The Florida A&M football team (1-1, 0-1 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) looks to rebound after a disappointing loss in conference play, as it matches up against the No. 20 University of South Florida (2-0, 0-0 in the Big East) on Saturday.
Alignment, assignment and execution were the words that FAMU head coach Joe Taylor stressed, as the Rattlers plan an upset against the Bulls.
“We’re still working on discipline, but it is better,” Taylor said. “We saw a lot of good things on film. The key with each week is to get better.”
However, Taylor insists that the Rattlers are ready to take on the challenge.
“We’re very excited about going down to Tampa,” Taylor said. “All we want to do is compete and get better. To do what we do best, and this is another opportunity to do it.”
This week, the Rattlers’ offense will try to get back in sync and establish a proficient ground attack.
Against USF, they will look to establish the running game early after not performing well last outing against Hampton (57 yards rushing).
“The key is trying to run the ball more effectively,” Taylor said. “It’s always good for any quarterback, no matter what magnitude the game is, to be able to hand off the ball.”
Junior running back, and Purdue transfer Al-Terek McBurse said if the Rattlers stay disciplined, they will have a chance to be victorious.
“I just think we have to stay true to ourselves and execute on both sides of the ball,” McBurse said. “I believe if we just go out there and do our best, the sky’s the limit. You never know what can happen.”
Starting sophomore quarterback Austin Trainor said that this group has the potential to become a top-tier offense.
“The main factor in this is just execution,” Trainor said. “We definitely have all the guys we need to do it. The opportunities are there, we just have to capitalize on them.”
Trainor added that it is important for the Rattlers to emerge after this week of preparation enthusiastic and eager.
“We really have to pick up the energy level,” Trainor said. “We’ve been slacking recently. When you play against an upper-echelon team like this, you just have to keep coming at them. You have to be relentless.”
FAMU and USF last met in 2005 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. Then the Bulls routed the Rattlers 37-3 in front of 38,583 fans. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m Saturday at Raymond James Stadium and will be aired on ESPNU.