Hampton University squared off against its biggest rival Howard University in the Nations Classic at RFK Stadium. The Pirates went into this game with a little chip on their shoulder, after losing to Richmond the previous week 31-28. They played a team in Howard that looked overmatched and not prepared for anything this Hampton football team threw at them. New quarterback David Watford brings versatility and style to this Pirate offense that has the potential to put up big points game in and game out.
The stifling defense led by preseason First Team All-MEAC selection defensive lineman Miles Grooms and linebacker Joshua Thorn. The Bison’s offense could not manage to score, while there were two players that had a heavy impact on the defensive side. Sophomore, Chaka Diarrassouba finished the game with 8 tackles and one for a loss. Keith Mcafee had nine tackles, three tackles for a loss, and one sack. He also forced a fumble in the second half. Three Hampton interceptions in RFK Friday explains how tough this defensive front seven can be when they are rushing the ball.
Even though game MVP David Watford threw two costly interceptions in Hampton’s territory, the Pirate defense did bend but never broke. The defense forced the offense to punt and Howard converted on a field goal the next possession after their second interception. But other than these two minor setbacks the offense seemed very comfortable traveling down the field through the air or with their legs. The Pirates finished with season high four rushing touchdown, David Watford scored two touchdowns, while Christopher Duke and Dwayne Garrett also had one each. The Bison’s defense had no answer for quarter David Watford as he didn’t only rush for two, but passed for one while completing 279 yards through the air. The Pirates offense had a total of 460 offensive yards.
This game did not only solidify that this Hampton team could be special, but also gave them the confidence to go into Norfolk on Saturday and beat this Spartans team that’s looking for their first win this season. This high powered and balanced offense is a great sign for Hampton University, but there seems to be one minor problem with their offense. The wide receiver core seems to not be consistent throughout the game. In the second half it was times where Coach Maynor seemed to try to get the play action going, but the receivers were not getting open. It seemed to frustrate them often, but Coach Maynor after the game seemed not to stress it. They wanted to develop the run game against Howard and they look to carry it over into Norfolk. Hampton got their 550th win in the program’s 1000th game 37-19.
The Pirates will be playing Saturday at William Price stadium against rival Norfolk State University at 4:00 with a high chance of showers throughout the game.