Norfolk State looks to pull an upset against North Carolina Central

Courtesy of Alex Lehmbeck, Asst. SID, Norfolk State Athletics

Date / TimeSaturday, November 4, 2023 | 3:30 p.m
LocationDurham, N.C. | O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium
TicketsPurchase Tickets Here
TV / StreamingESPN+
Radio Hot 91.1 FM (WNSB) | Sirius XM (Channel 385)
Norfolk State Game Notes
HowardGame Notes
All-Time SeriesN.C. Central Leads 12-7
First MeetingNCCU 27, Norfolk State 21 [1981]
Last MeetingNCCU 48, Norfolk State 14 [2022]
Longest Series Winning StreakNCCU – 4 (2013-2017)
Current Winning StreakNCCU – 2
Social Media Twitter – X | Instagram | Facebook

The Norfolk State football team has a prime opportunity to knock off one of the strongest FCS teams in the country this weekend.
The Spartans (2-6, 0-2 MEAC) face nationally-ranked North Carolina Central (7-1, 2-0) in Durham, N.C. on Saturday. Kick off is slated for 3:30 p.m. at O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium.
Norfolk State has shown promise this year with a slew of tight games, but has been on the losing side of many last-minute heartbreaks. Of the Spartans’ six losses this season, four have come by seven points or less.
“When you look at the scores from last year, they were not very good, but you look at the scores from this year and think, ‘we’re so close,’ so we made up that ground in one year,” NSU head coach Dawson Odums said. “Now we have an idea of what needs to take place to finish. We’ve got three games left, and these guys are going to play with an unbelievable effort.”
North Carolina Central is ranked No. 12 in the STATS FCS Poll and No. 9 in the FCS Coaches Poll, the highest of any HBCU this season. The Eagles are coming off a 62-28 home victory over South Carolina State last weekend.
The game will be streamed live on ESPN+. Norfolk State will broadcast the game on Hot 91.1 FM (WNSB) with Ross Gordon on the call.


  • North Carolina Central holds a 12-7 lead in the all-time series
  • Saturday’s game is Homecoming at North Carolina Central
  • Norfolk State returns to action on Saturday coming off of a 32-28 loss vs. Morgan State
  • North Carolina Central is coming off a 62-28 victory vs. SCSU
  • Norfolk State head coach Dawson Odums is in his third season
  • North Carolina Central head coach Trei Oliver is in his fourth year at NCCU


  • Both of Norfolk State’s victories this season have come against members of the Coastal Athletic Association (CAA)
  • Quarterback Otto Kuhns completed 10-of-24 passes against Morgan State for 175 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions, adding 13 yards on the ground
  • NSU running back Kevon King gained 21 yards on eight carries with two rushing touchdowns against MSU, also recording a receiving touchdown. He became the first NSU player to rush for and catch a touchdown in the same game since J.J. Davis achieved the feat on Oct. 30, 2021
  • Ricky Harleston became the first Spartan to block a field goal since Haji Gaylord achieved the feat on Oct. 29, 2016
  • The Spartans were chosen to finish fifth in the MEAC predicted order of finish


  • North Carolina Central comes into Saturday’s game with a 7-1 record, earning the No. 12 ranking in the STATS FCS Poll and No. 9 in the FCS Coaches Poll
  • The Eagles defeated SCSU 62-28 last Thursday, scoring 41 points in the first half and 21 points in the third quarter
  • North Carolina Central currently holds a nine-game home winning streak


  • After facing North Carolina Central, NSU will head to Dover, Del to battle Delaware State on Nov. 11
  • Kickoff against the Hornets is set for 12 p.m.
  • Delaware State is 1-7 this year, its lone win coming against the Virginia University of Lynchburg

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