Last week’s game against the Miami Hurricanes, placed the Rattlers of Florida A&M University in the eye of a storm they could not weather, resulting in a 63-17 defeat.
However, this week against Morris Brown they plan to have a different outcome.
“This game with Morris Brown will be what really defines us this season,” said head coach Billy Joe.
“We have to play Morris Brown the way Miami played us…We just didn’t play the kind of game we’d practiced for.”
Rattler coach Billy Joe admitted that Miami’s talent rivaled or surpassed many of the top teams in the nation.
“It’s like the lottery,” Joe said jokingly about FAMU’s chances of pulling off the almost unfathomable upset. “If you don’t play, you won’t have a chance to win.”
The experience of playing the national champs still yielded some positive results. The Rattlers emerged from the game in good physical health andrelatively injury-free.
The Rattlers are looking to come up big on those odds this weekend as they host SIAC (Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) opponent Morris Brown.
The Wolverines have not been on the Rattlers football schedule for 17 years. They were defeated in a 10-0 shutout by the Rattlers in 1985’s Orange Blossom Classic.
The Rattlers will be looking to expand on that margin of victory on Saturday.
Morris Brown head coach Solomon Brannan isn’t looking to duplicate those statistics during their trip to Bragg Stadium, which he called a “bad deal.”
According to Brannan, Morris Brown made the trip to Tallahassee the last four times they met.
Even though coach Brannan is aware of FAMU’s decisive lost to the Hurricanes, he’s not looking at it as a barometer of the Rattler’s offensive capabilities.
“I think the worst thing a coach can do is to get into how an opponent performed last week,” said Brannan. “We won’t prepare for them as if they’re a weak team.”
That attention to preparation might be what caused the paths of Brennan and Joe to cross in the late 1960s as NFL teammates of the New York Jets.
No matter how well second year coach Brannan prepares his Wolverines for Saturday, they will come into Bragg Stadium with a disadvantage.
The signal-calling services of senior quarterback Stanley Hardy will be missing.
He went down with a knee injury in Morris Brown’s tough 16-10 defeat to Delaware State.
Rattler quarterback Casey Printers didn’t dent the scoreboard for any of FAMU’s 17 points, and spent much of last weekend scrambling as his offensive line protection broke down, but he will remain the starter for Saturday’s game.
A win against Morris Brown will be pivotal.
Afterward the Rattlers move into a string of eight conference games on their quest to a three-peat as Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference champions and get into the Division I-AA playoffs for a seventh consecutive year.