Florida A&M University football is looking to bounce back after a devastating loss to Troy University on Saturday 59-7.
FAMU will try to win its second straight home game in Bragg Memorial Stadium come this weekend against Jackson State. In the Rattlers’ minds, the loss to Troy is exactly the test they needed to get them mentally back on track.
“Anytime you go on the road it’s always a challenge,” said head coach Willie Simmons. “It was a good thing for our team to open up on the road right before we (FAMU) began conference play. Our guys competed well, they didn’t quit and that’s the main thing you want to see as a coach.”
FAMU might be the more confident team because they are undefeated at home after beating Fort Valley State 41-7 in the season opener, but Jackson State may have slight advantages. They have had almost two weeks to prepare for Saturday’s game versus the Rattlers because of a game postponed by bad weather last week.
Jackson State will also have fresh and rested legs come Saturday, so this could also work in their favor.
Early on the Rattlers’ offense let up two fumbles against Troy, one fumble coming from junior quarterback Ryan Stanley. Stanley also threw two interceptions just before halftime.
“Stanley doesn’t have to go out there and win the game for us…The numbers and success comes when he’s efficient with the football,” said coach Simmons. “Stanley just has to bounce back and show that he can lead even when the chips are down.”
Turnovers are not the only thing that FAMU needs to work on before Saturday. The Rattlers had an off day on special teams as well, allowing a blocked punt and two missed field goals, one of them being a 25-yard attempt.
Coach Simmons stated that there is a level of focus you must have when you are on the road to beat a team like Troy, and that misexcutions were the cause of their special teams problems.
“I think it’s just a misexecution, most of the errors was a lack of execution. I think there’s a level of focus and attention to detail you must have whether at home or on the road.”
The Jackson State game will celebrate the 40th anniversary of FAMU’s 1978 championship and will be the final non-conference matchup for the Rattlers.