The Florida A&M Rattlers’ football team is looking forward to facing the Delaware State Hornets. After being routed by the University of Miami Hurricanes last Thursday 45-0, the team looks to rebound while starting conference play .
Coach Joe Taylor and several players sat down with media Tuesday to discuss last week’s game, and the upcoming Mid-Eeastern Atlantic Confernce (MEAC) contest.
Taylor opened up the press conference by praising Randy Shannon and the Hurricanes on their performance, and also added that they could be a legitimate contender for the BCS National Championship.
He cited the experience his players received playing in front of a hostile crowd as a positive encounter going into conference play.
“It was a great experience in terms of going down and weathering the environment, and making some plays,” Taylor said. “Quite naturally, we didn’t make enough. We didn’t make all that we wanted to make, but we’re proud of the way we competed. We asked for 60 minutes and we got 60 minutes.”
The Delaware State game will be the second in a string of four straight games away from Bragg Memorial Stadium, but the players and their coach are excited about getting conference play underway.
“We really feel like this conference is going to be the most improved conference in the FCS. You don’t want to dig a hole for yourself,” added coach Taylor. “In my mind it’s a wide open race, and you don’t want to start off with a loss because now you’re fighting an uphill battle. As it stands right now, our destiny is in our hands and that’s where we want to keep it.”
The Hornets run a 4-2-5 defense that focuses heavily on its speed and stopping the pass with five defensive backs.
Their offense is run in a zone-read scheme that allows their senior signal caller, Anthony Glaud, to call either a run or pass depending on how many defenders line up in the box.
FAMU’s leading receiver from a year ago, Issac West is confident in the offense’s abilities despite being shut out by the ‘Canes. The redshirt-junior was named to the second team all-conference list last season thanks to his 554 receiving yards and seven TDs.
“You’ll see the biggest improvement from the first game to the second game. We watched film and learned from our mistakes.” said West. “You should see how we learned from them [mistakes] when we play Deleware State.”
The Rattlers will have to watch out for redshirt-junior running back Jaashawn Jones, who last week rushed for 53 yards on 11 carries.
Under center for the Hornets will be the dual-threat quarterback Glaud, who rushed for 29 yards and threw for two touchdown passes.
Glaud also threw an interception, and free safety Greg Harvey says the defense is focused on adding more turnovers to his resume.
“Our goal this year is to be in the 40/30 club. The 40/30 club means 40 take-aways, and 30 sacks,” said the only returning starter from last year’s defense. “We only got one take-away last week, but we’re starting off on a clean slate this week and go out and get three or four turnovers if we can.”
This weekend’s match up will be aired live at 6 p.m. ET on the Rattler Sports Network WXBX 96.1 FM Tallahassee.
Highlights of the game can be seen on the Joe Taylor show, which airs Sundays at 11:30 a.m. on WTXL 27 and on Sun Sports Wednesday at 3 p.m.
FAMU’s TV-20 shows full game replays at various times throughout the week.