEAC) fell 38-26 to Bethune-Cookman on Sept. 29, while the defending MEAC champion Spartans (2-4, 0-3 MEAC) have dropped four straight after a 20-17 loss to Delaware State last Saturday. The Spartans, the defending MEAC champs, fell 20-17 to Delaware State at home last week.
A loss by Hampton would mean it’s first 0-5 start since 1991. A loss by Norfolk State would drop its record to 2-5.
NSU coach Pete Adrian said Hampton’s record, does not indicate how dangerous of a football team they are.
“Hampton has had the same struggles we’ve had,” he said. “The’ve got the best offense in league. You can’t be fooled by records. They’ve got a good football team.”
Senior running back Jeremiah Schwartz had a career day against BCU, becoming just the 11th Pirate in history to rush for at least 200 yards in a single game. He ran for 201 yards on 25 carries, averaging just over eight yards a carry.
His total for that game is the 11th-highest single-game rushing total in program history, and Schwartz – who also rushed for 101 yards at Florida A&M on Sept. 15 – is now ranked second in the MEAC in rushing, averaging 90.2 yards per carry.
So far the season, sophomore quarterback Travis Champion has completed 60.0 percent of his passes (84-for-140) for 874 yards and four touchdowns. He’s averaging 218.5 passing yards per game, the second-best average in the MEAC, and he is eighth in the conference in pass efficiency (113.3).
Champion is a big reason why the Pirates are second in the MEAC in passing offense, averaging 236.5 yards per game.
Last week, Adrian shook up his lineup by starting Jake Basmagian at quarterback over Neco Flores. Basmagian put up big numbers (24 of 35 passes for 312 yards with one touchdown) but he also tossed three interceptions as Delaware State scored ten unanswered points to steal the game.
“He did a nice job a couple of times scrambling and finding the receivers,” Adrian said. “I think as he gets more comfortable, he’ll do better.”
The Spartans defeated the Pirates 34-24 at Dick Price Stadium. Hampton last defeated the NSU in 2010, taking a 7-6 win in Armstrong Stadium. In fact, the Pirates have won seven straight home games against the Spartans. The last time the Spartans won in Armstrong Stadium was in 1996, when they beat the Pirates 14-7.
The Pirates are 11-13 all-time against Norfolk State at Armstrong Stadium.
The Pirates are 191-161-6 all-time against schools currently competing in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) after going 5-3 in the conference last season.This is only the Pirates’ 17th year as a member of the MEAC, as they initially became a member back in 1995. Since joining the MEAC, the Pirates have won the conference championship five times, including three straight in 2004, 2005 and 2006.
Hampton went 5-1 at home last season, with their lone loss at Armstrong Stadium coming against Howard. All told, the Pirates beat Florida A&M, Princeton, North Carolina Central, Delaware State, and Morgan State at home in 2011, averaging 28.7 point per game in their home contests.
For his career as head coach, Donovan Rose is 10-8 at Armstrong Stadium. The Pirates are 0-2 at home so far this season, after falling 45-7 to Old Dominion on Sept. 8 and 38-26 to BCU on Sept. 29.
For fans unable to make it to Armstrong Stadium for Saturday’s contest, Hampton will provide live stats to use when following along with the action. To view these live stats, visit the official Pirates website and click the link on that page, or visit http://www.sidearmstats.com/hampton/football/scoreboard.aspx.