Noun: Competition for the same objective or for superiority in the same field.
Washington, D.C. – The on-field rivalry between Morehouse College and Howard University continues this fall when the two football programs meet for the 35th time in the second annual AT&T Nation's Football Classic™ at RFK Stadium on Saturday, September 1 in the season opener for both schools. Kickoff is 3:30 p.m.
Bragging rights are at stake for the two teams whose combined rosters include 12 preseason All-Conference selections. The return of outstanding players such as Bison All-American linebacker Keith Pough and Maroon Tigers running back David Carter, coupled with the memories of last year's inaugural Classic thriller in which Howard pulled out a nail-biting 30-27 win, promises to make this year's rematch even more competitive. The Bison hold a 22-10-2 advantage in the series including four straight wins.
"The sense of tradition between these two schools inspires a classic college football experience that we are happy to once again bring to our nation's capital," Erik A. Moses, managing director of Events DC's Sports and Entertainment Division. "Last year's game was exciting for both schools and their fans. We expect the same determination and drive from both teams to come out victorious and register their first win of the season."
Whereas last year's inaugural game started a great sports tradition in our nation's capital, the Bison victory set the stage for another enticing match-up this year. Howard Head Coach Gary "The Flea" Harrell will look to Pough for defensive leadership. Pough, who is included on most preseason football honors lists, was named a 2012 NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Preseason All-American and the College Sports Madness Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. Pough is also one of 20 finalists for the highly coveted Buck Buchanan Award presented annually to the best defensive player in the FCS. With a strong season, Pough could break the FCS record for both total tackles and tackles for a loss in a career. Assisting Pough on the defensive side of the ball is red-shirt senior defensive back DeCarlos Knight. Knight, a 2012 preseason All-MEAC Second Team Selection, recorded 46 tackles, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and a pair of blocked kicks in the 2011 Season.
Offensively for the Bison, quarterback Greg McGhee, last year's MEAC Rookie of the Year, College Sports Networks "Inside the Huddle" 2011 Black College Freshman of the Year and inaugural Classic MVP, will be back under center for his sophomore season.
"Last year's victory over Morehouse was a huge win for us and was a catalyst for a great season for us," said Harrell. "With this year's Classic being the season opener for both teams, the energy and level of play is going to be that much more intense."
On the opposing sideline, the Maroon Tigers have reason to be confident as they were picked to win the East Division in the 2012 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) Football Preseason Poll. Eight Maroon Tigers were selected to the Preseason Football All-Conference Team including 2011 SIAC Player of the Year and AFCA All-American running back David Carter, who returns for his senior season. Carter is just 150 rushing yards shy of setting the career rushing yards record at Morehouse currently held by John David Washington (son of actor Denzel Washington) with 3,669 total yards. Last season, the Morehouse defense finished the season ranked second in total defense in the SIAC, and with three first team All-SIAC members they will aim to finish the 2012 season on top. They will look to build on a 2011-2012 season record of 8-2 as they seek redemption from last year's Classic nail-biting loss.
"Last year was the kind of game that football fans love to see, especially in an inaugural HBCU classic," said Morehouse Head Coach Rich Freeman. "While we didn't come out on top, I know our team played hard until the very last snap. As a coach, that's all you can ask for and
this rivalry inspires the best performances out of our young players. We are looking forward to traveling back to the nation's capital, playing in this year's Classic and bringing the trophy home to Atlanta."
Morehouse's eight SIAC Preseason All-Conference selections include running back David Carter, offensive linemen Jan-Michael Coke, Marlon Jones and Shea Martin, defensive lineman Scottie Williams, defensive back Justin Oliver and linebackers Brandon Houston and Elijah Anderson.
Howard's four MEAC Preseason All-Conference selections include quarterback Greg McGhee, offensive lineman Cory Gwinner, linebacker Keith Pough and defensive back DeCarlos Knight.
Individual tickets for the football game are priced $25 to $50 (plus applicable fees), and on sale at ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster outlets, the Howard University Box Office located at Cramton Auditorium and the Morehouse College Bookstore. Group tickets, suites and premium tickets are available by calling the ATTNFC Hotline at 202-608-1135. Credit card payments accepted only (Mastercard and VISA).
The JW Marriott Washington, DC is the headquarters hotel and will serve as the hub for AT&T Nation's Football Classic™ activity during the weekend. Promotional rates for this hotel, and other participating Marriott properties, can be reserved at www.nationsfootballclassic.com or 800-266-9432 (use reference code: NFF).
For more information on the AT&T Nation's Football Classic™, please visit www.nationsfootballclassic.com.