Writer: Marcus Joseph
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. – The Florida A&M University Rattlers will look to continue improving as they take on Howard University at Bragg Memorial Stadium Saturday for their 2013 homecoming game at 2 p.m.
“It’s a conference game, and guys understand what’s at stake,” said Florida A&M Head Coach Earl Homes. “The conference is still wide open.”
The Bison are currently on a four-game losing streak.
FAMU earned their second win of the season by defeating Savannah State, 27-14 at Ted Wright Stadium in Savannah, Ga. The Rattlers snapped their three-game losing streak with a 27-14 win last weekend.
“Last week, as a team, we started off fast, said Terry Johnson, who increased FAMU’s lead with a 63-yard punt return for TD with 5:23 into the first, making the score 13-0 in favor of the Rattlers. “That’s what we need to do this week.”
This matchup will be the 36th meeting between the Rattlers and the Bison. These two teams met for the first time in the first ever Orange Blossom Classic in 1933 with the Rattlers coming out on top 9-6.
“It’s homecoming, the time where the old and the new get to come back together, and talk about the old and new stories,” said Coach Holmes. “At the same time, most important thing is what we have coming to our house.”
“We are the grand finale, he also said. “The grand finale is the football game. We are putting in the work. We are preparing ourselves to win.”
The Bison are currently 1-5 overall and 0-3 in conference play, after dropping four straight.
They are the No.1 offensive team in the conference. Their ground attack is lead by William Parker, who has rushed for 328 yards on 73 carries with one TD, averaging 54.7 yards per game.
Behind him is quarterback Greg McGhee, who has rushed for 261 yards on 68 carries with one TD, averaging 43.5 yards per carry. Through the air, McGhee has passed for 1,275 yards as he has completed 124 passes in 206 attempts with 10 TDs on the season and six interceptions.
“He is good,” said Holmes about the Bison’s QB. “He is real good. A good decision maker, dual-treat.”
“We got to really pay close attention to containing him, and putting some pressure on him up the middle,” He also said.
Last week, FAMU was led by Damien Fleming as he rushed for 59 yards on nine carries and passed for 110 yards by completing 11 passes in 18 attempts with two TDs and one interception to finish the game with 169 yards of total offense.
“I think it started last week,” said Coach Holmes about what he noticed from his QB Damien Flemings’ last week. “He used his feet a lot more. He has the NFL arm, but he is a dual-treat quarterback.”
Damien Fleming has passed for 669 yards by completing 67 passes in123 attempts with five TDs and 10 interceptions on the year.
“He was pass first, but now he takes what people give him,” he also said. “He lead the team in rushing last week.”
The Rattlers will look to snap the Bison two-game win streak against FAMU.
The Rattlers will need to stop quarterback Greg McGhee, who has rushed for 261 yards on 68 carries with one TD, averaging 43.5 yards per carry. Through the air, McGhee has passed for 1,275 yards as he has completed 124 passes in 206 attempts with 10 TDs on the season and six interceptions.