Mistakes short-circuit offense

The Florida A&M University Rattlers are working to iron out miscues in their top ranked offense in order to regain dominance over the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.


The offense is currently averaging a conference best 365.7 yards per game and is scoring 28.3 points a contest.   It would seem that the offense is clicking behind senior quarterback Curtis Pulley, the current MEAC leader in total offense per game. 


Strong statistics can be misleading, however, as the Rattlers are suffering through a two-game losing streak.


“Humanly, to get up week after week is not an easy chore,” coach Joe Taylor said.  “That’s not an excuse, just understand that the competition is there.  We just need to get back to our high-energy.”


The Rattlers are ranked in the top five in key offensive categories in the MEAC, but the team is currently sixth in turnover margin, with nine turnovers throughout the season.


“It comes down to the basics,” Taylor said.  “We’re in the right places we’re just getting out-played.  Sometimes that can come from the opponent.  The last two games we played the 11th team in the BCS, then we turned around and played the 11th team in the FCS.”


The offenses mistakes have led to the Rattlers’ current two-game losing streak.  The team has also given up six sacks, thrown four interceptions and has averaged just 18 points per game during the current slump.


“Every time you’re out on the field, you’re not going to win,” Taylor said.  “You don’t fall apart.  You don’t sell the farm.  You don’t fold up the tent.  You keep working.”


A better performance will be mandatory in the homecoming game. 


Norfolk State University is ranked third in the MEAC in turnover margin with 16 total takeaways and 10 of those are interceptions.  


Senior cornerback Terrell Whitehead leads the Spartans and is fourth in the MEAC with two interceptions.


“It probably comes down to the receiving corps,” junior receiver Issac West said.  “We just got to be focused and catch the ball more.  As long as we do our part everything should just fall into place.”


Sophomore receiver Kevin Elliot is second and West sixth, respectively, in receptions in the MEAC, but both struggle with drops and tipped balls.


“Before practice we do a bunch of ball drills and make sure we try to be focused to catch the ball,” West said.  “If we drop the ball we have to do 25 pushups and things of that nature.”


The only things on the offense’s mind are overcoming the miscues, winning the remainder of the team’s games and securing a MEAC championship.


West said that their goal is to advance to the playoffs and still win the MEAC.