Despite the Florida A&M University (FAMU) Rattlers’ 0-3 record going into their first home game, the fans still made a grand appearance with a total of 18,202 people in attendance Saturday at Bragg Memorial Stadium.
The Rattlers have only won one home game since 2013 but that did not stop the fans from coming out to support the team as it faced long-time rival Tennessee State University, the Rattlers lost 30-14.
The number of people in attendance is close to the Rattlers’ average crowd for homecoming – the annual game that traditionally draws the largest crowd of the season. Last year’s homecoming game against Norfolk State had an attendance of 18,663 fans.
The players, coaches, athletic director and staff all said they were grateful to see the support they received from the fans. Especially, because the average home attendance last season was about 7,500, less than half of the turnout this past Saturday.
Head coach Alex Wood said he was please to see the fans came out to support the players despite their losing streak. He was just disappointed that the team didn’t deliver a victory with all of the support they received.
“It’s really gut-wrenching that we didn’t win because we had a great crowd and the atmosphere was nice,” Wood said. “It’s what you coach and you play the game for. It’s for a kind of atmosphere at home. I hope that we can play the quality of football that’ll keep them in the stands.”
The players were disappointed that they didn’t get the win they wanted, but were ecstatic about the crowd being so hyped and supportive.
Quarterback Carson Royal, a redshirt junior from Jacksonville, threw his first touchdown of the season on Saturday. He believes that the crowd shouldn’t give up on the Rattlers because there is more for them to look forward to this season.
“When we go out, we just have to make sure that we are more confident in ourselves and to be mentally prepared,” Royal said. “We got tired, but we have to make sure that we’re working harder during the week to be prepared for the next game to play for four quarters.”
The Rattlers will regroup and focus on Saturday's opponent.
Montavius Williams, redshirt junior wide receiver, believes that they will come back home and redeem themselves to the fans.
“We played a good team but couldn’t stick it out until the end,” Williams said. “However, I do believe that we make the crowd happy at the next home game. We just have to go harder and give it our all.”
The Rattlers will have a chance to get their first win of the season when they play at winless Savannah State this Saturday.