NORFOLK, Va. — Hampton University and Old Dominion University are about 14 miles apart, with the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel separating them.
Their football programs have had eerily similar experiences of late. Both finally have games under their belts after nearly two years of not playing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Pirates rushed for 369 in their home opening win over Virginia Union 42-28, while the Monarchs fell hard on the road at Wake Forest 42-10.
The two square off at 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 11 at Kornblau Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium in Norfolk. It will be the first time the two schools have met since September 4, 2016 when the Monarchs rolled past the Pirates 54-21.
ODU is 5-0 in the series, but this matchup has two teams who are still feeling each other out in terms of an identity. Hampton only lost half of its starters from a 2019 squad that went 5-7 under head coach, Robert Prunty who's in his 4th year at the school. The Monarchs are essentially starting over after finishing 1-11 in their final season under Bobby Wilder in 2019. Wilder helped restart the program back up in 2009.
Ricky Rahne, a former Penn State offensive coordinator, is now a head coach for the first time in his career and has among the top ten youngest programs in the Football Championship Subdivision.