By Matt Leon
LINCOLN UNIVERSITY, Pa. (CBS) — It should be a lot of fun in Chester County tonight as Division II rivals Lincoln University and Cheyney University match-up in the season opener for both teams.
Lincoln will be the home team as these two HBCUs meet up in the “Battle of the First.” The name of this rivalry match-up stems from the on-going debate over which was the first Historically Black College or University in the country.
Both coaches enjoy starting the season with this match-up.
“It sets a great tone,” Cheyney head coach Chris Roulhac tells KYW Newsradio. “I think the kids are very excited about it.”
Listen to the entire interview with Cheyney’s Chris Roulhac:
“Rivalry games are always the big hype of the season,” said Lincoln head coach Herb Pickens. “It’s always good to kick the season off with a game against a good rival because guys get to play on the emotion, sit back and really, really just go out there in front of a nice packed crowd and give it their all.”
Lincoln went 3-7 last season. The Lions actually started off very strong, winning three of their first four games, but they ended the campaign on a six-game losing streak. Pickens talks about what will be key for his squad in 2016.
“A key to success this year primarily will be running the ball,” Pickens says, “but we also want to open up our passing game and basically lean on our defense and good special teams play.”
Listen to the entire interview with Lincoln’s Herb Pickens
It has been a real struggle for quite some time for Cheyney. The Wolves went 0-11 in 2015 and they have lost 43-straight games dating back to September 2012. Their last win actually came against Lincoln. Roulhac, though, says his team isn’t letting past struggles affect how they approach the future.
“We think that our guys really believe that they can get it done,” Roulhac says. “We’ve brought in some new pieces to help us. I think they’re all right now really into it and believing that our first game is one we have a chance to win and they’ve just got to be really prepared for it.”
Last year when these two teams matched up, Lincoln beat Cheyney, 29-22.
Tonight’s game kicks off at 7 p.m.