NCCU Announces 2011 Football Schedule

Slate Includes Thursday Night Season-Opener at Rutgers, Classic in Cleveland, Full MEAC Line-Up

The 2011 North Carolina Central University football schedule, which features five home contests, gives NCCU fans a lot to be excited about this coming season. With a new coaching staff on board, including head coach Henry Frazier III, the Eagles will be competing in their first full Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) schedule with eight total games against conference opponents.

Not only will NCCU have a thrilling first full conference schedule, the Eagles will also have the honor to compete in the NFL Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, where they will participate in the 2011 Cleveland Classic, taking on the Central State University Marauders on Sept. 10.

On Thursday Sept. 1 (7:30 p.m.), the Eagles start their fifth season as a NCAA Division I-FCS competitor against the only NCAA Division I-FBS team on their 2011 schedule, Big East affiliate, Rutgers University. Rutgers finished with a 4-8 overall record in its 2010 season. The Scarlet Knights had their biggest 2010 victory against fellow MEAC member, Norfolk State, with a 30-0 final score.

On Sept. 10 (12 p.m.), NCCU will compete in its fifth NFL stadium in the past decade as the Eagles play the Central State Marauders inside the Cleveland Browns Stadium. This contest will be a rematch from NCCU’s 2009 homecoming and this game will also be the Eagles only Division II opponent of the year. NCCU was victorious in the Oct. 31, 2009 meeting with Central State with a final score of 53-22, and the Eagles now also lead the series against the Marauders, 2-1.

On Sept. 17 (6 p.m.), NCCU will kick off its home competition against highway I-40 foes, Elon University. The last time the Eagles took on the Phoenix, back on Sept. 14, 1996, they were known as the Fighting Christians of Elon College. This game will mark the 11th meeting between the Eagles and the Phoenix, with Elon leading the series 7-3.

A match-up of fresh MEAC faces will take place on Sept. 24 (6 p.m.) at home when the two newest league members, NCCU and Savannah State, battle it out on the gridiron. Fellow newcomer SSU had a bumpy 2010 season with a 1-10 overall record. The Tigers, like the Eagles, are looking to turn things around in 2011 with the welcoming of new head coach Steve Davenport. NCCU has won three out of the last four match-ups with the Tigers.

On Oct. 8 (1:30 p.m.), the Eagles will make the trip down to Orangeburg, S.C., where they will take on the South Carolina State Bulldogs. South Carolina State, which captured the MEAC title in 2008 and 2009, finished second in the league last season with an overall 9-2 record and a 7-1 conference record.

On Oct. 15 (4 p.m.), NCCU will return home for another game to help gain bragging rights in the MEAC when the Eagles take on Morgan State. In the 36th meeting between the Eagles and Bears, Morgan State returns to Durham for the first time in 30 years dating back to Oct. 10, 1981. MSU leads the series with NCCU 21-12-2.

On Oct. 22 (2 p.m.), NCCU hits the road to take the short bus trip to Hampton, Va., to play Hampton University. The Eagles fell to Hampton a year ago 13-27 in Durham, N.C., making them hungry for revenge against the Pirates on their home field in Virginia.

The Eagles will celebrate their Homecoming game on Oct. 29 (2 p.m.) when the NCCU Eagles host reigning MEAC champions, Bethune-Cookman. The Wildcats return to O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium for the second year in a row. In last year’s meeting the Eagles fell short with a final score of 10-23 as they tried to knock down the undefeated Wildcats.

On Nov. 5 (1 p.m.), the Eagles take their play back on the road as the travel north again up to Dover, Del., where they take on Delaware State University. Last year the Eagles struggled against the Hornets where they fell 7-29. NCCU still holds a 13-6 lead in the series with Delaware State.

On Nov. 12 (2 p.m.), the Eagles will return home to honor their 2011 seniors in their “Senior Day” celebration, as they take on the Rattlers of Florida A&M University. Florida A&M finished 8-3 overall, with a MEAC final record of 7-1 in its 2010 slate.

NCCU wraps up its 2011 campaign 60 miles down the road in Greensboro, N.C., on Nov. 19 (1:30 p.m.) against the rival North Carolina A&T Aggies. After two straight years of nail-biting competition between the Eagles and the Aggies, last year’s electrifying match-up was brought back to O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium for the first time since 1992 and the Eagles did not let their sold out crowd down. The Eagles took an early lead on the Aggies and never looked back, defeating their biggest rivals with a final score of 27-16. A&T had a rocky 2010 season finishing up 1-10 overall and 1-7 in MEAC play, although the Aggies still hold a 46-31-5 advantage in the 87-year history of the rivalry against the Eagles.

To watch the Eagles in action during all five home games, season tickets are $130 for reserved seating. Tickets will open up to Eagle Club members from Feb. 14-28 and will be available to the general public on March 1. For more information, visit or call the NCCU Ticket Office at (919) 530-5170.