Florida A&M University was defeated by Tennessee State University (24-13) during the Tampa Classic held at Raymond James Stadium on Saturday.
TSU came into the game undefeated (2-0), while FAMU came in at an even .500 (1-1).
Most Florida colleges canceled their weekend football games due to previous weather advisories, but Hurricane Irma didn’t keep the Rattlers from clashing against the Tigers in Tampa.
The Tampa classic was a highly anticipated event for alumni and fans, as it had not been played in Tampa since 1996.
“It’s really what the Black College experience is all about. I couldn't think of anything better to do this weekend.” said Chair of FAMU Board of Trustees member Kelvin Lawson. “It’s great to be in an electric atmosphere like this one.”
FAMU came into game underprepared as Hurricane Irma forced the team to miss several key practices before their matchup against the Tigers.
Besides the storm, the Rattlers also faced other issues going into the game.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Ryan Stanley, was out against Arkansas with turf toe. An injury that doesn’t require much treatment but can severely limit the mobility of a running quarterback like Stanley.
At the end of the first quarter the Rattlers were down 0-3.
Rattler defensive efforts kept the Tigers from scoring a touchdown, but the team secured a 49-yard field goal by senior kicker Lane Clark.
Devin Bowers scored the first and only points for FAMU on a run in the second quarter.
FAMU held a 6-3 lead for a majority of the second quarter before TSU quarterback Treon Harris dashed away from the Rattler defense for a 44-yard touchdown. (The Tigers ended the quarter on a high note leading 10-6.
“They did a good job holding the ball and making long drives,” said Stanley. “We didn’t execute.”
FAMU’s head coach, Alex Wood, said in the postgame interview that he doesn't want “the guys to take this game into next week.”
FAMU (1-2) opens up conference play against rival Savannah State University in Savannah on Saturday, Sep. 23.