FAMU Hopes to Grab First Win in Home Opener against Tigers

Courtesy of FAMU Athletics

Florida A&M gets a chance to play on its home field for the first time this season. The Rattlers will face the Tennessee State Tigers Saturday in the Tallahassee HBCU Classic.

FAMU has started the season on a tough three-game road trip, losing all in blowout fashion.

Head Coach Alex Wood knows that they still have things to improve on before Saturday’s game, but said the journey for their first win starts now.

“We didn’t play as well as we wanted to or liked to, we didn’t get the win,” Wood said. “We’re still on the quest for our first win and that’s what this next game is to us, an opportunity to win a football game against Tennessee State.”

The Rattlers are coming off of a 36-0 loss against the South Carolina State Bulldogs, which aired on ESPNU last Thursday, giving them their first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) loss of the season. The shutout was their first since losing 76-0 to the Ohio State Buckeyes last season.

FAMU has been outscored 145-23 in the past three games and is the only team in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) without a touchdown pass this season.

Redshirt junior quarterback, Carson Royal, knows that in order to lead this team to its first victory he must first learn how to keep his confidence, even though things may go awry.

“I know I can get a little up and down on myself, I have to make sure I stay calm and be able to lead this offense in the right direction no matter what happens,” Royal said.

Despite the recent struggles, players in the locker room have a sense of urgency and excitement to finally be able to play their first game at home this season in Bragg Memorial Stadium.

“Everybody’s up, everybody’s ready to be back in Bragg,” Royal said. “You know we’ve had three away games, we were on the bus every single game, that takes a toll on your body mentally and physically. Just coming home is nice, having your own fan base and going into the game with your mind set.”

Wood said that the message to the team is simple: move forward.

“You take the next opportunity, you have to focus on that, you can’t be worried about what happened because that’s in the history books, its over,” Wood said. "You have to focus on what’s up next, what we need most of all is to beat a good football team and Tennessee State is just that.”

The Rattlers game time is set for 6 p.m. For more information visit FAMU Athletics or call the ticket office at 850-599-3141.