Rattlers refuse to get overconfident heading into key game

Bragg Stadium should be sold-out Saturday. Photo by Marissa Stubbs

This time last year Rattler nation was unified by the football team’s success after they went on the road and beat the defending black national champions, North Carolina A&T, 22-21.

Many fans thought Rattler football was back and on the road to advancing in the MEAC — with a Celebration Bowl invitation around the corner. Coaches and players were confident and had high hopes of going to the bowl game for the first time school history.

The Rattlers were 6-5 (5-2 in league play) this time last year. However, their winning streak came to an end after losing at Howard 23-21, and they failed to notch another win in November.

Players have said that they started to get overconfident in their record and began slacking physically and mentally last year.

This year, the football team plans to keep its focus by staying consistent. Players are saying they can’t focus on the record, and that they have to focus on improving daily to reach higher success.

Linebacker Elijah Richardson, said, “As players we can’t get comfortable in where we are. There is still a lot of work to do. We haven’t arrived yet, so we have to keep working and remain true to ourselves and stay that way throughout the whole season.”

The Florida A&M football team is on a five-game winning streak after beating the South Carolina State Bulldogs Saturday in a close game, 42-38. The team took efforts to improve offensively and defensively this week during practice.

Despite a post-season ban, players and coaches plan to stay disciplined throughout the rest of this season.

Head coach Willie Simmons said, “Discipline to us is about our daily habits, so we don’t talk about the post-season ban, we talk about developing championship habits on the day-to-day basis, on the practice field, in the classroom, in our social lives and spiritual lives.”

The coaches and players aren’t the only ones with high hopes for this season. The student body at Florida A&M University is excited to continuously pack out Bragg Stadium.

Taylor Gent, a junior biology pre-med major, said he loves being part of a sold-out stadium.

“Coming to the football stadium is an exciting experience considering that we are on a winning streak. Our football team has been working beyond the expectations of the students and have proved why the Rattlers are striking for excellence,” he said.