Battle of the Bay set for Sept. 14 as Hampton U, Norfolk State finalize football schedules

Fans of HBCU football in Hampton Roads can finally begin hammering out their weekend plans for this fall.

Norfolk State released its 2024 football schedule Friday after Hampton released its schedule, in conjunction with the rest of the Coastal Athletic Association, last month.

Perhaps the biggest game fans in Hampton Roads are looking forward to is the annual Battle of the Bay, which will be played Sept. 14 at Norfolk State.

NSU got the best of Hampton last season, beating the Pirates 31-23 on their home turf. The two teams have traded wins in the past four matchups. If Norfolk State wins this season, it will be the first time either team has posted consecutive wins in the series since the Spartans did so from 2014-2016.


Norfolk State schedule

Aug 24: vs. Florida A&M#

Aug 31: at East Carolina

Sept 7: vs. Virginia State

Sept 14: vs. Hampton

Sept 21: at VMI

Sept 28: Bye

Oct 5: at Sacred Heart

Oct 12: vs. Towson

Oct 19: Bye

Oct 26: vs. Howard*

Nov 2: at Morgan State*

Nov 9: vs. North Carolina Central*

Nov 16: vs. Delaware State*

Nov 23: at South Carolina State*

# Cricket MEAC/SWAC Challenge in Atlanta

*MEAC game

Dawson Odums will start his fourth season as head coach of the Spartans in Atlanta in the Cricket MEAC/SWAC Challenge. NSU will take on Florida A&M, last year’s SWAC and Celebration Bowl champion, which will be under the leadership of new head coach James Colzie III.

After playing its “buy game” against Temple last season, Norfolk State’s lone FBS team on the schedule this year is East Carolina.

The Spartans were initially scheduled to play at Vanderbilt on Sept. 7, but that game was swapped out after the SEC expanded and its league-wide scheduling was changed as a result.

Norfolk State’s other non-conference opponents are VMI, Towson, Virginia State and Sacred Heart. The Spartans did have a matchup with Delaware on Sept. 28 at one point, but the expansion of the CAA and changes in scheduling likely took that game off the schedule.

Odums’ squad will kick off MEAC play on Oct. 2 against Howard for homecoming.


Hampton schedule

Aug 31: vs. Morgan State#

Sept 7: vs. Virginia Union

Sept 14: at Norfolk State

Sept 21: vs. Howard

Sept 28: at William & Mary*

Oct 5: vs. Rhode Island*

Oct 12: Bye

Oct 19: at North Carolina A&T*

Oct 26: vs. Elon*

Nov 2: vs. Villanova*

Nov 9: at Towson*

Nov 16: vs. Richmond*

Nov 23: at Albany*

# Brick City Classic in New Jersey

*CAA game

Robert Prunty and the Pirates will participate in the Brick City Classic in New Jersey for the second consecutive season. This time, Hampton will face Morgan State.

Hampton’s non-conference slate includes a matchup with Division II Virginia Union. The two schools both played in the CIAA from 1912 to 1994 before Hampton moved up to Division I. The series record is 40-40-3. Since moving up, Hampton has played Virginia Union twice, losing in 2019 and winning in 2021.

The Battle of the Real HU will return to Armstrong Stadium on Sept. 21. Hampton posted a dramatic win last season and extended its winning streak over Howard to seven games.

The Pirates start a rugged conference slate on Sept. 28 at William & Mary. Hampton had seven opponents on its schedule last season that were either ranked or receiving votes in the preseason and it will likely be the same this season.

Hampton will have to play all three of the CAA’s co-champions from last season. The Pirates will face Villanova and Richmond at home and finish its regular season at Albany.

Michael Sauls, (757) 803-5774,