ODU and NSU will meet for Norfolk bragging rights


So who has the best college football team in Norfolk? We are about to find out.

Old Dominion opens up its home schedule Saturday night against Norfolk State and that is great for local college football fans. None of the long travel, bus rides and hotel rooms for the visiting team or their fans. The two schools are 4.2 miles apart and each team is loaded with local talent with three former ODU players now playing for Norfolk State.

This is the third meeting all-time between the Monarchs and the Spartans  with ODU leading the series, 2-0. In 2013 at Dick Price Stadium, ODU needed a 24-yard field goal on the final play of the game to squeek out a 27-24 win over the Spartans.

ODU head coach Bobby Wilder told The Sportswrap that he is a big fan of this local matchup, “I love playing Norfolk State. I think it’s a great series and they are the two college football teams representing Norfolk. We’ve had a couple of good football games against them. We had to kick a field goal with no time left two years ago to beat them and I’m hoping it’s something we can continue in the future.”

This game marks the final game of a home-and-home series with no future meetings on the schedule.

Norfolk State new head coach Latrell Scott likes the matchup, but he told The Sportswrap he’s really thinking about one thing come Saturday night, “I think it’s huge for the fans and it’s huge for the alumni, but the biggest thing for us over at Norfolk State is we need to win our first football game, that’s our main focus. A lot of people are excited about it. I think it’s great. The game is sold out but we need to focus on the things we need to focus on to get us a W.”

While this meeting of local teams is big news here in Hampton Roads, it will also be televised on 76 stations and cable networks by the American Sports Network. These stations reach some of the nation’s largest markets including Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco.

But for one weekend during the season, two local teams will forget about distance and differences and settle in for a backyard bash for all local fans to enjoy.