Hampton University was picked to finish last in the Colonial Athletic Association while Richmond was picked to finish third in the conference back in July.
But when the two teams met on the field on Saturday, Hampton dropped Richmond 31-14 to start CAA play 1-0.
HU head coach Robert Prunty said he doesn’t have time to reflect on his team defying expectations.
“I don’t really give thought to what other people think. We just can go out there and play football and line up,” Prunty told the media during his media conference. “In this conference, anybody can win. I don’t I don’t focus on what people think. We are just going to continue to line up and play football.”
Quarterback Chris Zealous put up a combined 316 yards of total offense and three touchdowns — two of them on the ground — to lead the team to the win.
“I think he’s started to play with better poise. He’s starting to understand our offense better and he’s starting to read the defense better. But you got to give Richmond a lot of credit. I mean, that’s it’s a good team defensively. I mean, they line up, they play fundamental football. And once again, we just made a few more plays and they did.”
Hampton now turns its attention to a Campbell squad that put up 48 points in an overtime loss to MEAC leader North Carolina Central. Prunty knows his team — particularly his defense — has its work cut out for it.
“I think they’re the most athletic team we have faced so far. I mean, the quarterback is phenomenal,” Prunty said.
Quarterback Hajj-Malik Williams is coming off a 302 yard, five-touchdown performance against North Carolina Central in a 49-48 overtime win. And he has a ton of weapons.
“And then the running backs run hard and no. 5 (Jalen Kelsey), I think he has NFL speed, the receiver and I just mean O-line is huge, huge I think are probably averaging, what, 6-6, 320 pounds is the biggest O-line I’ve seen. Even watching some of the teams on the BCS level. I mean, this is a good football team and they are so athletic on defense.”
Campbell comes into the game 2-2 with back-to-back losses to Elon and NCCU. Prunty said he’s impressed with the level of talent CU is bringing to Armstrong Stadium.
“You know if you look at the recruiting: they got the top recruiting class in the FCS and you can see. You can see it with the players they got. This is this is an athletic football team. We’re going to have our work cut out for us versus this team. And once they put it all together — I just hope it don’t happen against us.”