Florida A&M’s football team continues to struggle offensively, gaining only 106 yards of total offense in a 19-0 loss to the South Carolina State Bulldogs.
Three quarterbacks rotated into the action for the Rattlers during the game, as head coach Joe Taylor continued to search for consistency at the quarterback position.
Starting sophomore quarterback Martin Ukpai was relieved of his duties at the end of the first half by Taylor, after completing only five passes for 31 yards in the first half. Taylor said Ukpai’s inaccuracy during key drives of the game flared from not running the offense effectively.
“It’s frustrating because again, if you just run the scheme, if you run the offense, than you won’t do those kinds of things,” Taylor said. “That is frustrating.”
Senior quarterback Eddie Battle replaced Ukpai under center, but he also proved to be unproductive completing just only three passes for 25 yards with two interceptions.
When asked about his performance in Saturday’s loss, Battle said that he’s prepared weekly to fill the void at the quarterback position if his number is called.
“I always want to play,” Battle said. “Every week I prepare myself at practice as if I’m going to play.”
Freshmen Austin Trainor took a couple snaps also for the Florida A&M late in the fourth quarter. Taylor said that this week Trainor will be the second option at quarterback.
“I would probably say that behind Ukpai would be Trainor,” Taylor said. “So that’s what you’ll probably see.”
The Rattlers were dominated by the Bulldogs’ defense on the ground, only rushing for a 48 yards on 24 carries.
This was the second consecutive game that the Rattlers were held under 50 yards rushing.
Offensive lineman Chris Sands said the offense did not have the production it needed to be victorious.
“We just didn’t make plays when we had to,” Sands said. “Any loss is tough, especially when you’re offense comes out and plays so poorly.
Our defense played great. It just kind of seemed like they had more energy than our offense.”
Battle also said that there were several miscues offensively that the Rattlers must correct before they match-up against the Savannah State Tigers.
“I think the biggest disappointment was the mistakes we made,” Battle said. “We definitely need to eliminate the mistakes.”
He also said the offense needs to perform at a higher level to take some pressure off the defensive unit.
“Since I’ve been here I think this is the best defense that I’ve ever played with,” Battle said. “They were just on the field too much. I think that’s something we have to take responsibility for as an offense.”
However, despite the lack of perfection, Taylor insists that his team will go into this weeks practice and regroup, as they prepare for their next contest.
“We’ll were going to try to get the offense to step up,” Taylor said. “At some point you have to step up and help your team.”