Category Archives: Florida A&M University

FAMU Football Notebook

Calvin Sykes, Florida A&M Correspondent (@CSykesSportsU on Twitter)

Tallahassee, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Underdog?

Some of the greatest sports stories came from a single person or a team, it is these underdogs that have shaped the sports world one at a time.

Florida A&M is in the position of the underdog against one of the top-ranked Historically Black College and University (HBCU) teams in the nation.

The Rattlers have had to tolerate losing to North Carolina in back-to-back years during the Alex Wood era.

Numbers Don’t Lie  

Florida A&M is currently on a two-game losing streak.  The overall concern with the team is the penalties and turnovers, and Wood called the performance “very frustrating”.

North Carolina A&T is undefeated, with three Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference victories against Morgan State, South Carolina State, and Delaware State.

One positive that has come during the losing streak is the rushing game.  The Rattler offense finished with 250 yards on the ground on Saturday against Norfolk State, the most since 2012.

“We had a good plan,” Wood said. “The kids executed that phase of the plan really well. Our offensive line did a good job of securing the line of scrimmage to create lanes for the runners to run in. Those guys did a good job getting yards after contact.”

Coach Wood hopes that this performance will continue against a North Carolina A&T defense who allow 10.2 points per game. North Carolina A&T’s well-balanced offense averages 41.7 points per game.

The positive for this underdog Rattler team is Wood has won every homecoming game thus far.

Injuries

LB Emillo Gibbs and RB Ricky Henrilus will return for the game against North Carolina A&T. The two missed Norfolk State game due to injury.

FAMU Football Update

Ashley Van Slyck, Correspondent (@AVanSlyckFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Florida A&M University Rattlers football team began their season with a win over Texas Southern, 29-7, but have struggled to secure many wins since.

With an average score of 18.5 points per game, the Rattlers hold a 2-4 Overall record and a 1-2 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference record. They defeated Texas Southern and Savannah State. Last season, FAMU held its best record since 2012, ending the season 4-7.

Quarterback Ryan Stanley has completed 103 of his 161 passing attempts this season, averaging 212.8 passing yards per game. Running back Devin Bowers leads the team in rushing, averaging 68.3 yards per game on the ground.

In the Rattlers upcoming game, they will face the North Carolina A&T Aggies for their homecoming game in Bragg Memorial Stadium on Saturday, kickoff at 3 p.m.

Column: Is this the new FAMU football team?

Royal A. Shepherd (RoyalShepherdFS on Twitter), Production Director

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – You know, I can’t remember the last time Florida A&M’s football team drove down the field into their opponents redzone on its first three drives. Then again, I can’t remember the last time the Rattler’s defense suffocated a team into submission by halftime. Or at least I couldn’t remember.

Head coach Alex Woods and the Rattlers did both on Saturday. The team was both efficient on offense and stingy on defense for their noon kickoff against Texas Southern University.  It resulted in a pretty convincing 29-7 victory for FAMU in its first home opener since 2011.

Calvin Sykes | Franchise Sports Tallahassee
Vincent Jefferies carries the ball into the end zone during the third quarter of Florida A&M’s season opener. The Rattlers won 29-7.

FAMU’s opening drive started off promising. Behind a good mix of passing and running plays, the Rattlers marched down the field only to miss a relatively short field goal attempt. Of course, everyone was thinking the same thinking the same thing at this point: “You have to make those count. You never know how many chances they’ll have in the red zone.”

The answer was several.

In fact, the team got into the red zone on each of its first three possessions. Devin Bowers and Ricky Henrilus were extremely impressive in the game. They were able to give FAMU a solid ground game as a change of pace option. It looked like the type of dual-back tandem the team can lean on going forward. Bowers ended the game with 41 yards on 15 carries, while Henrilus had 14 carries for 81 yards. The team ended with 193 total yards on the ground.

The Rattler’s next drive was also a thing of beauty. Back-to-back spectacular runs after the catch by Marcus Williams, the redshirt sophomore out of Miami, set up a nine-yard QB keeper for a touchdown by Ryan Stanley. 

Let’s pause for a second and talk about Mr. Stanley, or as he will now be known, Sunshine.

 

 

 

Stanley was an absolute monster in this game, finishing 19-32 for 214 yards and a touchdown. He also had three rushes for 21 yards and a touchdown. It wasn’t just his numbers that were impressive, it was his general command of every situation presented to him on the field. It led to some interesting notions about a certain end of the year award.

 

His performance was only outshined by his hair, which reminded me of Billy Ray Cyrus a little.

The Rattlers’ hurry-up offense kept Texas Southern off balance every time they went to it. FAMU looked like a well-oiled machine throughout the first two quarters. TSU players, however, were gassed by the end of the half. They were a team that was beaten and knew it. 

FAMU’s defense played a big role in that feeling of helplessness. Although TSU accounted for 202 yards on offense, they struggled for everyone. The Tigers didn’t cross midfield until the fourth quarter with FAMU up four scores. The Rattler defense only allowed 62 rushing yards on 18 carries and 140 passing yards. They also came away with three sacks and an interception on the day.

The Tigers lone touchdown, a 30-yard hookup between quarterback Jay Christophe to Darvin Kirby, came when the game was already out of reach. 

FAMU needed all the momentum they could gather heading into Thursday’s game against the Arkansas Razorbacks on Thursday. This was a surefire way to gain some of that confidence. We’ll just have to see if they can keep it up all season. But for now, job well done Rattlers.

Famu offense and defense strikes early

Calvin Sykes, Florida A&M Reporter (@CSykesSportsU on twitter)

Tallahassee, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – In the first season opener since 2011, Florida A&M faced Texas Southern at noon in the Jake Gaither Classic at Bragg Memorial Stadium on Saturday. The Rattlers defeated the Tigers 29-7 in front of 15,401 fans.

The Rattlers opened their first offensive drive moving the ball downfield easily but came away with no points after a missed field goal.

“We missed on the first opportunity to score,” Head coach Alex Wood said. “We got down and drove the ball on the first drive. I was disappointed that we didn’t get something out of that.”

The first points of the game came off of Florida A&M’s quarterback Ryan Stanley’s legs. Stanley scored on a nine- yard rushing touchdown to give the Rattlers a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter.

The quick success of Stanley against Texas Southern sent the twitter world in a frenzy, being touted as a Heisman hopeful and recognized for scoring the first touchdown of the NCAA football season. Stanley was applauded as the first person to score a touchdown in the 2017 college football season as well as his stylish hair.

 


 

FAMU defense forced TSU to punts on the first two drives and held the Tigers in check through the majority of the game. FAMU only allowed 14 yards throughout the first quarter.

Orlando Mckinely attributes the knowledge of the system on defense for the early success.

“We know the system, and we’ve been in the system for three years,” said McKinely. For the most part, we are veterans and we understand what’s going on.

After Stanley’s rushing touchdown, the Rattlers would have no trouble keeping the success of the up-tempo offense going. Stanley said the passing game was made easy because of the success the team was having on the ground. The success, he said, was due to the work of running backs coach, Roderick Plummer.

“Our backs did a real good job. Bowers, Rickey Henrilus and some young guys got in and got some good reps,” Stanley said. “Coach Plumber does a good job with our running backs, and not even just the run game but protection too.”

Calvin Sykes | Franchise Sports Tallahassee
FAMU’s Ricky Henrilus takes a carry in the third quarter.

Vincent Jefferies, a senior transfer, was brought into the game to run the offense late in the second half, but he did not complete any passes. Jefferies missed on all three of his pass attempts.

“We told Vincent and Ryan both that Vincent was going to play,” Head coach Alex Woo said. “It’s his senior year. It is just not because it’s his senior year. We just don’t give reps just because. He’s earned it, he brings value to the game and his explosiveness. He didn’t create a turnover, and that’s important.”

Jeffries would get a chance to lead the Rattlers to a successful drive in the third quarter. One in which he capped it with a rushing touchdown on a broken play.

On the other hand, Sothern had no success on the offensive side of the ball. Jay Christophe could only connect with his receivers 3 times out of 14 attempts.

“Our quarterback had a tough day,” said Southern Head coach Michael Haywood. “Last year, he went the first game of the year, and he struggled coming back, but everything can be corrected from his mistakes.

Starting the second half down 20 points, Southern’s return man went back into the end zone to take a knee resulting in a safety.

TSU’s only score came off a 35-yard TD from Jay Christophe late in the game.

The Rattlers will face the Arkansas Razorbacks on August 31 at 7 p.m. Central Time.

FAMU softball opens up their MEAC schedule against NCCU

Stanley Brooks, Correspondent  (@StanleyBrooksFS on Twitter)

The Florida A&M Lady Rattlers softball team (5-24-1) are looking to win their fourth consecutive Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference title.

 

franchisesport | Franchise Sports Tallahassee

 

The Lady Rattlers have completed most of their non-conference schedule and are about to open up their MEAC schedule against North Carolina Central University (5-17).

Head coach Veronica Wiggins is looking to get the team back on a winning track after the team fell into a five-game losing streak after her 700th win. FAMU athletics along with the Tallahassee community will be honoring Wiggins for her career milestone during Saturday’s game against NCCU.

The win came on March 12, after the Lady Rattlers took down the Howard Lady Bison, 8 – 1.
The Lady Rattlers will play the doubleheader Saturday against NCCU with the first game starting at 1 p.m. and the second game at 3 p.m.

Craig Bowman and Byron Samuels not expected to return to FAMU next season

Katherine Broomfield, Correspondent (@KatBroomFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Florida A&M men’s basketball seems to slowly spiraling down hill. Last week FAMU guard Craig Bowman confirmed that he will be transferring and after three seasons as head coach, Byron Samuels’ contract with the Rattlers will not be renewed.

“I just want a different opportunity,” Bowman told the Tallahassee Democrat. “I feel like we accomplished a lot since I’ve been here. I just wanted a new opportunity. A new chance to compete against some different talent. I just want to think everybody for the opportunity. It was a pleasure. I’ll always be a Rattler. I’m just thankful for the opportunity.”

After Bowman would confirm his transfer, it was released that Samuels’ contract would not be renewed.

“After review and evaluation of the Florida A&M University men’s basketball program, FAMU Athletics has decided to take its program in a different direction,” Athletic Director Milton Overton Jr. said in a statement to the Tallahassee Democrat.

Continue reading Craig Bowman and Byron Samuels not expected to return to FAMU next season

Florida A&M defeats Savannah State in doubleheader

Katherine Broomfield, Correspondent (@KatBroomFS on Twitter)

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Florida A&M Rattlers (13-5, 4-1 MEAC) played against the Savannah State Tigers in a doubleheader on Saturday at Moore-Kittles Field.

In the first game, FAMU had four runs in the seventh inning and three in the eighth to secure a 7-5 victory.

Cameron Johnson for the Rattlers had two runs batted in and pitcher JoJo Durden recorded seven strikeouts in five-and-two-thirds innings.

Continue reading Florida A&M defeats Savannah State in doubleheader

Sports Brief: Preview Florida A&M vs Savannah State

Katherine Broomfield, Correspondent (@KatBroomFS on Twitter) 

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Florida A&M baseball team (11-5, 2-1 MEAC) will host a three-game homestand against Savannah State University beginning Saturday with a doubleheader at 1 p.m.

Marcus Joseph | Franchise Sports Tallahassee

 

FAMU has won nine of their twelve home games this season and enters the series against SSU having lost against to Bethune-Cookman 1-5, and Jacksonville 5-12.

Savannah State (9-8) enters the series having defeated Mount St. Mary’s last weekend, by scores of 9-1, 6-5 and 9-8.

Outfielder Eric Blanc, Jr. has a .429 batting average, a category leader for the Rattlers.

Bryce Luken, who plays both shortstop and third base, and catcher Turner Davis lead the Tigers offensively, hitting .361 and .354, respectively.

The Rattlers ended the 2016 season 31-21 overall and 19-5 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) while the Tigers ended the 2016 season 12-40 overall and 7-17 in the MEAC.

Last season the Rattlers won four of six games against Savannah State. Games will be held at Moore-Kittles Field and the weekend’s three-game stand will be during the 5th Annual Alumni Weekend.

Sports Brief: Preview Florida A&M vs Mercer

Katherine Broomfield, Correspondent (@KatBroomFS on Twitter)

The Florida A&M men’s baseball team has won five of the last seven games in the season. This is head coach Jamey Shouppe’s fourth season at FAMU, and it is the best start to a season since his arrival.

Their next match up will be at home Tuesday against Mercer University at Moore-Kittles field. The scheduled start time is at 4 p.m.

Mercer is 7-0, the 7-0 mark is the  third time in school history for the Bears.  Mercer remains the only unbeaten team in the Southern Conference.

The Rattlers should have a look out for Mercer catcher Charlie Madden. Madden was named the Southern Conference Player of the Week, the first for Madden’s career, for his performance in games played between Feb. 20-26. Madden hit .438 and slugged 1.125 to lead the Bears to an undefeated week that included a win over the Bulldogs of the University of Georgia and a three-game sweep over Hartford.

Rattler Ben Ellzey was named the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Baseball Player of the Week on Monday. The honor is the first time for Ellzey. Ellzey finished the week for the Rattlers going 8-for-17 (.471) at the plate in games against Auburn University and George Washington University.

The MEAC also recognized outfield Willis McDaniel, and infield and pitcher Aubrey McCarty for their performances.

The Rattlers have a 3-8 record against Mercer and have won two of the four games against the Bears last season.

 

Florida A&M defeats Hampton

Calvin Sykes, Correspondent (CSykesSportsU on Twitter)

Florence Ouattara scored 20 points to lead Florida A&M past the Hampton Pirates 62- 44 on Monday at Al Lawson Multi-Purpose Center.

Shakerrya Morrison had 14 points and Cedricka Sweeting added 10 for FAMU (10-16, 8-5 MEAC).

Monnaz Finney- Smith, who ranks number 12 in scoring in the Mid- Eastern Athletic Conference, scored 16 points to lead Hampton.

Katherine Broomfield | Franchise Sports Tallahassee

 

The Rattlers outrebound the Pirates 55 to 36 behind the second leading rebounder of the MEAC Morrison.

“I love how gritty [Morrison] is on the boards. She just loves to rebound and I mean she doesn’t need to score. She just has a nack for the ball. She is just relentless on the boards, but my goal for her is to be first in the MEAC standings for rebounding,” FAMU head coach LeDawn Gibson said.

Florida A&M was held to 9 of 31 shooting from the field in the first half as opposed to the Pirates only making 8 of 28. Florida A&M out- shot the Pirates from the three point line – 64 to 50 percent.

Hampton pulled within 26 – 23 on a 3-0 run, but Ouattara made a three pointer to extend the Rattlers’ lead. FAMU led 29-23 at halftime after leading by as many as 11 points at the mid-way point in the first half.

The Rattlers took control after of the game after Hampton’s brief burst. The Rattlers went on a 13-6  run to push the lead to 42-29 and held on for the rest of the game.

Because it was Senior Night for FAMU, it was their final home game of the season. The Rattlers will next play South Carolina State in Orangeburg, S.C. on Saturday. Tip-off will be at 2 p.m.

Hampton gives the Rattlers their third loss in a row

Katherine Broomfield, Correspondent (@KatBroomFS on Twitter)

Florida A&M men’s basketball team has continued to struggle offensively this season. Monday night the Rattlers (7-18, 5-7 MEAC) had another disappointing night in the Al Lawson Multi-Purpose Center. FAMU was defeated 72-55 by the Pirates of Hampton University on Senior Night. The loss is the third in a row for the Rattlers.

The only senior on the FAMU men’s team is forward Trey-Cary Warren. In honor of Senior Night, Warren started. Warren put five points on the board for the Rattlers and 2 rebounds, an offensive, and defensive.

Katherine Broomfield | Franchise Sports Tallahassee

 

FAMU shot 33.9 percent from the field, whereas Hampton shot a little better at 47.2 percent. The Rattlers were heavy on the free-throw line, shooting 71.4 percent. Head coach Byron Samuels said the goal is to get to the free-throw line at least 25 times. Shooting 15-21 from the free-throw line was not enough to secure a win over the two-time defending champions of the MEAC.

“We try to be aggressive, we got there. Our goal every game is to get there at least 25 times and shoot at least 75 percent, so we accomplished that feat,” Samuels said. “The greater issue is we didn’t shoot the ball well from the floor.”

Hampton (11-14, 8-4 MEAC), who stands third in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, did not make the match-up against the Rattlers easy. Freshman guard Jermaine Marrow put up 31 points for the Pirates. The Pirates had 39 rebounds, AJ Astroth and Kalin Fisher had seven each.

“I thought we defended pretty well for the majority of the game, but certainly the Marrow kid gets hot, hits two or three 3s in a row,” Samuels said. “Hampton is a good team, it’s a good basketball program. They’re used to winning, finding ways to win.”

Junior forward Desmond Williams offensively and defensively ran the court. He had 12 points and 8 rebounds for the Rattlers.

The Rattlers are 22-11 against Hampton, and the Pirates have won each of the last five meetings between the two teams. Last season, the Rattlers loss in overtime 71-65.  Overall, Hampton has won seven of the last nine games against FAMU, and the Pirates are 7-6 against the Rattlers on the road.

“We just didn’t have it tonight,” Samuels said. “I probably didn’t do my best job getting our guys prepared with the turnaround. We tried to rest, keep our legs fresh. Hats off to Hampton, but I’m hurting for our guys, disappointed. We’ve got to find a way to get some energy and continue to fight.”

This is the last game for the Rattlers at home, and they have two more until the MEAC Tournament in March. FAMU will face South Carolina State on Feb. 25 and rival Bethune-Cookman on March 2.

Sports Brief: Preview Florida A&M VS Hampton

Katherine Broomfield, Correspondent (@KatBroomFS on Twitter)

The Florida A&M women’s basketball (9-16, 7-5 MEAC)  and men’s basketball (7-19, 5-8 MEAC) teams will host a doubleheader against Hampton University Monday in Al Lawson Multi-Purpose Center.

Saturday, FAMU took on the Spartans of Norfolk State. The women were able to secure a 59-51 victory over the MEAC’s second-place team. It took the game to go into double overtime to determine the outcome of the men’s game. NSU outlasted the Rattlers, winning 77-65.

Last season, the Lady Rattlers were able to bring home a 66-59 victory over the Lady Pirates. The men were not able to secure a win over Hampton in a 71-65 loss for FAMU.

Khadejra Young was the leading scorer and rebounder for FAMU. She had 22 points and 12 rebounds for the Lady Rattlers. Malcolm Bernard led the men’s team in points and rebounds as well. Bernard had 23 points with 11 rebounds.

Hampton’s women are 14-11 and the men are 11-14. Both teams are 8-4 in the MEAC.

Monday’s game will also serve as Senior Night for the Rattlers. Free admission will be granted to those with a valid FAMU ID. Tip-off is at 6 p.m.