The Delaware State Hornets and the Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens square off in the 10th annual “Route 1” rivalry game this Saturday at 6 pm. It was not until 2009 that these two schools had been scheduled against one another as interstate rivals. Both Delaware schools played in the first round of the FCS playoffs in 2007.
The Hornets and Hens have played nearly every year since 2011, with the Hens holding a 9-0 advantage in the rivalry. This season, the Hornets host the Fightin’ Blue Hens for the first time. On the field, Delaware comes into this game undefeated (3-0) and ranked eighth in FCS, while the Hornets are 2-1 looking to build off of their win against the Howard Bison last weekend.
Can HBCU football’s Hornets notch a win against the Hens this season? Will the Hens continue their dominance over Delaware State? Here is more information about the game.
Date: Saturday, April 10
Time: 6:00 pm EST
Location: Dover, Delaware
Venue: Alumni Stadium
How to Watch: ESPN2/ WatchESPN
Keys to Victory
If Delaware State has any hopes of notching its first win in the Route 1 Rivalry, they are going to have to figure out a way to score against a stingy Blue Hens defense. Delaware has given up 24 points this season, and 21 of those came in one game. The Hornets did score 37 points against Howard last weekend but scored just 26 points in their previous two contests.
If you look at Delaware’s numbers defensively, nothing jumps out at you. The Hens dare you to sustain drives against their defense for an entire game. This season, only Rhode Island has had success driving the ball up and down the field on the Delaware defense.
The Hornets have been solid defensively as well. They surrendered the 28 points a season-high after giving up just 26 points in their previous two games. What jumps out about Delaware State’s defense is its 20 tackles for loss. The Hornets do a good job getting into opponents’ backfield.
Offensively, it is strength on strength as the Hornets have three running backs who can carry the load against Delaware and their run defense that has given up 86 yards per game.
It’s hard not to pick against the Hens here. They are ranked and undefeated. Except for the Rhode Island game, the Fightin’ Hens have dominated their opponents this spring. However, the Hornets are hosting the game for the first time (though no fans at this one), and quarterback Jared Lewis is dangerous with both his arm and legs.
This edition of the Route 1 Rivalry game promises to be the best games in this young rivalry because the Hornets pull the upset against the undefeated Blue Hens.
Final Score: Delaware State 21, Delaware 17