After serving a five-game suspension handed down by the NCAA, senior wide receiver Rod Miller made his season debut Saturday against Nicholls State.
From the beginning of the game it was clear that the Rattlers wanted to get Miller the ball early.
On the Rattlers’ opening drive, Miller was thrown to twice and at the end of the first quarter Miller had three catches for 28 yards. For senior quarterback Ben Dougherty, having his go-to receiver back on the field was a great feeling.
“It felt really good having Rod (Miller) back out there,” Dougherty said. “Rod’s an unbelievable player and a great competitor and we would like to have won with him back out there. We did not play well enough to win tonight.”
By halftime, Miller had five catches for 69 yards, but his most important reception might have come before the half.
With the Rattlers driving and trailing the Colonels 14-0 with 8:51 minutes before halftime, Dougherty found Miller for a 25-yard reception, setting up a Rashard Pompey’s two-yard plunge to close the gap to 14-7.
Miller’s teammates were glad to have him back on the field.
“It was great to have Rod back on the field,” said junior running back Rashard Pompey. “He’s a big help to our offense. As you can see he had a lot of catching and a lot of big plays in the game. He’s a veteran at the receiver position and he knows our offense better than anyone on the team.”
In Miller’s return, the chemistry of the receiving corps continued to flourish with the Rattlers passing for 290 yards.
“My plans were not to come back rusty and hurt the team,” Miller said. “The only thing I focused on while I was away was to come back and do well for my teammates.”
In the second half, FAMU quarterbacks continued to throw the football Miller’s direction. Miller finished the night with eight catches for 132 yards and no touchdowns in a losing effort. The Rattlers lost 42-25 to Nicholls State and despite a great performance, a victory would have been even better for Miller.
“It is disappointing,” Miller said, adding that he would prefer to have a bad game, personally, if it meant a win for the team. “It is just all about winning.”
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