Back to business: Live Blog

The Rattlers are back at home after a much-needed week away from the gridiron.  The past two games against Tennessee State and South Carolina state have not been kind to the orange and green, here’s hoping for a better outing against the winless Savannah State Tigers.


Something should be said about head coach Joe Taylor’s commitment to the run.  Despite getting stuffed by Tennessee State and South Carolina State, Taylor decided to open the game with three straight runs by Philip Sylvester and a quarterback keeper by struggling QB Martin Ukpai on fourth down.

Ukpai isn’t showing much else to inspire confidence though.  Two fumbled snaps and a seven-yard sack are keeping the Rattlers from really making any headway.


Martin Ukpai is looking more and more like Austin Trainor’s future backup.  He was sacked twice during the Rattlers’ opening drive, both times because he held on to the ball far too long.  Despite channeling his inner Curtis Pulley for one down and gaining 15 yards with his feet, the Rattlers were still forced to punt.

Spectacular punt though. Kudos to Branden Holdren (who is also on the cover of Strike magazine today).

0-0, Savannah State on its own 1 yard line.


Someone should run on the field and take the gun the Rattlers’ defense is shooting itself in the foot with.  Four plays, two penalties and the Tigers are driving with relative ease.

They’ve made it to their own 42 without passing the ball once.

0-0, Savannah State on the 42.


There is either major confusion on the offensive side of the ball for FAMU or Taylor just plain doesn’t care that he’s torching timeouts.  Two already and there’s still two minutes left in the first quarter.

0-0, FAMU about to punt back to Savannah with 1:50 left in the quarter.


I’m just going to assume FAMU’s defense took exception to what I said about shooting itself in the foot.  Three Savannah State plays, two sacks and a rush for no gain.  

When Qier Hall is getting sacks, you know it’s going to be a nice defensive day.


Way to completely erase a first quarter that only saw 78 yards of total offense.  Philip Sylvester went 69 yards on a pretty basic run from scrimmage, completely untouched.  

To be honest, I don’t even think he was even seen by the Tigers.  He was in the endzone and two linebackers were still chasing Martin Ukpai.

7-0 FAMU, 13:37 left in the half.

Qier Hall also just got his second half to force a Savannah fourth down.


The second quarter was intriguing for about 30 seconds.  That’s how long it took FAMU to score and get the ball back after some brilliant defensive play.

Then everybody went on vacation.  Three and outs, back and forth, for about… 20 minutes of real time. Roughly seven of in-game time.

Then Antonio Bostick threw and would-be perfect pass, 50 yards down the field.  It was dropped by Brian Lackey.

That’s all.  Really not much else going on.

On the bright side, FAMU has found its own defensive stud in Qier Hall.  2 sacks and nothing thrown his has been even remotely close to being caught.

7-0 FAMU, 6:00 left in the half.


Ukpai has dropped back to pass 12 times so far this game.  The ball has only left his hands three times.  This is not a good thing.

7-0 FAMU, 3:30 left in the half.


Dylan Cook and Brian Lackey, you need to be ashamed of yourselves.  Your quarterback has escaped certain death twice to put perfect passes in the air and both times you’ve let him down by dropping the ball in the endzone.

An inadvertent whistle just cost TJ Lawrence a return touchdown.  The refs just moved the ball forward on a holding call, saying it was during a kick return when it was obviously a run from scrimmage.

I think the refs are a little confused. 

7-0 FAMU, 1:21 left in the half.


Burning timeouts early in a half will cost you when there’s 10 seconds left and you want to run more than one play.  FAMU now has to settle for a field goal from its own 13 to close the half.

10-0 FAMU, halftime.


You’d think Savannah would be paying attention to the first play of FAMU’s drives.  First there was a Sylvester run, then another Sylvester run that was taken away by a call that was “questionable” at best, then a Ukpai pass that was taken away.  FAMU is making its money off Savannah on the first play of the drive.

TJ Lawrence took a reverse 58 yards for a score, capping a one-play, 58 yard drive. 

17-0 FAMU, 11:19 left in the third quarter.


FAMU finally put a drive together. Six plays, 33 yards and a whole three minutes.  Not exactly a Peyton Manning-esque drive to win the game, but at least they kept the defense off the field longer than 30 seconds.  Five-yard run by Philip Sylvester to seal it and the Rattlers are quickly putting this game out of reach.

24-0 FAMU, 7:39 left in the third quarter.


We’ve reached the point in the game where it’s only relevant to update on scores.  It’s officially all Rattlers, all the time.  Even Ukpai is putting his legs to good use, after being shut out most of the first half.

Barring a meteor strike, expect the next update to come with a change of score.


No meteor strike, just Lonvontae Page running all over the Tigers.  His 15-yard run just added to the total.

31-0 FAMU, 13:22 left in the game.


Again, no meteor strike, just a blown play.  Double reverse, flea-flicker pass down the field… right into double coverage.  Easy pick for John Ojo.

By the way, Austin Trainor is in the game.

31-0 FAMU, 10:35 left in the game.