NCCU Football Schedule Features Thursday Opener, Rival A&T at Home

Eagles’ Gridiron Slate Includes Six Home Games, Four MEAC Opponents in 2010
The 2010 North Carolina Central University football schedule features six home contests, including a Thursday night season-opener and the return of rival North Carolina A&T to O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium, along with four games against conference foes, as NCCU announced its gridiron slate on Thursday (Feb. 11).

The 2010 NCCU schedule also includes the continued series with rival Winston-Salem State, a return trip to Appalachian State, the first home contest against Hampton in 19 years, a game inside the Georgia Dome, and Bethune-Cookman’s first visit to O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium.

“It’s a very competitive schedule,” said Mose Rison, entering his fourth season as head football coach at NCCU. “We play six games on our campus, which is a big plus. Our kids enjoy playing in front of our student body and our fans.

“Without a question, this is a great home schedule, with the likes of Winston-Salem State, A&T, Hampton and Bethune-Cookman coming to Durham. Plus, the return of former CIAA opponent Johnson C. Smith and Edward Waters for Homecoming,” Rison added. “We’re excited.”

The Eagles will open their fourth NCAA Division I-FCS campaign with a rare Thursday night home game on Sept. 2 (7 p.m.) against former CIAA adversary Johnson C. Smith. This will be the first meeting between the Eagles and the Golden Bulls since 2006, NCCU’s last season in the CIAA. NCCU leads the series 48-18-3.

NCCU returns home on Sept. 11 to host the Rams on Winston-Salem State at 6 p.m. The Eagles earned an 18-10 road victory over the Rams last season to take a one-game lead in the series, which stands at 22-21. WSSU will play the 2010 season as a Division II member of the CIAA.

The Eagles will play their first of four road games on Sept. 18 by returning to Boone, N.C., to play Appalachian State, winners of three FCS national championships. Last year, the Mountaineers defeated the Eagles 55-21 in their first meeting. ASU went on to win their fifth-straight Southern Conference title, advanced to the national semifinals, posted an 11-3 overall record and garnered a No. 3 national ranking in the final FCS poll.

On Sept. 25 (6 p.m.), the rival Aggies of North Carolina A&T return to Durham, N.C., for the first time since 1992. From 1994-2005, the two battled in the “Eagle-Aggie Classic” at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, N.C., before returning to a home-and-home series. Two years ago, NCCU opted to host its home game at Memorial Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., where more than 20,000 fans witnessed the Eagles beat the Aggies, 28-27. Last season, A&T edged NCCU 23-17 in double overtime in Greensboro, N.C. The Eagles have won three of the last four matchups, but A&T holds a 46-30-5 advantage in the 86-year history of the rivalry.

“People have been calling and talking about how this will be one of the greatest atmospheres we have had here at O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium in a long time,” Rison said about the Aggies’ return to Durham. “It’s going to be an electric night.”

After an open week, the Eagles welcome another team to O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium that has not visited in a while. On Oct. 9 (4 p.m.), the Hampton Pirates travel to Durham for the first time since the end of the 1991 campaign. In last season’s contest, Hampton rallied for a 31-24 victory in Virginia, marking the Pirates’ sixth consecutive win a series that stands at 15-5 in favor of HU.

On Oct. 16, NCCU will compete in its fourth NFL stadium in the past decade as the Eagles play the Georgia State Panthers inside the Georgia Dome, home of the Atlanta Falcons. Georgia State enters its first year of football competition and is slated to join the Colonial Athletic Association in 2012.

On Oct. 23 (2 p.m.), the Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman will take the NCCU gridiron for the first time. The only other meeting between these future MEAC foes took place on Sept. 24, 1994 in Daytona Beach, Fla., when the Eagles won by a score of 24-5.

On Oct. 30 (2 p.m.), NCCU celebrates Homecoming against the Tigers of Edward Waters in the sixth and final home game of the season for the Eagles. In the prior three meetings, all NCCU victories, the Eagles have outscored EWC 149-26, including a 34-14 win in the last matchup in 2008.

After playing seven of their first eight contests in North Carolina, the Eagles venture to Delaware State on Nov. 6. NCCU holds a 13-5 advantage in the series, including victories in the last four meetings against the Hornets. The last time these two teams met, the Eagles defeated DSU, 26-23, on Sept, 11, 2004, in Dover, Del.

NCCU wraps up the 2010 campaign on Nov. 13 at Savannah State. The Eagles beat the Tigers, 35-14, in Durham last season. NCCU leads the series 4-0-1.

In 2009, NCCU won four of its last five games to finish with a 4-7 record for the second consecutive season.

The Eagles are entering their fourth season of competition on the NCAA Division I-FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) level after winning back-to-back conference championships during their final two years (2005, 2006) in the NCAA Division II Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association.

NCCU will become members of the MEAC (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) on July 1, 2010, but will not be eligible for the conference championship during the upcoming season.

Information regarding NCCU football season tickets will be released next week.


NCCU Road Warriors (Driving Distance – One-Way):

Sept. 18 at Appalachian – 168 miles (2:59)
Oct. 16 at Georgia State – 383 miles (5:59)
Nov. 6 at Delaware State – 354 miles (6:20)
Nov. 13 at Savannah State – 352 miles (5:41)
(Source: Google Maps)

MEAC Opponents (NCCU Joins MEAC July 1, 2010):

North Carolina A&T State University (Greensboro, N.C.)
Hampton University (Hampton, Va.)
Bethune-Cookman University (Daytona Beach, Fla.)
Delaware State University (Dover, Del.)

Recent Trips to NFL Stadiums:

Georgia Dome – Atlanta Falcons (Oct. 16, 2009 vs. Georgia State)
Giants Stadium – New York Giants (Sept. 15, 2007 vs. Elizabeth City State – W, 18-10)
Ericsson Stadium – Carolina Panthers (Nov. 4, 2001 vs. Johnson C. Smith – W, 34-3)
Veterans Stadium – Philadelphia Eagles (Sept. 30, 2000 vs. Morris Brown – W, 19-16)

For updated schedule information, visit or call (919) 530-7054.

For ticket information, visit or call the NCCU Ticket Office at (919) 530-5170.

(as of Feb. 11, 2010)