FAMU bounces back and defeats Fort Valley State in Jake Gaither Classic

On Saturday evening’s 57-20 win over Fort Valley State University in the annual Jake Gaither Classic, the Rattlers of Florida A&M dominated the game from start to finish. In their first home game home of the season, home cooking seemed to have served the team well as they were able to put their previous loss to the University of Central Florida behind them.

“It felt good, we (FAMU) had a great turnout of fans as always and I truly appreciate them for coming out and supporting us and it also felt good to get over that UCF game because it left a bad taste in our mouths,” FAMU quarterback Ryan Stanley said.

While early jitters seemed to have stalled the Rattlers offense to begin the game, Stanley and the FAMU offense found their footing at the beginning of the second quarter and never looked back. In what was once a competitive game in the early stages as FAMU held a 7-0 lead, the Rattlers aerial and ground attack stunned the Wildcats defense, quick, fast, and in a hurry.

In a quarter where the Rattlers high-octane, up-tempo offense couldn’t be contained, they ripped off 33 unanswered points and went into halftime with a comfortable 40-0 lead.

“It’s a playmakers offense and when we play with the tempo that we’re capable of playing with, spread the field, and do the right things with the football it really allows us to be dynamic on offense,” FAMU head coach Willie Simmons said.

“We saw today (that) when we made the right decisions at the quarterback position, it resulted in crisp routes, and with the protection upfront, it led to explosive plays down the field,” Simmons added.

As Stanley saw his night end early, he finished the game completing 20 of his 31 passes for 275 yards and 3 touchdown passes. With the Rattlers inserting Tallahassee native and redshirt freshman Rasean McKay to start the second half, the offense didn’t skip a beat.

McKay’s pinpoint accuracy was more than evident as he completed 10 of his 11 passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns.

While many got to see the Rattlers offense kick it into high-gear for a majority of the game, and tally up 583 yards of total offense, the defensive side of the ball didn’t disappoint either.

The Rattlers defense played with contagious energy all evening and were able to force the Wildcats into four turnovers for the game, while only allowing 169 total yards to the opposing offense.

“Those guys flew around, had a special-teams turnover, and they did a really good job, “I’m just a little disappointed in how we finished,” Simmons said.

“Our motto this year is fight to finish and we want to be sure we finish out games, drives, and the season” Simmons exclaimed.

While FAMU currently sits afloat at a (1-1) overall record for the season, they will look to replicate Saturday’s performance, as they will suit up and host Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) opponent Southern University (1-2) next Saturday at Bragg Memorial Stadium.

The game will begin at 6 p.m.