The Howard University football team almost entirely overcame a tough first half against FBS opponent Eastern Michigan last Saturday, but the Eagles held on for a 33-23 win over the Bison.
Despite the result, Howard head coach Larry Scott believes the lessons learned from a rough first half will help his team.
“It was a tale of two halves. We shot ourselves in the foot giving up two kickoff returns for touchdowns and a safety,” Scott said. “That ultimately became the difference of the game. We outplayed them. We just couldn’t overcome mistakes in the kicking game. If we get that cleaned up, we’ll be competitive the rest of the year.”
Howard fell behind 23-0 thanks to a safety, and the resulting free-kick returned 84 yards for a touchdown by Jaylon Jackson. Even after Howard scored on a 69-yard pass from Quinton Williams to Jamarr Ebron, EMU responded with another kickoff TD, this time from 96 yards away, courtesy of Hamze El-Zayat.
The Bison were behind 30-9 at halftime, but two touchdowns from Kasey Hawthorne – a 2-yard run and a 23-yard pass from Williams pulled the Bison within seven points in the fourth quarter.
“It was a matter of how we would respond. There were a lot of lessons learned in that first half,” Scott explained. “We went in at halftime, made some adjustments, and played the way we believe we can truly be. It stung, but we’ve moved on.”
Moving on to this week, the Bison will host Morehouse College on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Greene Stadium. It is a game Scott is looking forward to for the atmosphere and experience it will provide for each fanbase and the Washington, D.C., community.
“We don’t get to play at home or at night very often, and we have brand new lights this year,” he said. “Morehouse played us really tough in the first half last year. It’s two tradition-rich universities and programs coming together in D.C., so it’s going to be an exciting time. The environment will be fun, electric, and have a lot of energy.”