Coming off a momentous win in Week 7 against North Carolina A&T, coach Willie Simmons remained humble and focused in the MEAC sports week 8 teleconference. Florida A&M is ranked No. 1 and are now the only undefeated team in conference play. The Rattlers are on a bye this week, giving them a chance to further hone their skills without the strain of game day competition.
“Two things around here keep us focused,” said Simmons when asked how the team stays humble in the midst of great success. “Number one we get what we deserve. So if we work hard and do the little things right we deserve success on the field on Saturday…. The second thing is we chase perfection and in our pursuit of perfection we hope to achieve excellence along the way.”
Coach Simmons remains realistic about last Saturday's game against the Aggies, noting that despite the victory his team had a sloppy game allowing blocked punts, missed extra points and weak offense in the first half.
“Until we play our perfect game we are going to keep going and stay grounded.”
The Aggies’ head coach Sam Washington expressed his disappointment during the teleconference in the small yet crucial mistakes that cost his team two conference losses.
“There were several plays that could have changed the outcome of the ball game if we had made those plays…hopefully we learn from our mistakes… there’s something not clicking,” says Washington. NC A&T was undefeated in the conference last year but appears to be struggling to execute this season despite their talent.
With their four-game win streak, it is clear that the Rattler’s are moving with championship title stamina. On their return from bye week, FAMU will face the Morgan State Bears. Although Morgan State is ranked at No. 6 in the conference, they beat NC A&T by three points earlier in the season compared to FAMU’s one-point victory. If the Rattlers can pull off this win it will solidify their dominance in the MEAC.
In addition to practice and classes, coach Simmons mentioned that Rattler football has responded to the needs of their community. Heading to Gadsden County handing out food and water to those most affected by Hurricane Michael in the previous week.
Head, heart, hand and field, Coach Simmons has dedicated his team to excellence both on and off the turf.