Defense a top priority

With bi-week approaching, the Rattlers have a great deal of time to strategize before their next game against Howard University on Sept. 20.

The Rattler football team currently stands at 1-1 following a 35-28 loss in overtime to Delaware State.

With defense as a top priority on their checklist to victory, a major point of the team’s focus is accepting what’s wrong and correcting what’s right. The coaching staff plans to have the defense working on all cylinders, as they were in training camp during the preseason.

In their first two games the Rattler defense showed weakness against the run. Alabama State rushed for a team total of 125 yards, while Delaware State running back Chris Strother, had 129 yards individually. Defensively FAMU gave up a combined total of 345 yards.

Holmes said the defensive strategy is to stop the run and focus more on playing pass defense.

Co-defensive coordinator Earl Holmes said, ” We plan to make Howard one dimensional by taking away the run.”

Watching film is a tactic the Rattlers are using to prepare themselves mentally for playing on the field. The team has put major emphasis on being attentive and alert on the field.

At the end of practice Wednesday afternoon, the players’ cardio calisthenics was longer than usual, with an extra 20 to 30 minutes of wind sprints.

“We are making all of the appropriate corrections,” said Joe Taylor, head coach for the football team. “Alignment, assignments and execution are three important areas we’re working to improve.”

Because there is no football game this weekend, the Rattlers are applying basic football fundamentals to correct personal errors and build as a team.

“We’ve been critiquing ourselves and watching film,” said junior defensive linemen Joseph Wims. “We just have to take things step by step and grind hard everyday.”

Tim Edwards, co-defensive coordinator said the main thing that the team needs to focus on is correcting mistakes.

” We are correcting what we do wrong and perfecting what we do right,” Edwards said.

FAMU is currently ranked second in the MEAC for scoring. Sophomore quarterback Eddie Battle will enter next week’s game 19 for 36 with 205 total passing yards.

” We have to be champions on and off the field,” Battle said.

The team will undergo much of the same routine as they prepare for next week’s rival opponent Howard University.