On Nov. 15, not only will ESPN Game Day take place on Florida A&M University’s campus, but the FAMU football team will go against the Hampton University Pirates as well.
A FAMU win will ensure the team makes it to the playoffs.
This game has long been anticipated because this is Taylor’s first time playing his former team, the Pirates of HU, whom he coached for sixteen years.
Taylor has helped usher in a surprise season for the Rattlers, as the team marches into Saturday’s showdown with a 7-3 record, it’s best in two years.
Still despite their impressive record, the Rattlers have not secured a playoff spot.
The Rattlers would secure a playoff spot by achieving the best record in the MEAC conferences and receiving enough bids through a vote by the conference committee.
The team has exceeded the expectations of early season polls that had the Rattlers sitting in the MEAC cellar.
According to the MEAC 2008 preseason football polls, FAMU were placed to finish in sixth place.
As of right now in the MEAC standings we stand in fifth place with A 3-3 record in the conference.
South Carolina State University holds first place with an undefeated record in the conference, and Bethune-Cookman University follows behind in second place with a 4-2 record.
Saturday’s contest against Hampton comes at perfect time.
HU 4-3 in the MEAC, just above FAMU.
The football team should be well prepared by watching film.
Due to the fact this is Taylor’s former team, he knows how they operate.
Even if HU has tweaked their plays here and there, it’s certain overall that they still have the same approach.
This will be the 17th meeting against HU and FAMU is leading the series with 10-6.
This rivalry dates back to 1937. Even though Hampton won the last three games, FAMU has the advantage by playing at home at the Bragg Stadium.
Alvis Graham Jr. a starting linebacker for the football team, said execution will be key to finishing the season on a high note.
“Executing our plays and everyone doing their job on the field will help win the game,” Graham said.
With Taylor’s discipline and FAMU’s player’ hard work, FAMU should be able to come back with another win.
This is a historical event and the first time ESPN has chosen an HBCU for College Game Day and it would be even more historical if FAMU wins this weekend against Taylor’s ex-team.
The Rattlers have come so far and if they lose this weekend than their playoff hopes may be over.