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Willie Simmons keeping his players focused

By Avery Jacobs | | Copy Desk Editor
On November 1, 2018
Willie Simmons recaps win against Morgan State, previews Howard University 
 Avery Jacobs | The FAMUAN 

Florida A&M head coach Willie Simmons congratulated the defense in the opening remarks of his weekly press conference for having a ‘lights-out’ performance against the Morgan State Bears on Saturday.

The Rattlers defense showed up yet again against the Bears as they nearly shut them out 38-3 to extend their winning streak to five games

The win lifted the Rattlers to 6-2 overall, clinching FAMU it’s first winning season since 2011 (7-4)

“On film they did some really good things. Our defense obviously played another lights-out game to hold Morgan to three points, to get a defensive touchdown and keep them under 100 yards rushing,” said Simmons.

Offensively, the Rattlers could not be stopped, as they average 28 points a game, something that they could not do last season.

“Offensively we were able to run the football and as we’ve seen all year we can run the football correctly it really makes us hard to defend,” said Simmons. “the kicking game did some good things, made a 47-yard field goal, obviously our longest of the year.”

Simmons mentioned that development has been a key factor for the Rattlers success this year  

“Any time you take a group of young men whenever you coach part of the goal is wining obviously, but also part of the goal is seeing them grow and develop as individuals and I think that’s what we’ve seen from these young guys. We’ve seen them grow up,” said Simmons.

“A guy like Bishop Bonnette who hasn’t had a lot of success here, who’s having a career year. A guy like Deshawn Smith who’s gone through all types of adversity to have the year he’s having,” said Simmons. “The list goes on and on, so I think that’s the most rewarding part is to see the individual growth within the team.”

With a win against Howard University in their next game, the Rattlers can secure their chances of winning the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and restore a championship that FAMU has not seen for many years.

“We haven’t achieved it yet, yes we’ve won more game here than we’ve won in a long time. Yes, we’ve had our first winning season in a long time, we went on the road and beat the big bad A&T Aggies,” said Simmons. “So we’ve done a lot of things here, but our goal is to win a MEAC championship, that goal is still out there to be obtained.”

The Rattlers will look to take down Howard University on Nov. 3 at 1 p.m., the game is set to broadcast on ESPN3.

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