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Well kickoff is at 3 p.m. so take a look at some pregame points of interest.
No word yet on whether or not senior quarterback Curtis Pulley will start. The fact that he is questionable is bad news. The man leads the MEAC in both passing with 1657 and rushing with 810 yards. He’s a dynamic quarterback and the Rattlers need him on the field, even if that right shoulder isn’t at 100 percent.
Associate athletic director Alvin Hollins will be viewing his final home game here at Bragg Memorial Stadium. Again, bad news. He has been a great help to Florida A&M and to the Famuan for 30 years. Replacing that kind of experience will be tough.
On the bright side, there is a cake in his honor.
North Carolina A&T comes into this game with 10 interceptions on the year. Four have come from sophomore strong safety Justin Ferrell. This guy is just plain scary. He’s the best pass defender in the MEAC and he leads the conference in interceptions. Pulley and that right shoulder are going to have to watch out for him.
We’ve got about an hour and a half till kickoff, stay tuned, I’m sure I’ll find a few more interesting topics for you.
Both teams are starting to warm up a little. That’s about it. Nothing terribly interesting on either side. The scoreboard still works which is great news. Things tend to break around Florida A&M.
Something just came to mind. You remember the last time we played against a top-ranked passing defense? We ran all over them because they had the second worst rushing defense. Yes, Morgan State, I’m talking to you. This might not be as simple against a North Carolina A&T team that is only allowing teams to get 3.5 yards per carry. They’re ranked fourth in the MEAC for a reason. North Carolina A&T has a pretty complete defense.
Pulley almost gave me a heart attack. For a while I didn’t see him taking snaps. Backup quarterback junior Eddie Battle was taking them instead. Pulley is now throwing a few deep balls to Adrian Smith and some strikes to Isaac West.
It should be noted that Battle and fellow backup redshirt freshman Ukpai are also taking snaps. That might just be because Pulley has to be honored before the game, so he could be in the field house.
Either way, by gametime, we’ll have our answers.
Alright so Pulley should start. He’s suited up, taking snaps, throwing on target and… well… looking like Curtis Pulley.
It’s ok. You can breathe now.
Here comes the band and a few fans. Thirty minutes until game time.
So now we’re recognizing the 28 seniors that are leaving the team at the end of this year. We’re going to miss these guys, especially since a good chunk of them are starters. But head coach Joe Taylor said it best: “This is a good thing”
It really is. Senior players mean that this school is producing hard working young men who will take the time out to earn their credits before heading to the football field.
Kickoff time. North Carolina A&T gets the ball first. Let’s get this party started.
The game is underway. The Rattlers’ defense came up with a great three and out, and North Carolina A&T did not help their cause with early penalties.
Florida A&M is moving the ball slowly and methodically down the field. They’re mixing the Wildcat in with the regular offense and Pulley is on target for the most part. North Carolina A&T still isn’t helping their own cause with silly penalties.
Mykel Benson is still a giant receiving bowling ball.
So much for the bum shoulder. Pulley looks for his favorite target Kevin Elliot, and Elliot makes the diving catch. Great throw by Pulley too. He put the ball where only Elliot could possibly get to it. Oh yeah, it was a touchdown too.
So much for the bum shoulder.
Comedy of errors. Leroy Vann breaks a huge run… then fumbles. Aggies quarterback Lewis Kindle escapes two sure sacks… then throws an incomplete pass (that looked a lot like a fumble from the press box).
Strange stuff to be sure. Regardless, the Aggies are on the move, looking to tie up this game in the first quarter.
Turnovers are bad. When you’re up 7-0 and driving, the last thing you need is a reason for your opponent to believe they can beat you.
The Aggies capitalized off the Vann fumble in the form of a 13 play, 67 yard drive, that ended with a seven yard Kindle touchdown run.
Tie game 7-7.
You know what else is bad? Well if you’re an Aggie, playing against Curtis Pulley. Really now, I thought this guy was hurting. Three plays, two of which involved Pulley, 47 yards and 58 seconds is all this team needs to score.
14-7 FAMU, 14:14 left in the half.
Dropped passes will get you nowhere. Two good, reasonably catchable passes, two drops. One by Adrian Smith, the other by Kevin Elliot in the endzone.
We scored anyway thanks to Trevor Scott. 31 yard field goal.
Scott decides to light someone up on a kickoff return after the play was wistled dead.
15 yards in the wrong direction.
17-7 FAMU 8:14 left in the half.
How much do the Rattlers miss senior linebacker Bryan Parker? About 14 points worth. The Aggies are having far too easy of a time moving the ball now.
The Rattlers might also want to glue the ball to their hands. Two fumbles. Two Aggies’ touchdowns.
FAMU is down 21-17.
I’m not sure if the Rattlers have ever hoped for halftime before. I’m pretty sure they need halftime in order to regroup. Maybe even go over a few ball carrying drills.
On a side note: Vann is four yards away from tying the single-season punt return yardage record. He’s at 474 yards right now, and there’s really no reason why he shouldn’t break the record before the game.
Unless the Rattlers continue to shoot themselves in the foot with penalties.
Same score. 21-17, 1:41 left in the half.
I’m scared. The Aggies are stopping the Rattlers. They’re stopping the Rattlers hard too. Pulley looks harassed and is running for his life on most plays. The receivers continue to drop balls, the latest drop by Elliot.
On the bright side, we still have lineman Christopher Sands. Sands managed to save Pulley’s throw from an interception by sticking his hand in the middle of the play. Great heads up play by the lineman.
Scott just missed a field goal before the half. Yeah I’m scared.
21-17, Aggies up at the half.
Total Offense: FAMU 247, NCAT 217
Rushing Yards: FAMU 118, NCAT 66
Passing Yards: FAMU 129, NCAT 153
Time of Possession: FAMU, 12:07, NCAT 17:53
Third Down Conversions: FAMU 2-5, NCAT 3-8
Redzone Scores: FAMU 2-2, NCAT 1-1
Turnovers: FAMU 2, NCAT 1
I have bad news and I have worse news.
Bad news: Third Rattlers’ fumble. This time by Isaac West and the Aggies are driving again.
Worse news: It looks like Pulley is hurting again. He limped off the field and now Battle is warming up.
Not the best way to start off the second half.
It’s official. Battle is under center.
It’s more official. Pulley has been carted off the field. Not sure what the injury is at that point, but it can’t be good if Pulley isn’t going off the field on his own power.
On a lighter note, Battle is doing well. Short, high percentage passes, and the Rattlers are driving again.
So much for that. Rattlers had to punt and the Aggies offense is back on the field.
The Rattlers finally have a fumble of their own to work with. The Aggies fumbled on a toss play on third and four and the Rattlers are in Aggies territory.
Why bother working with momentum when you can just give it away. Sylvester coughed up the Rattlers fouth fumble of the game. Four fumbles by four different players at three different positions.
Halloween was last week, can we please stop with the scary stuff?
Yeah there is no momentum. The Aggies coughed it up and Sylvester decided he’s had enough of the Rattlers not being ahead.
24-21 Rattlers, 6:44 left in the third quarter.
Cornerback Qier Hall said that he thought coaches were afraid to have their quarterbacks throw the ball his way. After picking off Kindle for 44 yards, I can fully understand way.
Didn’t bring it back for a touchdown, but he set up the Rattlers with a first and goal on the nine. That’s all anyone can really ask.
Hall should have just scored. All that hard work giving the offense amazing field position and the Pulley-less offense could only go backwards. Cap it all off with a missed Scott field goal and you have the definition of “a missed opportunity.”
Dear Mr. Vann,
Welcome back. We missed you. Thank you for breaking a FAMU record with 5 punt return touchdowns in a single season and tying the NCAA record. Your 51 yard return has sparked life back into a FAMU team that has been making mistakes all day.
Dear Mr. Vann,
Please don’t fumble any more punts. We know you’re good, but the defense is in enough trouble without mistakes on special teams.
Qier Hall gave us a brief heart attack. We can’t afford any more star players out with injuries. He made it off the field on his own power, but I haven’t seen him back in action yet. Hopefully it’s nothing serious.
It all started with a fumble. If the Rattlers lose, that will be the story of the game.
31-27 FAMU, 11:55 left in the game
FAMU is tired of the fumbles. So they decided to mix things up and throw an interception. An interception in the endzone of all things.
And we all know how well the Aggies can score off the Rattlers’ mistakes.
31-27 FAMU, 8:46 left in the game
If you’re Trevor Scott, I don’t know how you get some confidence back. Two missed field goals and a blocked field goal. Tonight just isn’t your night. Tonight really isn’t the Rattlers night for that matter. So many mistakes. Somehow they’re still up though. The Aggies have the ball again though.
31-27 FAMU 5:41 left in the game.
Catch them off guard. On fourth and five the Aggies went for it with a fake punt. To be honest, I don’t think the Ratttlers knew the Aggies could do that. The play went for about 30 yards before anyone knew what was going on.
Aggies on the move with 3:18 left to go and the Rattlers ahead 31-27
Fourth and two, the Aggies decide to run it and… I don’t know. There’s a lot of confusion down on the field.
As if to answer my question, the ref just cleared everything up. It’s FAMU’s ball with 59 seconds left. I don’t care how it happened, but it did.
Game set and match to the Rattlers. Barely
31-27 final score.