The Route 1 Rivalry will be rekindled at the University of Delaware in Newark this weekend as the Blue Hens once again welcome the Delaware State Hornets to Delaware Stadium.
After decades of never facing each other on the football field, the state’s two top programs meet again this Saturday. The University of Delaware is coming off a season opening win over West Chester last Thursday, 41-21. Delaware State also won their season opener last week, topping Virginia Military Institute 17-10.
This is the third time the in-state rivals have met. The Hens have dominated the past three contests, winning by an average margin of 30 points. Last year, UD shut out DSU 45-0. But, Blue Hen head coach K.C. Keeler isn’t taking the Hornets lightly. “They look a lot further along this year than last year,” said Keeler Tuesday.
“They’re a lot more comfortable in their system.” He says the DSU offense is made up of a solid core of seniors and even though the Hornets defense lost a number of upperclassmen, the team still has a lot of players who saw action on defense last season. “They had a lot of backups that were in the game early last year are playing against us this year, so it’s a pretty experienced team.”
He says the last time around, the Hornets’ coaching staff was still in its early stages of establishing a new system, but this year, “they seem a lot more comfortable with their schemes and what they’re trying to get done.” Kermit Blount was in his first season as head coach at DSU when the teams met last season. He took over for long time Hornets coach Al Lavan.
Kick-off on Saturday in Newark is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the NBC Sports Network.
Look back at photos from last year’s match-up in this NewsWorks photo gallery: