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Truth & Service Classic Preview - Howard vs. Hampton

Week 3 - Howard Bison (1-1) vs. Hampton Pirates (1-1)

Nuts & Bolts

  • Date: September 16, 2023

  • Time: 3:30 p.m. ET

  • Venue: Audi Field, Washington, D.C.

  • How to Watch: ESPN+

  • Matchup History: Hampton leads all-time series 7-6

  • Last Meeting: Hampton def. Howard 31-28 on 9/3/22

  • Prediction: Howard 29, Hampton 24

  • Follow Along on Twitter

  • Head Coach: Larry Scott (4th season, 9-17 record at Howard)

  • Record: 1-1 (0-0, T-1st in MEAC)

  • Last Time Out: Def. Morehouse 65-19 on 9/9/23

  • Player to Watch: Quinton Williams

This is a revenge game for the Bison.

Just two years ago, it was Hampton that knocked off Howard in this same situation, the Truth and Service Classic at Audi Field.

It was a 48-32 win for the Pirates. In fact, Hampton has beaten Howard six times in a row. Howard Quarterback Quinton Williams was the starter that September day in 2021, and threw for a career-high 357 yards with 3 touchdowns, but also had 2 costly interceptions.

In this, his final crack against Hampton, expect a motivated quarterback who does not want his Howard career to end with yet another loss to the Pirates.

The Bison enter Saturday’s Truth and Service Classic with a 1-1 record, with a win against D-II opponent Morehouse and a Week 1 loss to Eastern Michigan.

In the Week 1 loss, Howard gave up two kickoff returns for touchdowns. Last week, the special teams was cleaned up in a 65-19 win.

Against Morehouse, the Bison scored a touchdown on its first six possessions and only punted once, which is sort of what you’d expect against a division II foe.

This will be a much more significant test for Howard. They’ll have the home crowd and revenge on the brain, but will that be enough to get over the hump and defeat Hampton for the first time since 2014?

  • Head Coach: Robert Prunty (6th season, 22-24 record at Hampton)

  • Record: 1-1 (0-0, T-2nd CAA)

  • Last Time Out: Lost vs. Norfolk State 31-23

  • Player to Watch: Christofer Zellous

Like Howard, Hampton enters Saturday’s game with a 1-1 record. But unlike Howard, the Pirates are coming off a loss.

Last Saturday, Hampton lost its home opener to Norfolk State 31-23 in a game the Pirates turned the ball over four times.

Quarterback Chris Zellous threw for 211 yards and 2 touchdowns but also threw 2 interceptions.

The Hampton defense, meanwhile, surrendered 141 rushing yards as they could not stop the NSU rushing attack with the Spartans running the ball 41 times compared to 20 passing attempts.

If the Bison can get out and run the ball effectively and efficiently while taking care of the football and force a few turnovers of their own, the battle of the true “H-U” should fall Howard’s way for the first time in their last seven attempts.

Late Friday, news broke that there were several Hampton players deemed ‘academically ineligible” for Saturday’s Truth and Service Classic.

“One of my principal responsibilities as the new Hampton University Director of Athletics is to ensure full eligibility and compliance of all student-athletes with NCAA, CAA and University policies and requirements,” Hampton Athletic Director Anthony Henderson said in a statement released by the university. “Unfortunately, my assessment has revealed that multiple student-athletes do not meet eligibility requirements based upon NCAA bylaws. Until all requirements are met, affected student-athletes must be withheld from competing in their respective sports.”

It’s unclear which athletes specifically will not play on Saturday, but reports have said that Hampton will be ‘extremely shorthanded.’


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