The 2022 HBCU New York Football Classic is set to kick off this weekend at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Morehouse Maroon Tigers (0-2) will face off against the Howard Bison (0-3) as both teams are looking for their first regular season win.
This will be the first time since 2015 that the teams have played against each other. With Howard winning the previous four matchups against the Tigers, Morehouse is looking to get a win on one of the biggest stages in football at MetLife Stadium.
This will be the 37th time in history that they will play each other. Howard has a dominating 25-10-2 record against Morehouse all-time. Both teams started the 2021 season with at least four straight losses before achieving their first win.
Morehouse head football coach Rich Freeman is excited for his team to play on Saturday.
“This venue is what every student-athlete and coach dreams of! National television coupled with playing in a state-of-the-art facility against a long-time rival, we’re excited!” Freeman said in an email this week.
For some of the student-athletes, it will be their first time playing in a nationally televised game.
Linebacker Dantez Simpson has been prepared for moments like these, but New York is a new territory for him as he waits for Saturday. “Coming from a big high school program I have played on big stages before, such as playing in the Mercedes Benz Stadium (in Atlanta). New York is a different vibe and I have never been, but I normally play better on big stages. I am excited,” said Simpson.
Outside of the football classic, the Tigers will get a chance to attend an NFL game on Sunday courtesy of the New York Giants, as the Giants take on the Carolina Panthers.
Coach Freeman sees this game as a big opportunity for both teams to shine.
“This game not only sparks our team for the 2022 football season, but our program and College for many years to come with the visibility that it brings. The game also helps to boost morale and institutional pride on both campuses,” said Freeman.
While the football players are looking forward to playing a big game on Saturday, both marching bands will also perform and be with the teams.
Howard’s “Showtime” and Morehouse’s “House of Funk” bands will perform three separate times on Saturday. The bands will play in the stadium for a “zero quarter” performance before the game, a battle of the bands during halftime and another performance postgame.
Many of the band members will travel alongside the football team as they get ready to perform on national television.
Morehouse senior Yasir Muhammad is a Section Leader for the mellophone area in the “House of Funk” marching band at Morehouse College. He has been with the team all four years and has traveled with the band for games like these. This will be his first time traveling to New York alongside his bandmates.
“I have honestly never traveled that far to perform; I am excited to travel and face Howard but also a bit nervous as well being on such a big stage,” said Muhammad.
The Maroon Tigers and “House of Funk” traveled to New York on Thursday, September 15th.
The HBCU New York City Football Classic will be televised this Saturday, September 17th on CNBC at 3 p.m. ET.
- Where: MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey
- When: Saturday, September 17 at 3:00 PM ET
- Stream live: Watch on Peacock and CNBC
Author’s Note: Justin Evans is a Senior Sports Journalism Major From Morehouse College. He is a Chicago native and has aspirations to become a sports reporter in the future has he graduates in December. He is passionate about storytelling as he looks to become a sports reporter in the future! You can follow him on Instagram at justinevans_1999.