The Rattlers (3-5, 3-2 MEAC) are coming off a byeweek. After sustaining several injuries, rest has helped the football team prepare for it’s conference road game against the North Carolina A&T Aggies.
Sophomore quarterback Damien Fleming he injured his non-throwing shoulder against South Carolina State University on Oct. 20, but he participated in his first practice Tuesday.
The team practiced in shorts and helmets for three days last week, giving players time to nurse their injuries.
Head football coach Joe Taylor thought the rest was beneficial to the team.
“The team needed time to heal physically, mentally and emotionally,” Taylor said.
Backup quarterback Tyler Bass, a fifth-year business administration student from Atlanta, took snaps with the first team last week and may start this weekend.
Bass said he prepares for every game as if he is going to start.
Senior safety John Ojo is out for the season with a foot injury. Several players have been hobbled by injuries, but most of them will return this weekend.
The Rattlers’ defensive backs are confident in their ability to make plays without Ojo in the lineup as they prepare to face an Aggie quarterback Lewis Kindle who has thrown seven interceptions in the last four games.
The Rattlers have emphasized special teams all week. Marvin Ross, a fifth-year sociology student from Jacksonville, elaborated on the importance of special teams.
“Football is all about field position,” Ross said. “And special teams can put points on the board.”
The remaining games are pivotal for the Rattlers, who hope to play for the MEAC Championship.
Bethune-Cookman is the only undefeated team in the MEAC. FAMU and B-CU will meet on Nov. 17 in the Florida Blue Florida Classic to end the regular season. FAMU plays North Carolina Central next week, one of the one-loss teams in the conference. FAMU gave Delaware State its one conference loss.
Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. on Saturday at Aggie Stadium in Greensboro, N.C.