Simmons Preparing for First Conference Road Game Against Norfolk State

Coming off their second win of the season, The Florida A&M Rattler football team looks to continue their winning streak this weekend in an important conference match-up against Norfolk State. Head coach Willie Simmons held a press conference Tuesday addressing the preparation for the upcoming game.

Last week’s game, the Rattlers defeated Southern University 27-21. They marched 97 yards in nine plays during their game-winning drive to score a touchdown in a come-from-behind victory. The past win at Bragg Memorial Stadium marks their second consecutive win.

Simmons thought that the team played an emotional game.

“Last week’s win was a great win,” said Simmons. “Tremendous environment. One of the best I’ve ever seen, and it was great for our guys to persevere and come through with a victory.”

This road game will mark the 18th meeting between FAMU (2-1) and Norfolk State (1-3). In last year’s game, the Rattlers defeated the Spartans during their homecoming week in a 17-0 shutout. Rattlers lead the series record 14-3.

Simmons spoke on the upcoming conference play.

“We’re on the road and of course always tough to win on the road in this conference, but to be a conference champion, you have to learn to win on the road,” Simmons said. “I expect a hard-fought football game but looking forward to our guys going up there and trying to come home with our first conference win.”

Norfolk State’s quarterback Juwan Carter, who has nine touchdowns so far this season, had 3 interceptions in the game against Florida A&M last year. Simmons credits hit defensive staff for scouting and scheming properly.

“Well I think a thing that our defensive staff does a great job of is really taking the tendencies of what they’ve shown,” Simmons said. “If there’s some carryover from last year’s game and some concepts that they still use today, I’m sure that my defense will look at that and try to exploit it.”

Even though this will be the Rattlers first game flying to face an opponent, head coach Simmons doesn’t think there are too many adjustments needed to be made.

“Our preparation doesn’t change much as far as our practice schedule in terms of our practice schedule,” Simmons said. “We have a home routine and we have a road routine and we always try to stay true to that road routine to make the guys feel comfortable as they possibly can so they’re not focusing on the travel and they’re just focusing on the game.”

If Simmons wins this game, it will mark his 30th win as a Head Coach. Kickoff is set to start at 4 P.M, (Eastern) this Saturday at William Price Stadium in Norfolk, Virginia.