Saturday’s 48-16 loss to the No.11 Miami Hurricanes gave the Florida A&M Rattlers their first loss of the season.
In defeat, however, the Rattlers’ defense showed it could compete at a high level, perhaps even a Mid-Eastern Athletic Championship level.
FAMU’s defense recorded two picks off Miami sophomore quarterback Jacory Harris, the first two interceptions for the Rattlers this season. That should bode well for the Rattlers heading into a MEAC showdown Saturday against South Carolina State in Orangeburg, S.C.
“I don’t think we were rattled,” said FAMU junior cornerback Curtis Holcomb. “I would say more enthused because the adrenaline multiplies, and knowing the stage, the platform and the stadium, it was just all hyped in the whole moment.”
Holcomb picked off Harris first, stopped Miami from capitalizing on a FAMU turnover.
Safety Fabian Wilson picked off the second pass, stopping Miami in the red zone before halftime.
“[Harris is] one of the best quarterbacks in the nation,” Holcomb said. “Just to get two picks on him is really good.”
FAMU’s defense also didn’t do too badly against Miami backup quarterback A. J. Highsmith,who played the entire second half in place of Harris.
After giving up 31 points in the first half, FAMU gave up just 17 in the second half.
The defense also held Miami to 167 yards of total offense in the second half, after giving up 303 yards in the first.
“The experience was good and we’ll be better as a result,” said FAMU head coach Joe Taylor.
“It’s just that simple. That was some real good competition. We competed, it’s definitely going to make us better for the rest of the way.”
FAMU is 32-18-3 against S.C. State all time, and will look to build upon some of the more successful defensive efforts made in the Miami contest.