FAMU/TSU Matchup

Run OffenseFAMU’s rushing attack finally came alive last week against Florida, led by sophomore Rashard Pompey’s 80 yards on 18 carries. The Rattlers may have also found a new source for ground yards in fullback Paul Sharpe, the cousin of NFL tight end Shannon Sharpe and former ESPN analyst Sterling Sharpe. Tennessee State’s run offense is centered around running back Charles Anthony, who has averaged 127 yards in his first three games, to go along with five touchdowns.Advantage: TSU

Run DefenseFAMU’s lack of an efficient run-stopping defense is becoming customary, and that doesn’t bode well against an opponent that’s averaging 154 yards per game on the ground. Quite simply, TSU can very well win this game on the ground alone. The Tigers are giving up 92 less rushing yards per game (125 compared to FAMU’s 233). Of course, the Rattler’s numbers are a bit skewed because of the Florida game.Advantage: TSU

Pass OffenseFAMU quarterback Ben Dougherty is out for at least the next two games, meaning freshman Charles McCullum will take over the starting duties until Dougherty gets healthy. The Tigers can be passed on and, of course, FAMU is a very good passing team. Rattler receivers Rod Miller and Cardan Alexander are forming an impressive one-two punch. Much of the Tiger’s pass offense goes through Anthony and Wright. Quarterback Riley Walker has thrown for 620 yards through three games, but has thrown more interceptions (five) than touchdowns (three).Advantage: FAMU

Pass DefenseFAMU’s pass defense gave up only 227 yards to Florida last week. The Gators threw for 219 yards against Miami. The Rattlers shouldn’t have too many problems with TSU’s receivers, which can give safety Levy Brown an opportunity to play closer to the line of scrimmage, helping out with the run defense. TSU’s secondary gives up 228 yards per game, but with McCullum in instead of Dougherty, the Rattlers may have a hard time taking advantage.Advantage: FAMU

Special TeamsFAMU’s special teams has gotten much better the past two weeks compared to the season opener and most of last year. The Rattlers recovered a fumble inside Florida’s 25-yard line last week, and gave the offense an excellent chance to score. Coverage is much improved, and the kicking and punting game is peaking. TSU’s Wright is the kick and punt return specialist. He is second in the Ohio Valley Conference in returning, and has already took a punt back for a score.Advantage: EVEN