The Florida A&M defense is still holding strong despite four weeks on the road to start the season.
The last game of the road trip, the Atlanta Classic against the Tennessee State Tigers, is the final test before the Rattlers come home against South Carolina State.
After limiting Howard University to seven points, the defense has set a standard against Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference teams. Defense tackle Padric Scott said it does not want to drop any time soon.
“When we start messing up, trying to do someone else job, that’s when things start to go wrong,” said Padric Scott. “The guys on this defense, I love every one of them. We trust each other, we have each other’s back.”
Head coach Joe Taylor said the defense, as well as the other two phases, have been training for the road trip since the start of summer.
“We knew about the schedule back in January,” he said. “We made some adjustments. We came to camp a couple of days later. We did a lot more walkthroughs so that there wouldn’t be the enormous wear and tear.”
Degrading effects of travel aside, Scott said the defense in particular finds its strength from how close they are. The defense allows 22 points per game and has forced six turnovers in three games this season.
The defense did not record its first turnover until three games into the season last year.
“When you have 11 guys who are close, who are physically talented as we are then you have great things happen,” Padric Scott said. “I’m not worried about the defense going to the game.”
The stage is the least of the defenses worries going into Saturday.
“It’s going to be real special to go down in Atlanta,” defensive tackle Nicolas Hollinghead said. “It’s going to feel good to play on defense in front of a hostile crowd.”
Taking care of business in Atlanta will make the upcoming home stand that much easier for the Rattlers.
“As long as we continue to work like we’ve been working we’ll get things done,” Padric Scott said.