Rattlers hope to extend win streak to five games

Photo courtesy: FAMU athletics

After the Rattlers’ last-minute 26-19 victory against Southern on Oct. 6, they enjoyed a bye week and had the opportunity to rest up, watch more film and allow the players to catch up on schoolwork. This Saturday FAMU is traveling to Houston to take on the 2-4 Texas Southern Tigers.

However, the Tigers are on a two-game win streak after starting the season 0-4. They look to extend their win streak to three when they take on the Rattlers Saturday.

They are coming off an impressive 34-31 win against Bethune Cookman led by their running back Ladarius Owens, who had 163 yards with three touchdowns on 19 carries. Owens averaged nearly 9 yards a carry and is picking up 7 yards a carry for the season.

FAMU coach Willie Simmons knows that stopping the Tigers’ running game is a key for the Rattlers.

“Well, our defense is predicated on stopping the run. That’s the one thing we talk about every week, and it just comes down to just discipline and everyone doing their job,” Simmons said. “I think we can eliminate big plays and get his average down to about four yards a carry and I think that increases our chances for success on that side of the ball.”

In their game against Southern two weeks ago, FAMU managed to secure a victory thanks to a last-minute touchdown pass from quarterback Jeremy Mousa to Jamari Gassett. Mousa delivered an outstanding performance, throwing for 300 yards and two touchdowns, while standout transfer wide receiver Marcus Riley led all receivers with seven catches for 97 yards.

Simmons said his players needed the bye week.

“We tried to take advantage of our bye week and got a lot of good work done and once we got back in our normal routines which started Sunday we got back to the basics and so I think the guys are prepared well and I’m looking forward to heading down to Texas,” Simmons said. “I think our guys will be ready to play our best game.”

The Rattlers are enjoying a four-game winning streak and aim to extend it to five before returning to Bragg to take on Prairie View for their Homecoming game.

The key question Saturday is whether the Tigers’ powerful running game will overpower the Rattlers, or if the Rattlers will effectively contain their run game and rely on Jeremy Mousa and his speedy receivers to secure the victory.