MEAC race heating up

After the nationally televised shut out over Winston-Salem State University (23-0), the Florida A&M University’s football team would seem to be the team to beat in the MEAC.

Under closer observation it is very clear that is not the case, as the Rattlers have been edged out of two close games that may prove costly for the team’s championship aspirations.

The Rattlers overall record 4-2, is a major improvement from last year’s dismal efforts on the gridiron. After the final MEAC game was finished on Saturday, the Rattlers are tied for only sixth place in the conference.

Hampton (4-1, 3-0), who the Rattlers will face at Bragg Memorial stadium on Nov. 15, lead the MEAC with an undefeated conference record. South Carolina State (5-2, 3-0), also undefeated in the MEAC, and Delaware State (2-3, 2-1) the two teams that have beat the Rattlers this season, fill the number two and three spots respectively.

Offensive lineman Robert Okeafor, feels that cutting down penalties and simple mistakes on game day will increase the team’s winning record.

“There is a lot of football left to be played,” Okeafor said. “We just need to focus on each game and win out, to fit into that number one spot at the end of the season.”

Two big games that are must wins for the Rattlers, regardless of conference standings, are the Florida classic rivalry on Nov. 22 in Orlando against the fourth ranked Bethune Cookman Tigers (4-2, 2-2), and the Homecoming game Nov. 1 against fifth ranked Morgan State Bears (3-3, 1-1).

FAMU (1-2) conference record is not championship winning, but it is not the end of the season and there are plenty of opportunities to turn things around.

Cornerback Marcus Joseph, said he knows the road to a championship will not be easy, but feels confident in the football team’s chance to attain their goal.

“We have to take it one game at a time, win every game, and hope for some of the other teams to lose,” Okeafor said.

Rattler fans are getting excited about the team’s winning record and their chase for the MEAC title.

Clinton Campbell, 19, a sophomore general studies student from Moore Haven, said FAMU football was nothing interesting to watch last year, but they have a better chance of success this year.

“I hardly knew anything about FAMU football last year other than they were sorry. They have been competing and winning this year. So we do have a better team,” Campbell said. “I think it would bring a lot of pride to our school if the football team were to win a championship.”

Norfolk State, tied for that sixth place spot, welcomes the Rattlers to their house in two weeks for the next taste of conference play.