Close games are common to Florida A&M (2-5) (1-4) and Morgan State (4-4) (3-3) University. So, it’s only fitting that this weekend’s match up in Baltimore come down to the final minutes.
Of the eight games the Golden Bears played this season six have a margin of seven points or less with only two of those resulting in victories.
FAMU will not be the only team coming into the game familiar of last second letdown’s, as five of the six Rattler losses have come at six points or less.
After giving up almost three hundred yards rushing to Norfolk State, FAMU’s defense now has the tough task of stopping running back Chad Simpson.
The Golden Bear running back has 10 touchdowns and is seven yards away from 1,000 yards rushing for the season.
FAMU’s defense is last in rush defense and the Golden Bears average over 233 yards rushing a game.
“There is good effort by our team; we’re hustling, running and pursuing to the ball we just need to wrap up and make plays,” said Head Coach Rubin Carter.
Missed tackles will hurt the Rattler defense as Simpson has the game breaking ability to go the distance every time he touches the ball.
“I’m excited to play against Chad,” said red shirt junior Vernon Wilder. “I played against him since high school. I know he has moves. Everybody knows he’s fast, everybody knows he can shake, but we have everybody back and we’re going to try to stop him.”
With only four games remaining, FAMU can still win out and salvage a season that has been in turmoil as the Rattlers hope to avoid their first losing season since 2004, when FAMU made a temporary jump to division I-A finishing (3-8).
Injuries have decimated the Rattlers as they lost senior tackle Justin Delancy for the year with a broken ankle.
“Losing Delancy was a huge lost for us because of his ability to lead the offensive line and his leadership role on the team,” Carter said.
Offensively, the Rattlers are hoping to turn around recent troubles moving the ball, sustaining drives and eliminating turnovers.
“All we are going to try to do is control the ball and do our best to keep them from stripping the ball and causing us to do the things we don’t want to do,” said quarterback Leon Camel.
FAMU feels that they can overcome adversity and physical mistakes as they fought until the end against Norfolk State.
“Sticking to what we do best which is controlling the game and keeping it away from them and not making those mental errors,” Camel continued.