Norfolk State releases 2020 football schedule

From Norfolk State Athletics:

NORFOLK, Va. – Norfolk State head football coach Latrell Scott announced the Spartans’ 2020 schedule Monday, an 11-game slate which includes five home dates and a fan-friendly set of non-conference games.

NSU opens the year with the 54th meeting against Virginia State in the popular Labor Day Classic on Saturday, Sept. 5. Kickoff will be at 6 p.m. at William “Dick” Price Stadium.

That will be the lone NSU home game in the month of September, as the Spartans play four straight road games following their season-opener. The stretch begins with a pair of road games at Division I Football Bowl Subdivision opponents, at Charlotte on Sept. 12 and East Carolina on Sept. 19.

This marks NSU’s second straight season playing two FBS teams. NSU matched up against Old Dominion and Coastal Carolina in 2019.

“We put together another difficult non-conference schedule,” Scott said. “Virginia State has a very successful program in the CIAA and plays us tough every year. Our games at Charlotte and ECU will test our team and let us compare ourselves against teams from the top level in Division I, and both games are within driving distance for many of our fans.”

NSU’s four-game road swing continues with a pair of MEAC road contests, at Florida A&M on Sept. 26 and North Carolina A&T on Oct. 3.

The Spartans play four of their final six games at home. NSU hosts Howard on Oct. 10 and Bethune-Cookman on Oct. 17. The Spartans’ bye week is on Oct. 24, which precedes a road game at Morgan State on Oct. 31 to cap October’s schedule.

The Spartans host North Carolina Central (Nov. 7, Homecoming) and Delaware State (Nov. 14, Senior Day) before concluding the regular season at South Carolina State on Nov. 21.

“We expect the MEAC to be challenging again in 2020,” Scott said. “Last year showed how much parity there is in the league, and we’re looking forward to seeing how we measure up after a strong second half of the season.”

NSU went 5-7 in 2019, 4-4 in the MEAC, and won four of its final six games.

Here’s more on each of NSU’s 2020 opponents:

Virginia State, Sept. 5 (6 p.m., Norfolk, Va. – Dick Price Stadium)
2019 Record: 8-2, 6-1 CIAA
Notes: NSU has won the last two meetings, including a 44-21 win last season … That was one of only just blemishes on the Trojans’ record, as only a CIAA loss to Bowie State prevented VSU from playing for the league title.

Charlotte, Sept. 12 (Time TBA, Charlotte, N.C. – Jerry Richardson Stadium)
2019 Record: 7-6, 5-3 C-USA
Notes: The 49ers qualified for their first-ever bowl game in 2019 under first-year head coach Will Healy … Charlotte lost to Buffalo 31-9 in the Bahamas Bowl … This will be the first meeting between NSU and Charlotte … Former NSU running backs coach Montario Hardesty coaches the 49ers receivers.

East Carolina, Sept. 19 (Time TBA, Greenville, N.C. – Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium)
2019 Record: 4-8, 1-7 AAC
Notes: The Pirates are coached by former JMU coach Mike Houston, who won the 2016 FCS national title with the Dukes before leaving following the 2018 season … Two of ECU’s four wins last year were against Old Dominion (24-21) and William & Mary (19-7) … First meeting between the teams.

Florida A&M, Sept. 26 (Time TBA, Tallahassee, Fla. – Bragg Memorial Stadium)
2019 Record: 9-2, 7-1 MEAC
Notes: The Rattlers amassed a MEAC-best 7-1 record in 2019 but were ineligible for the postseason due to NCAA sanctions … FAMU’s 30-28 win over NSU last year was one of the Rattlers’ four conference wins by a touchdown or less … NSU has just three wins all-time vs. FAMU, but two have come in Tallahassee.

North Carolina A&T, Oct. 3 (Time TBA, Greensboro, N.C. – BB&T Stadium)
2019 Record: 9-3, 6-2 MEAC
Notes: The Aggies were MEAC co-champions in 2019 with FAMU not eligible … N.C. A&T represented the MEAC in the Celebration Bowl for the fourth time in the five-year history of the game, beating Alcorn State 64-44 … N.C. A&T has won the last six meetings on the field against NSU.

Howard, Oct. 10 (2 p.m., Norfolk, Va. – Dick Price Stadium)
2019 Record: 2-10, 2-6 MEAC
Notes: NSU rolled up 649 yards of total offense in a 49-21 win over the Bison in 2019, the second-most yards in a game in school history and most ever in a regulation game … The Bison are looking for a new head coach and third in as many years following the resignation of Ron Prince.

Bethune-Cookman, Oct. 17 (2 p.m., Norfolk, Va. – Dick Price Stadium)
2019 Record: 7-4, 5-3 MEAC
Notes: B-CU started 4-0 in the MEAC last season before losing three straight, then handed the Rattlers their only MEAC loss of the year … The Wildcats have won four in a row against NSU, including a 35-22 victory last year in Daytona Beach.

Morgan State, Oct. 31 (Time TBA, Baltimore, Md. – Hughes Stadium)
2019 Record: 3-9, 2-6 MEAC
Notes: The Bears won two of their final three games in 2019 under first-year head coach Tyrone Wheatley … One of those was a 22-16 upset of N.C. A&T, the Bears’ second straight win over the Aggies … NSU’s 48-0 win over Morgan State last season was NSU’s first shutout since 2012.

North Carolina Central, Nov. 7 (2 p.m., Norfolk, Va. – Dick Price Stadium)
2019 Record: 4-8, 3-5 MEAC
Notes: The Eagles were also led by a first-year head coach in 2019, Trei Oliver … NCCU ended the year with back-to-back shutout losses to finish with their second straight losing conference record … The Spartans have won two of the last three meetings between the teams.

Delaware State, Nov. 14 (2 p.m., Norfolk, Va. – Dick Price Stadium)
2019 Record: 2-10, 1-7 MEAC
Notes: The Hornets won only two games in 2019, but one was a 16-13 upset of Bethune-Cookman on Nov. 9 … NSU has won the last three games against the Hornets … DSU’s last win over the Spartans came in 2014 at Dick Price Stadium.

South Carolina State, Nov. 21 (Time TBA, Orangeburg, S.C. – O.C. Dawson Stadium)
2019 Record: 8-3, 6-2 MEAC
Notes: The Bulldogs tied with N.C. A&T for first place in the MEAC in 2019, thanks in part to a 20-17 overtime win over NSU In the season finale that broke the Spartans’ two-game win streak in the series … SCSU was left out of the FCS playoffs despite an 8-3 record and win over playoff participant Wofford.

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