FAMU Falls to Tennessee State in Tampa Classic
By Byler Henry
The FAMU Rattlers took on the Tennessee State Tigers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay. The Tigers won 24-13. The Rattlers are now 1-2 as they did not have any answers for the Tigers on offense or defense. Their defense was pushed around, and their offense was stagnant.
The Rattlers had a time of possession of 21:35, but they only managed one drive before garbage time. That drive was capped by a two yard touchdown run by Devin Bowers, which gave the Rattlers a 6-3 lead early in the second quarter. After falling behind, the Tigers scored 21 points and kept FAMU from scoring until 24 seconds in the fourth quarter. Red-shirt Sophomore quarterback Ryan Stanley finished the game going 21 of 34 passing for 216 yards and one touchdown. “When we start drives off, we have to finish them,” Stanley said. “We can’t have any three-and-outs. With them holding the ball like that, our defense gets tired. Three-and-outs will really wear out our defense. They just come and sit down for three plays and have to go right back. We’ve got to hold on to the ball longer.”
The defense struggled, giving up 514 total yards of offense. Tennessee State’s quarterback Treon Harris completed a pass to Steven Newbold who avoided 7 tacklers from FAMU which allowed Newbold to score putting the Tigers up 10 to 6 at halftime. Wilson called the play demoralizing. “When your all isn’t enough, it’s hurtful,” he said. “I know nobody on my defense – nobody, period – wants to feel like that, like they haven’t given enough. I know my defense, I know my team, we work so hard. We’ve got to step up and get better.”
Special teams also had a punt, field goal, and PAT blocked which cost the Rattlers four points. “We just couldn’t make enough plays to get us into the end zone enough times to win the game,” FAMU head coach Alex Wood said. “We’ve had some field position from special teams we weren’t able to take advantage of. We had a PAT mishandled, and a low-trajectory (field goal) that was blocked. That’s four points right there.” FAMU has a road conference game against Savannah State on the 23rd. “We can’t let what happened here tonight effect what may happen at Savannah State next week,” Wood said. “It’s a conference game. It’s on the road. It’s important. We’re looking forward to it.”