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HAMPTON, Va. -- The Hampton University 2021 football schedule was released on Wednesday with six home games, four games against HBCU schools, and the return of two long-time rivals to the schedule.

"With the hope of having most, if not all Pirate fans able to attend in the fall, I look forward to our football team taking the field under the leadership of Head Coach Robert Prunty and his staff," said Hampton University Director of Athletics Eugene Marshall, Jr.The Hampton - Tennessee Tech football game at Armstrong Stadium in Hampton, Virginia.  Tech won 30-27.  September 14, 2013  (Photo by Mark W. Sutton)

"This is a schedule that I think all fans can get behind," said Prunty. A strong Big South slate, four games against HBCU schools with three of those at home, along with the return of Norfolk State and North Carolina A&T to the schedule will make for an exciting fall of Pirate football."

The Pirates will open the 2021 season on September 4, with a matchup against a long-time opponent in the Panthers of Virginia Union University at 6 pm.

Week two will have the Pirates venturing down Interstate 64 to Kornblau Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium for an exciting contest with the Monarchs of Old Dominion University on September 11.

Hampton will head north to Washington, D.C. in week three to take on the Bison of Howard University in "The Battle of the Real HU" on September 18.

After a bye week, the Pirates bring back the first of two old rivalries as "The Battle of the Bay" returns with Norfolk State coming to Armstrong Stadium on October 2 at 2 pm.

Conference play begins the following week as nationally ranked Kennesaw State comes to Hampton on October 9 for Homecoming, also at 2 pm.

The first road trip in Big South Conference play will put the Pirates in Charleston, S.C. facing the Buccaneers of Charleston Southern on October 16.

On October 23, another long-time rival returns to the schedule as the Aggies of North Carolina A&T visit Armstrong Stadium for a 2 pm kickoff. This marks their first-year as full members of the Big South Conference.

A new face to the schedule will appear on October 30, when Hampton heads to Moon Township, Pa. to tangle with the Colonials of Robert Morris University. This is the first-ever meeting as Robert Morris is an associate member of the Big South for football.

The month of November starts at home with a 1 pm kickoff as Hampton takes on the Runnin' Bulldogs of Gardner-Webb on November 6, before heading to Buies Creek, N.C. to close out the road portion taking on the Camels of Campbell University on November 13.

The Pirates will close the season on November 20 hosting North Alabama at Armstrong Stadium with a 1 pm kickoff.

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