Aggies take Advantage of the Rattlers’ Slow Start

Photo by: Nathaniel Price/The Famuan

Coming off from a bye week after an impressive homecoming victory two weeks ago, Florida A&M could not keep that momentum in Saturday’s Halloween night matchup against the North Carolina A&T Aggies.

The Rattlers were determined to win their last home game of the season for the fans and the seniors, but the Aggies had different plans on senior night, defeating FAMU 28-10.

Coach Alex Wood did not get the results that he looked for and said that it is disappointing to drop another game, not to mention it being the last home game.

“You know it’s tough to drop another game, especially our last home game,” Wood said. “We wanted to perform better for our team, our fans, and our seniors. We got beat by a good football team tonight, there’s a reason why these guys are ranked.”

The Aggies are first in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, and has won their fifth straight game.

The Rattler lost in significant areas of the game, such as time of possession (NC A&T 36:01, FAMU 23:59) and total offense (NC A&T 486, FAMU 124). They also lost key players to injuries; graduate transfer running back Devondrick Nealy, who sat out with an injured foot, and defensive back, Braxton Brown, who was carted off the field and transported to the hospital during the second quarter.

The Aggies offense was in total control, scoring on their first two possessions to jump out to a 14-0 first quarter lead. Running back Tarik Cohen finished with 27 carries for 179 yards, and both quarterbacks, Lamar Raynard and Kwashaun Quick had more than 100 yards passing.

Against Delaware State, FAMU’s defense held the Hornets offense to only 90 yards on 30 attempts. in Saturday’s game, the Aggies rushed for a total of 230 yards on 46 attempts, much more than the Rattler defense, led by senior linebacker Akil Blount would have liked to see.

“We gave up too many yards on defense,” Blount said. “We wanted to stop 28 (Tarik Cohen), he had about 170 yards, which is way too much more than we wanted to give up, but we just didn’t play well enough in the first half, and didn’t get off the field on third down. We fought hard in the second half, but just got off to a slow start and it kind of came back to haunt us.”

NC A&T converted on seven of its 18 third down attempts, while the Rattlers converted on three of their 17.

On offense, the Rattlers’ 124 total yards were mostly attributed to passing, which was 120. the rushing attack was non-existent as they only rushed for four yards on 18 attempts.

Junior redshirt quarterback Carson Royal did not have the more dominant passing performance that he displayed in the past two games, he completed 18 passes on 40 attempts and threw one interception.

“We missed a lot of opportunities, including myself,” Royal said. “I just have to get better, I missed a lot of throws tonight. We made some plays, just not enough plays to put some points on the board.”

FAMU did have a bright spot when sophomore linebacker Ronald Harris blocked a punt that was recovered on A&T’s five yard line, leading to a three-yard touchdown pass from Carson to redshirt sophomore tight end, Desmond Noird.

The Rattlers will have to recuperate and head on the road for next week’s game against the Hampton University Pirates.

Coach Wood said, “it’s always tough to lose a game, but we’ll bounce back and get ready for Hampton.”

Game time is set for 1 p.m. ET in Hampton, Va., at Armstrong Stadium.

For more information visit the Famu Athletics website or call the ticket office at 850-599-3141.