Randall Williams | Sports Editor
It’s officially that time of the year, rivalry week is upon us. Universities across the entire country face off against their arch nemesis.
One of the matches that is frequently overlooked is Hampton University vs. Howard University.
As you can see, both teams have the exact same “HU” initials. This has sparked a rivalry between the schools.
Ever since Hampton was renamed from “Hampton Institute” to “Hampton University,” bad blood has been boiling between the two schools in reference to who the “real HU” is.
Regarding football, Hampton is undoubtedly the “Real HU.”
The Pirates lead the series 51-41-1, so in order for Howard to catch up, it’s going to take an entire decade.
That streak could start this weekend.
The Bison are second in the MEAC conference with a record of 6-1 in league play and 7-3 overall.
Howard made headlines earlier this year after beating UNLV in the biggest upset in college football history.
A week after that, they only lost to Kent State University by a mere seven points.
Leading this Bison team is Caylin Newton, the little brother of the Carolina Panthers’ starting quarterback Cam Newton.
Since the loss to the Golden Flashes, Howard has been 6-2, and are currently on a five game win streak.
Meanwhile at Hampton, things haven’t been going so well. Just three weeks ago, the Pirates were under North Carolina A&T in the conference standings with an overall record of 5-2.
Since then, the season seems to have collapsed, as the Pirates have lost three games straight.
Hampton sophomore Kimand Albright says, “It seems like the team just got complacent with where they were. [However,] down the stretch the play-calling has been questionable along with the execution of the plays.”
Albright isn’t the only one that feels that way.
Hampton student Juwan Williams agrees, saying, “The team may need to try new athletes in at different positions to get a better feel of where they stand, maybe even at quarterback.”
Brendan Greene, a player for the Pirates, says, “It’s easy to blame play-calling when we’re losing. Honestly, it comes down to execution.
“We need to come out ready so that we can finish the season strong.”
For Hampton, there isn’t much on the line other than the basics.
If they win, they finish the season with a winning record; if not, they’ll finish 5-6.
On the opposite end, the Bison have higher stakes. If North Carolina A&T loses and the Bison come out on top, they will share the conference championship.
A victory in this game would be Howard’s first time winning the MEAC title since 1993.
Rivalries are always tense, but the energy for this year’s “Battle of the Real HU” will likely be at an all-time high.