North Carolina Central head coach Trei Oliver is ready to get even with Campbell University in their Saturday matchup.
Oliver spoke during the MEAC’s weekly press conference to explain his thoughts on playing Campbell after last year’s loss.
“I hate to go back to ‘22 or ‘21, anytime somebody gets me, I want to get them back. I guess that’s the competitive nature of it all. Obviously nothing personal between any school or any team or any conference or anything like that, we just want to represent our brand, North Carolina Central and our conference, the MEAC, to the best of our ability when we play these non-conference opponents.”
Oliver will get the chance to get his get back after North Carolina Central suffered a 48-14 blowout loss on the road at Campbell University last year.
North Carolina Central will represent the MEAC in the tenth match up between the CAA and MEAC. Norfolk State will face North Carolina A&T earlier on Saturday. The conferences are tied at four wins a piece in eight matchups this season.
As eager as Oliver is for the rematch, he respects Campbell and knows that this game will be tough.
“This is going to be a physical game. Campbell is a very, very big football team. Offensive line is huge, they look like an NFL team,” Oliver said when asked about the matchup. “Very talented quarterback, Hajj-Malik Williams is unbelievable. He can beat you with his legs and makes great decisions with the football.”
On the other side of the ball, it is not clear that North Carolina Central will have their star quarterback in Davius Richard.
“He suffered an injury on the third play of the North Carolina A&T game, fought through it and finished out the game. He went a little bit against UCLA, I think for the first quarter, but he’s day-to-day. I don’t know if he’ll be ready for this weekend or not,” Oliver explained about the status of Richard.
Richard did not play in last week’s win over Mississippi Valley State in the Circle City Classic. Quarterback Walker Harris stepped in and kept the offense moving as he threw for 263 yards and five touchdowns. Oliver was proud of the performance and is confident that Walker can continue to run the offense while Richard recovers.
“Nothing will change with the offense. We run the same stuff we do with both quarterbacks. I hate to see Davius down but I was excited to see Walker get to start. You seen him in some late in game when games got out of hand, and there was no pressure on him, and he was out there managing the game, but when he had the opportunity to go in and start the game against a non-conference opponent in an NFL stadium in a classic, it was great to see, and he performed about how I expected and I’m so pleased and proud of him.”
Oliver said he is confident in whoever is under center on Saturday because both quarterbacks are capable of leading North Carolina Central to victory.
The rematch between North Carolina Central and Campbell will go down in the Bull City at O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium on Saturday.