It is officially Homecoming season for Howard University. Howard’s Homecoming is one of the most celebrated traditions in HBCU history. Students, celebrities, and those around the DMV area come to participate in a week of exciting affairs that showcase the culture and atmosphere of the most prominent historically Black universities. And one of the most prestigious events during Homecoming Week is the annual football game played at Greene Stadium.
This season, the Bison (1-4) will take on the Delaware State Hornets (3-2) on Oct. 22. It will be the team’s first game against a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) opponent. This rivalry has been a close one between the two with Howard and Delaware State each winning nine games since 2004. The Bison have dropped their last three against the Hornets, but the average margin of defeat has been less than eight points. Howard hopes to show out in front of their home crowd and defeat their MEAC rival.
Senior quarterback Quinton Williams is holding it down offensively, leading all MEAC quarterbacks in passing yards per game and completion percentage. Williams is No. 2 in quarterback efficiency and passing touchdowns behind North Carolina Central’s Davius Richard.
On the defensive end, the Bison are making strides as a unit against opposing quarterbacks, as indicated by their six interceptions and five forced fumbles. The Bison have the No. 1 passing defense in the MEAC. But, as good as Howard has been on that end, Howard defensive coordinator Troy Douglas emphasizes the need to stop the rushing attack as well.
“The object to playing great defense is stopping the run,” Douglas said. “We need to fit our gaps properly and tackle better. Pass defense is a great stat but we would much rather be No. 1 in rushing defense. Stopping the run better would help us attain the No. 1 stat of winning football games.”
The Bison should take advantage of the Hornets’ lackluster passing game. Delaware State has the lowest passing offense in the MEAC.
However, they do boast the No. 1 scoring defense. They excel upfront in their defensive line, which shows in their No. 1 run defense and conference-leading 14 sacks. Sophomore defensive lineman Omakus Langley leads the MEAC in sacks and ranks No. 2 in tackles for loss.
Howard will need to hold up in the offensive line in order to maintain success offensively. Defensive coordinator Douglas emphasized the team performing as a whole.
“Everybody plays a part in playing great defense because it’s a team game,” Douglas said. “Football is a team sport. That means everybody, coaches included. We are all in this as a unit.”
Whatever the Bison bring to the football field, those in attendance will bring the energy and excitement to illustrate the atmosphere Homecoming brings to the Howard community every year. This will be many students’ first time experiencing Homecoming, so it is set to be special this time around.
Copy edited by Alana Matthew