MIAMI – The Florida A&M Rattlers picked off two passes and took an early lead, but it was not enough as they fell 48-16 to the No. 11 Miami Hurricanes Saturday night and Land Shark Stadium.
“It’s no fluke that (Miami is) ranked No. 11 in the country,” said coach FAMU head coach Joe Taylor. “I thought they pushed us around up front.”
The Rattlers (4-1) came out firing in the first quarter with a nine play, 59-yard opening drive, capped off by a Trevor Scott field goal. The opening drive score was quickly overshadowed, however, by a Miami touchdown from quarterback Jacory Harris.
The Hurricanes (4-1) would go on to score 31 unanswered points. Throughout the first quarter, Miami never had to drive more that 59 yards, easily winning the battle of field position.
“The thing that we couldn’t afford to do was give (Miami) help,” Taylor said. “They didn’t need any help. I thought we had some personal fouls at untimely times.”
The fast scoring kept FAMU from gaining any momentum until the second quarter, when the defense was able to pick off Harris twice. The second pick by safety Fabian Wilson stopped a Miami red zone possession with 29 seconds left to go in the first half.
The third quarter turned out to be the best for the Rattlers on the evening. Miami held FAMU to 104 yards of total offense in the first half, but gave up 117 yards in the third quarter.
The Rattlers also scored twice in the third quarter on a 34-yard field goal from Scott and a 26-yard touchdown run from quarterback Curtis Pulley. Scott went on to make three field goals in the game, tying a career high.
“It’s just a display of how I need to be in every game” Scott said.
With a big MEAC matchup at South Carolina State up next for the Rattlers, Taylor was pleased to see his team show some fight against the Hurricanes.
“We were just looking for execution.” Taylor said. “We caught the ball better, we ran our routes better. Pulley did a good job all night long, and I think his supporting cast just stepped up a little bit in the third quarter.”
Pulley was 10-25 for a 144 yards and one interception through the air on the night. Pulley also rushed for a team-high 81 yards. Harris sat out the entire second half, but the Hurricanes were still able put up 17 points, sealing the victory.
“I feel like we did good against a good team,” said FAMU cornerback Curtis Holcomb. “One of the best teams in the nation, one of the best quarterbacks in the nation. For us to get two picks on [Harris,] I feel like we did really good.”