Rattlers Look to Trick the Aggies


Florida A&M University   vs   North Carolina A&T Universityncat

October 31, 2015
5:00 P.M. EST
Tallahassee, Florida
Bragg Memorial Stadium
Radio: 96.1 FM/Internet: Rattler Vision

Dwight Floyd

Dwight Floyd

The Aggie coaching staff and team are riding high after getting off to one of their best starts in years. In their first game they demolished a Division II Shaw University team 61-7. They then suffered their only loss of the season against the University of North Carolina 53-14. Undaunted by the loss they next visited Division 1 FCS Elon University coming away with a quality 14-7 win. Against Hampton they found their conference footing winning 45-31. Hampton outgained the Aggies in total yards 431 to 187, but by doing what has become their signature, the Aggies made the bigger plays and found a way to win.

Perhaps the biggest win for the Aggies this season is their win against the Bethune Cookman Wildcats. To put it in perspective the Wildcats have throughout the season found a way to outscore their opponents in close battles, including a tough win against the Grambling State Tigers. The Wildcats outdistanced the Aggies in total yards 440 to 247, yet it was the Aggies who won the game 24-14.

The North Carolina A&T Aggies have found a way to win against every team they have played this season except for the University of North Carolina. In their last game against Howard they proved to be more efficient with fewer turnovers and more consistency. Against Norfolk State they totally dominated winning 27-3. Most of their wins can be attributed to an explosive running game. In games where they have not been allowed to run they have been efficient with their passing game, enough to score and win.

For the Rattlers to have success they will have to play with confidence and limit mistakes. They will have to find a way to slow the Aggie run game and still defend firmly against the pass. Their usual bend, but don’t break defense won’t work well against an Aggie team that knows how to use time of possession to their advantage. They’ll need to keep the Aggies off the field by limiting Aggie third down conversions. Then the Rattler offense will need to find ways to move the chains and score a minimum of 21 to 24 points.

A close game will bode well for the Rattlers, however, they’ll need to deliver more on offense than usual, particularly in the third quarter where the Aggies have been most effective in making half time adjustments. Not counting the University of North Carolina game the Aggies have outscored their opponents in the third quarter 69 to 13. The Rattlers will have to stay aggressive for four quarters keeping the Aggies off their game. If it comes down to a field goal the Aggies field goal kicker is pretty accurate within 37 yards of the goal post. This is the first year that the Rattler punter has had to take over kickoff and field goal kicking duties. When it comes to field goals the Rattler kicker is due for a breakout game.

With a record of 1-6 we know that the Rattlers can be beaten. The Aggies winning record is just the opposite at 6-1, yet FAMU’s coach Alex Wood knows that with the right game plan and execution the Aggies too can be beaten. It may take a few more tricks for a dangerous, improving Rattler team with nothing to lose to overtake the Aggie squad.

Last year the Rattlers were 2-5 when they played at the Aggie homecoming. They started the third quarter down by only 7 points (21-14) when they were beaten on a big Aggie pass play that completely changed the momentum of the game. Don’t be surprised if this is a close game. On this Halloween night either team has a clear chance to win. It is just a question of who will perfect the tricks and most enjoy the treats.

Game Note: The Rattlers are hoping for a homecoming like atmosphere with special events for the big kids and especially the little ones wanting to celebrate Halloween. They will be staging something they call “Strike-O-Ween” to ensure fans a Halloween experience. They are also making pregame tickets available for as little as $5.00. Based on fan feedback from the homecoming game, if the atmosphere is anything like homecoming then fans can expect a very positive experience.

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