Coming off a 41-21 Homecoming win over Presbyterian, the University of North Alabama will try and carry that momentum on the road to Hampton, Va., Saturday when the Lions play Hampton University at Armstrong Stadium at 1 p.m.
UNA, 2-3 overall, faces a 2-2 Pirate team with a high-powered offense led by former Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois.
“Hampton will be one of the best football team’s that we’ve played this season,” said UNA head coach Chris Willis. “I’m impressed with their size and athleticism. They are a good football team. They have a big strike offense with a veteran quarterback in Francois and they are coming off a bye week so they have had plenty of time to prepare for us.”
North Alabama is 2-0 all-time against Hampton, with both meetings coming in the NCAA Division II Playoffs in the 1990s. The Lions defeated the Pirates 33-21 on November 21, 1992 in the opening round of the playoffs at Hampton. The following season the Pirates came to Florence for a quarterfinal playoff game against the Lions and UNA won 45-20.
North Alabama is 5-0 all-time against schools from the state of Virginia. UNA is 2-0 against Hampton, 2-0 against Virginia Union and 1-0 against Virginia State. Four of those five games were in the Division II Playoffs.
Not only did North Alabama win its 15th straight Homecoming game last Saturday but also got its first win over a Big South school with the 41-21 win over Presbyterian. The 20-point victory margin over Presbyterian was the second best ever by a Lion team over an FCS opponent. UNA beat Middle Tennessee State 36-0 in 1980.
UNA quarterback Christian Lopez continues to rank among the Big South leaders in passing and total offense. He has thrown for 1,326 yards and seven touchdowns through five games. Running back Terence Humphrey leads the Big South with 7.2 yards per carry and has two 100-plus yard rushing games and another with 94 yards.
UNA kicker Joe Gurley leads the league in field goals, having hit nine of 10 attempts this season.