A winning culture has found its way to Florida A&M as the Rattler football team, looks to extend its seven-game winning streak. This weekend the (7-1) Rattlers are up against the (1-8) Delaware State Hornets in another conference match-up. Head coach Willie Simmons spoke on Tuesday’s press conference discussing the team’s recent contest and upcoming game.
Last week, the Rattlers traveled to Baltimore, MD to face the Morgan State Bears. With quarterback Ryan Stanley out with a shoulder injury, backup RaSean McKay got the nod as the starter. He threw for 246 yards with one touchdown and one interception, helping the Rattlers win the contest 24-12.
Coach Simmons, now focusing on this week’s game, says it will be another huge opportunity for the team.
“It’ll be easier to look at the records and say this will be a ‘trap game’ or ‘cakewalk game’, but our guys don’t take that approach and we haven’t all season,” Simmons said. “We believe that this is the biggest game that we’ve ever played in, simply because it’s the next one that we’re allowed to play.”
This battle will be the 35th meeting between FAMU and Delaware State. FAMU leads the all-time series 19-9. In the last meeting, dating back to 2016, the Rattlers defeated the Hornets 41-17.With the Hornets, having a losing, the search for the team’s identity is still yet to be determined. Coach Simmons compared the ending of their last season the current season and said that they had the upper hand. To his football program, Delaware State is a very dangerous group.
“This team obviously isn’t playing for championship aspirations, they’re basically playing to continue to build their program and a signature win like this will go a long way as to establish their culture,” Simmons told reporters.
FAMU’s pass offense ranks number one in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), while Delaware State ranks number three in pass defense. However, the big question comes from the quarterback position. QB Ryan Stanley, who is two touchdowns away from being the school’s all-time leader in TDs but he is still being evaluated on his injury suffered against North Carolina A&T. Simmons said that it’ll be a game-time decision.
“It’s a little premature to name a starter for this week’s game, but I wouldn’t be surprised if both of them played because we want to give ourselves the best chance to be successful,” Simmons expressed. “RaSean has shown that he could lead us to victory.”
Simmons’ mind is solely set on this game against Delaware State, but after this contest, the team will have a bye week that coach says he’ll use to catch up on scouting new athletes to potentially bring into the program.
“The bye week will give us a chance to get out on the road and see some high school games, to get in some schools and evaluate some prospective student-athletes,” according to Simmons.
Kickoff for this game is set for 3 P.M. (Eastern), Saturday at Bragg Memorial Stadium.