TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – The Florida A&M University baseball team (FAMU) took on the Tallahassee Community College Eagles (TCC) in their annual exhibition game to start off the season.
With very few mistakes from the players, the Rattlers took a 4-0 lead.
“We had to keep going, and not think about it,” TCC’s Kyle Bensen said.
In the next two innings, both teams had difficulty scoring due to all the mistakes being made. At the top of the third inning, the Eagles scored five runs to take the lead.
At the top of the fifth inning, Bensen hit a two-run homerun, giving the Eagles a lead of 7-4.
“It was a great feeling,” Bensen said.
The Rattlers struggled to get a good hit off the bat or to catch any balls hit from the Eagles the rest of the way. The Eagles added another run to seal the game.
With a final score of 8-4, the Eagles took home a win giving them motivation for what this new season has in store.
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) –Softball is back in season and what a better way to welcome it back than with a healthy preseason game between the Lady Rattlers of FAMU and the Eagles of Tallahassee Community College. It was a game of back and fourths, as these two very talented teams battled it out.
TCC struck early in the top of the first with two runs scored by Alyssa Rosenbaum and Elisa Cecchetti. FAMU answered quickly with run of their own to tightened up the score at 2-1 to finish the first.
The second inning was purely defensive as neither team scored which kept things close until an explosive third inning which saw FAMU score two runs to take the lead at 3-2.
It looked as if FAMU finally had control of the game until TCC scored early in the fourth to tie up the score, setting it back to an even 3-3. FAMU had an answer and scored off of a double that gave them a 4-3 lead until the sixth inning.
In the sixth inning, TCC scored off of a single. A player was pegged in the face with a wild pass to first that allowed two of her teammates to steal home.
TCC rode that lead home as FAMU had an opportunity to win the game at the bottom of the seventh but couldn’t capitalize.
“This game shows us where we’re at. I’m really pleased with how we performed,” TCC head coach Patti Townsend said.
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Today, FAMU (2-5) will travel to Hampton, Va. to play conference rival Hampton University (4-2). 4 p.m.
FAMU is coming off a heart-wrenching homecoming lost to North Carolina A&T and Hampton is riding high on top of a two-game win streak over Norfolk State and Savannah State.
FAMU’s passing attack will be tested early and often against Hampton’s suffocating secondary. The Pirates defense boasts a staggering 170 yards allowed through the air per game. This may trouble FAMU who averages, the majority of their yards through the air, with 190 per game.
Through six games, Hampton’s defense has given up 3,162 yards on the ground, which may serve as something FAMU can exploit in the game.
On the flip side, FAMU’s Achilles heel is their lackluster rush defense who has given up 1,230 yards. Opponents average155 yards per game on the ground against the Rattlers.
Tallahassee, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – After a devastating loss on its homecoming, the Florida A&M Rattlers football team is on a three-game losing streak.
In his weekly press conference, FAMU head coach Alex Wood would only take questions about the team’s next game against Hampton University.
Defense remains the same
Throughout the Alex Wood era, the best part of his team has always been his tough and rugged defense.
This year, the FAMU defense ranks in the top-50 in the FCS in the following categories: #No. 10 in Pass Defense, #No. 27 in Total Defense, #No. 33 in Pass Efficiency Defense and #No. in Red Zone Defense.
“We just are playing better, and playing more inspired defense,” Wood said. “I think our personnel is a little bit older, stronger, faster, and more explosive. Our guys are playing hard. Defensive coaches are doing a good job implementing schemes that are geared towards stopping the opponents.”
Despite the high praise, Wood said his team still needs to work on stopping the run.
“We said that we wanted to stop the run, but we are not quite there yet.”
In the middle of season, quarterback Ryan Stanley, a redshirt freshman, has struggled with turnovers. He has thrown five interceptions mid–way through the season.
Facing Another Giant
Hampton is 3-0 in the MEAC. This will be the second week in a row the Rattlers face a team with a winning record.
“We got some common opponents, and different results,” Wood said. “It will be tough up there. We are really looking for to the matchup.”
Hampton averages 20.4 points per game and runs the spreads offense. He credits a big portion of that to the Pirates’ offensive line.
“They have bigger and thicker guys up front, and then zone you up defensively,” Wood said.” The running back gets behind them and pops out because no one can find him.”
Defensively, Hampton runs an efficient zone defense and only allows 18.2 points per game.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Anybody else get this whole ‘Remember the Titans’ Sunshine vibe from @ryanstan_? #FAMU
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.
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.”
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.
The Florida A&M Lady Rattlers softball team (5-24-1) are looking to win their fourth consecutive Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference title.
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.
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.
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.
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.