FAMU vs. Fort Valley: What to expect from the Rattlers season debut

 Sydne Vigille | The Famuan

Football season is finally back, and along with it comes a new Florida A&M football team headed by coach Willie Simmons. With a new coach, new players and a completely new field in the stadium, what should fans expect in the Rattlers’ season debut Saturday?

Coach Simmons expects to see everything that the team has worked for over the Summer executed on the field, and a completely full Bragg Stadium.

“[I’m] looking forward to seeing all of it come together this Saturday at 5pm,” Simmons said during a press conference Tuesday. “I’m expecting a packed house, I think Bragg Stadiums going to be rocking on Saturday. Just looking forward to getting out there and playing some good football and hopefully starting out this 2018 season with a good note.”

Beginning the season on a “good note” is an important start to meeting fans’ expectations for the Rattlers in the “new Willennium.” FAMU cornerback Orlando McKinley recognizes this, and says people should expect a new high-paced FAMU football team.

“It’s the start of a new chapter in FAMU football,” the senior DB said. “There’s no other way to start something off the right way than to win. Our defense is (a) hard nose, high paced defense. You’ll see us flying around having fun and taking the air out of the offense.”

As for their opponent Fort Valley State, everyone in attendance should expect the Wildcats to try and slow down the game both offensively and defensively.

“Our style is to try to run the football on offense,” Fort Valley head coach Kevin Porter said.  “We want to try to be a physical football team and defensively just go out and see if we can keep them in front of us and tackle well.”

In short, people attending Saturday’s game should expect a clashing of wills. One team trying to play at high pace, scoring as much as possible and taking some risks on defense to get turnovers. The other team attempting to slow down the tempo, running the ball into the ground and playing fundamentally sound on both sides of the ball.

The season and home opener will take place Saturday September 1, at 5pm.