Hampton University's football program has not lost five consecutive games since 1991, when the Pirates dropped their first five and finished 2-9.
But now it's going to take a home victory over rival Norfolk State in a couple of weeks to prevent matching that slide.
That's because the mistake-plagued Pirates fell 38-26 Saturday at Armstrong Stadium to Bethune-Cookman. The defeat marked the first time Hampton has lost four in a row since 2010, when the Pirates finished 6-5.
With a second bye week upon them, the Pirates stand 0-4 overall, 0-2 in the MEAC. The extra time to prepare for the Spartans (2-3) can't hurt.
"The biggest thing we need to do is just keep our heads up," Pirates coach Donovan Rose said. "We were right on the verge there early in the second half, but we kept shooting ourselves in the foot.
"You can't beat anybody turning the ball over like that. But we'll try to figure out why and learn from it all. We have to keep striving."
Trailing 17-10 at halftime, Hampton was on the move after the second-half kickoff. The Pirates drove to the Wildcats' 19, but Nick Addison picked off a Travis Champion pass and returned it 90 yards for a touchdown.
Addison also had intercepted a Champion pass late in the first half.
It got worse halfway through the third quarter. Wildcats quarterback Quentin Williams threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to running back Isidore Jackson for a 31-10 lead.
It didn't get better even when the Pirates had a first-and-goal from the 1 on their next possession. Penalties pushed them backward, and they wound up turning the ball over on downs.
Hampton finished with 536 yards of total offense but was penalized 17 times for 152 yards. Four of the Pirates' passes were intercepted. They fumbled six times and lost three.
Jeremiah Schwartz was a bright spot, rushing for 205 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries.
Bethune-Cookman (3-2, 2-0 MEAC) led 14-3 after one quarter, the first time this season that the Wildcats had led after a first quarter.
Bethune-Cookman scored on its first possession, with Williams running 5 yards for the touchdown.
The Wildcats made it 14-3 when Rodney Scott scored from the 1.
The Pirates got a touchdown with 2:34 left in the half. Champion hit Phoebus High product Andre Griffin for an 11-yard scoring pass.
Prior to 1991, the last time the Pirates lost four in a row was 1979, when they finished 3-8 and had a five-game skid.
Freshman quarterback J.J. Williamson, an Oscar Smith graduate, made his Hampton debut in the fourth quarter. He threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Javaris Brown with 8:16 left.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times