It takes a host of Mississippi Valley State players to bring down RB Al-Terek McBurse in the first half of FAMU’s season opening victory over MSVU 27 – 10.
By Richard Alexnader Moore
ORLANDO, FL – The Florida A&M University Rattlers opened the Earl Holmes era with a bang. Losing the “Interim” tag seems to bode well for coach Homes as he walks away with a victory and sees a defense that has his passion all over it for once.
Coach Holmes saw an aggressive defense that forced three interceptions and had a goal line like stand from the 3 yard line early in the game.
From there the Mississippi State University (MVSU) Delta Devils did not cross the 50 yard line again in the first half. Coach Holmes attributed the defense that looked more like him to “being able to put all the players in position where he wanted and who he wanted.”
On offense the FAMU Rattlers featured a 1, 2, 3 punch at running back featuring senior AlTerek McBurse, 6 rushes for 55 yards and 1 TD, freshman Omari Albert, 11 rushes for 47 yards and 1 TD, and junior Lemond Buice who added 34 yards.
The Rattlers relentless ground game was just too much for the Delta Devils on Sunday. The Rattlers put on a sustained drive of 96 yards on their third possession and consumed over seven minutes.
Quaterback Damien Fleming rushed for 42 yards on 6 carries (1TD) and added 110 yards passing with an interception. Fleming did not play in the second half, but the Rattlers still managed to put up 10 points despite a major drop off of talent at the QB position.
The starting defensive unit for FAMU looking great, feature a huge line that looks leaner than any of the past several years. The defense held MVSU to three trips inside the red zone all game, and two of those visits were in the second half, once in each of the two quarters. Both MVSU QB’s were under attack all day and the three interceptions were a direct result of the relentless pressure the FAMU defense placed on them. Patrick Aiken returned one of the interceptions for 39 yards, while John Ojo and Daren Parker were quickly covered after the pick.
Damien Fleming was named MVP of the game for the Rattlers while Jeremy Collins took the honors for the MVSU Delta Devils. The Rattlers will play host to the Tigers of Tennessee State University next week in a game that has always been a thriller
when these two teams meet.
This was the 9th MEAC/SWAC Challenge with the MEAC now holding a 6-2 lead in the series with the FAMU win this weekend.