It was apparent Saturday night that the Rattlers’ offense didn’t let their season opening loss deter their execution of capturing a Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference crown.
Florida A&M nearly tripled its total passing yardage from the first contest against Miami, in a 17-14 victory over Delaware State.
The win against the Hornets gave Florida A&M its first MEAC victory this season.
After losing starting running back Phillip Sylvester to an ankle injury suffered in the first half, the Rattlers’ offense filled the void through the air.
Sophomore quarterback Martin Ukpai completed 12 passes for 161 yards.
Ukpai said that he was pleased with how his offense executed against the Delaware State defense.
“Overall, I think our offense performed well,” Ukpai said.
“We just need to cut down on the penalties and focus on what our jobs are,” Ukpai said. If we do that, than we’ll be in a great position to win. We just need to carry our focus from this game into the next.”
He also added that he wanted to give congrats to his wide receivers for their contributions in the victory.
“I think our receiving corps did really well,” Ukpai said. “I just think that we got off to a slow start, but we ended up getting it going.”
Ukpai connected late in the second quarter with sophomore wide receiver T.J. Lawrence on a 22-yard touchdown pass. Lawrence would later finish the contest with two receptions for 33 yards.
“I thought my performance tonight was ok,” Lawrence said. “I would just say it was average at best.”
The passing game would continue to click late in the third quarter, as
Ukpai connected with junior receiver Brian Tymes on a 50-yard touchdown pass. Tymes caught two passes for 55 yards. That touchdown gave the Rattlers a 17-14 lead. Ukpai stated that the touchdown pass to Tymes was definitely a breakdown in the Delaware State defense.
“It was just one of those things when I was reading the coverage and I just spotted the open guy out on the other hash,” Ukpai said. “He just made a great catch and great play.”
Coming into the contest against Delaware State, both of the Rattler starting wideouts didn’t have a single reception.
However, after the victory Saturday, that statistic would no longer relevant as sophomore Kevin Elliot caught four passes for 51 yards and senior Isaac West had one reception for six yards.
Meanwhile, the Rattler receiving corps said that there are still areas for improvement before their upcoming contest against Howard University.
“We just need to clean up some things as a receiving group,” Lawrence said. “I still think we could have executed a little better.”
Wide receiver Brian Tymes also added that he knows the offense can perform at a higher level.
“We made some mistakes and just need to make some adjustments,” Tymes said. “But we’re going to do better. Offensively, I really wish we can catch more balls and eliminate the drops.”