Rattlers aim for .500

Senior wide receiver Rod Miller and senior offensive lineman Fletcher Williams will return to action for the Florida A&M Rattlers when they host Nicholls State Saturday at Bragg Memorial Stadium.

With these two new additions, who FAMU Head Coach Billy Joe said are the best at their respective positions, the Rattlers will attempt to win their third straight game, which will catapult them to the .500 plateau.

“(Legendary Green Bay Packers coach) Vince Lombardi always said he could teach more from winning than in losing,” Joe said. “And that is most definitely representative in our case. We are a lot more enthusiastic, energized, focused, committed and willing to make sacrifices for the program for a win,” Joe said.

“And of course we want to continue those winning ways this weekend at home against Nicholls State.”

Miller and Williams, along with senior cornerback Edward Kwaku, who played in his first game Sept. 25 against Tennessee State, and the injured defensive tackle John Edwards, were all suspended prior to the season for playing in games last year in which they were ineligible.

FAMU’s senior quarterback Ben Dougherty said Miller and Williams should propel the offense to another level.

“I really do feel like a kid in the cookie store getting them back,” Dougherty said. “As an offense, we don’t feel like we’ve played our best yet. I don’t think we’ve played terrible, but I don’t think we haven’t played as well as we’re capable of playing.”

The Rattlers (2-3) offense may hit its peak today against Nicholls State (2-2) because of the makeup of the Colonels defense.

In the tapes that I’ve watched on them, they play a lot of man coverage,” Dougherty said. “And that really gets us excited because Roosevelt (Kiser) and Rod (Miller) are extremely hard to guard one on one. But I really don’t know exactly what they’re going to do against us, but whatever they do we’ll be ready.”

Joe said it would be difficult for his teams to win its third game, especially because of the Colonels confusing offense.

“It’s not going to be a walk through the park,” Joe said. “They have a difficult scheme to comprehend. They run that double slot option that Bethune-Cookman College runs and Georgia Southern runs. And they run it to perfection. We’ve always had some issues with that type of offense, so we’re going to have to be very disciplined and believe me it’s going to be tough getting a victory this coming weekend against Nicholls State.”

The Rattlers defense, which has two-straight second half shutouts, is up for the task.

“As you’ve seen week to week, our defense front is getting better at stopping the run,” said senior defensive tackle Nathan Desir. “We will be trying to get three and outs and cause turnovers like we did last week and every week.”

Contact Ibram Rogers at ibramrogers@aol.com