Harrington Gardiner | Staff Writer
The Hampton University football team finished the season with a rather impressive record of 7-3.
The Pirates won games that mattered at home and battled through road games early in the season, finishing with a 44-17 win over St. Andrews University to cap a six-game winning streak.
First-year head coach Robert Prunty, who served as a defensive coordinator last year for East Carolina, capitalized on an improved team and set the tone for what this team will look like for years to come.
Next year, the Pirates enter Big South play against tougher competition.
Hampton started off this season by going 1-3 and suddenly turned its season around by winning in a blowout against Lane. The Pirates outscored their opponents by 20 points this season and consistently converted on third- and fourth-down conversions.
HU’s ability to run the football and tighten up on defense helped the Pirates notch victories. They may not have controlled the total time of possession, but they knew how to put points on the board and play situational defense.
Domination and smart play goes a long way in a football season and it’ll give this team confidence heading into the offseason, but it remains to be seen how the Pirates will fare against harder competition.
This season, Hampton struggled early in the year against Division I teams Northern Iowa, Charleston Southern and Monmouth. The Pirates also took advantage of subpar competition during their blowout wins against Division II and Division III schools.
Next year, the Pirates will face teams in the Big South, and they will also have their annual matchups against Howard and Norfolk State.
Hampton has steadily improved over the past few years and will look to build on its stretches of outstanding play to better the program for years to come.