The Rattler football team, coming off of a bye week they entered with a two-game winning streak, continues its road show Saturday against the South Carolina State Bulldogs.
In its last two games, the team overpowered opponents Norfolk State and Hampton with a combined score of 94-33.
“Our team was playing with a lot of confidence going into the bye week,” said wide receiver Maurice Demps, 22, a junior computer information systems student from Miami. “And after beating Hampton, our confidence is really high right now.”
FAMU entered the off-week doing well in all aspects of the game. And continuing to perform well after the brief intermission became a concern for the team.
“I was a little concerned about that going into practice yesterday,” said quarterback Ben Dougherty, 23, a junior physical education student from Elma, Wash. “But yesterday (Monday) we had a really good practice so we’ll have no excuses if we don’t perform well.”
Dougherty has little reason to worry about the team’s success when he’s at the helm because he enters Saturday’s contest with solid statistics. He has passed for 1,924 yards and 11 touchdowns while rushing for 458 yards and seven touchdowns.
Establishing the running game will be a focal point of the offense this week and Dougherty will have some help from sophomore Rashard Pompey. Pompey has rushed for a team high 610 yards and three touchdowns this season.
On the other side of the football, FAMU’s defense must find a way to corral S.C. State’s quarterback Reese Campbell, who has passed for 1372 yards and 11 touchdowns for the season.
“The main part of S.C. State’s offense is the quarterback and we are going to have to keep him in the pocket and get pressure on him to be successful,” defensive tackle Steve St. Felix said.
The players are not the only ones thinking about how to stop Campbell. The Rattlers coaching staff has also been working hard this week to come up with a formidable scheme to try and slow him down.
“The best thing to do is mix your scheme up and try to get him discombobulated and exasperated so that he can make some mistakes,” said head coach Billy Joe. “You want to keep him off guard and off balance and in a guessing game.”
The Rattlers have two games remaining on this season’s schedule and a win Saturday will insure the Rattlers its 10th consecutive winning season in Division I-AA football.