FAMU and S.C. State to tangle this weekend

From Florida A&M Sports Information:

 The Florida A&M University football team will begin a stretch of two tough Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) games as the Rattlers take on South Carolina State on Saturday afternoon. Kickoff against the Bulldogs is set for 2 p.m. at Oliver C. Dawson Bulldog Stadium.

The game will be broadcasted and streamed live on ESPN3, with a rebroadcast on ESPNU at 10:30 p.m. Tiffany Greene and Jay Walker will call all the action. The broadcast crew of Keith Miles(play-by-play) and Albert Chester (color analyst) and Corey Staples (sideline) will call the game live on WHBX – 96.1 FM (JAMZ).

The Rattlers (4-1 overall, 2-0 MEAC) battled the heat and North Carolina Central in a homecoming thriller last Saturday. Florida A&M never trailed but needed another late drive to put away the Eagles. Ryan Stanley threw four touchdown passes, the last two to Xavier Smith in the final quarter for the 28-21 victory. The win marked four straight for the Rattlers, including the last three by a touchdown or less. Stanley continues his assault of the FAMU record books and should surpass the career passing yards mark against South Carolina State. Smith, who has gone over 100 yards receiving in two out of the last three games, has 428 yards on 30 catches (142.6 yards per game).

South Carolina State (3-1, 1-0) enters the game off a 38-24 road win over Delaware State last weekend. The Bulldogs opened the year with a victory over previously ranked Wofford and followed that with a victory over Lane. The lone blemish thus far for SCSU was a 55-16 loss at South Florida on Sept. 14. Against the Hornets, the Bulldogs led 17-3 at the break and took a commanding 31-10 lead into the final quarter. Tyrece Nick finished with 105 yards on 14 carries, but did his damage through the air as he was 16 of 28 passing for 253 yards and five touchdowns.

“We’re happy to be coming off a huge homecoming win against North Carolina Central,” Florida A&M head coach Willie Simmons said. “Obviously it was another packed house, which made it three weeks in a row where we’ve been able to pack Bragg Memorial Stadium. The guys made it another close game, but again we found a way to pull it out in the end. We are very excited to be 2-0 in conference play right now and we have a lot of momentum heading into this weekend’s game versus a tough South Carolina State football team that are 3-1 on the season and 1-0 in conference play.

“It will be another road game, which we’ve talked about in this league and being able to win on the road is always tough, so we have to mentality prepare to go into a hostile environment against a team that, for all intensive purposes, has had FAMU’s number since Buddy Pough’s been there. It’s a great opportunity for this football team and we are looking forward to this weekend’s ballgame.”

About The Game
> This will be the 58th meeting between Florida A&M and South Carolina State

> The Bulldogs won the 2018 matchup, 44-21, in Tallahassee, Fla.

> Florida A&M leads the all-time series, 29-25-2, as one FAMU victory was vacated due to NCAA sanctions

> The Rattlers last won a game in the series in 2011 (27-24), but that win was vacated due to NCAA sanctions, so the last time FAMU defeated South Carolina State was a 33-27 result in 2001

> FAMU is looking to end a 14-game losing streak to South Carolina State

Inside the Rankings
> Florida A&M is unranked in the STATS FCS Top 25 and FCS Coaches Poll

> The Rattlers remained No. 4 in the BOXTOROW Coaches Poll and No. 2 in the SBN Black College Football Poll

> South Carolina State is receiving votes in the STATS FCS Top 25 and FCS Coaches Poll

> The Bulldogs are ranked fifth in the latest BOXTOROW Coaches Poll
About Florida A&M
> The Rattlers enter the matchup off a 28-21 homecoming win over North Carolina Central

> Florida A&M opened the season with a loss at #17 UCF, but have since reeled off four straight wins

> For the fourth consecutive game, FAMU held an opponent under 100 yards rushing as the Eagles finished with 96 yards on 28 rushing attempts (3.4 yards per carry)

> The Rattlers won back-to-back games against NCCU for the first time since the 1951 and 1957 season

About South Carolina State
> The Bulldogs, fresh off two open weeks, defeated Delaware State, 38-24

> South Carolina State finished with 452 totally yards, including 253 through the air

> The Bulldogs averaged 9.0 yards per pass against the Hornets

> Tyrece Nick registered 253 yards and five touchdowns through the air and 14 carries for 105 yards

> Head coach Oliver “Buddy” Pough earned his 128 career coaching victory, which ties the school mark with former legendary coach Willie Jeffries

Last Time Against South Carolina State
> The Rattlers dropped their second straight game after winning five straight in 2018

> South Carolina State led 10-0 after one quarter and 24-14 at the half, but it was the final quarter where the Bulldogs struck for a pair of scores within a two-minute stretch that put the game away with a 44-21 victory at Bragg Memorial Stadium

> FAMU was held to 192 rushing yards as the defense yielded 313 on the ground

> Ryan Stanley went 19 of 32 passing for 234 yards and one score, and was sacked twice

> Xavier Smith caught eight passes for 108 yards

> Tyrece Nick only threw the ball 11 times, completing five of those passes for 90 yards

> Tyrece Nick did his damage on the ground with 138 yards on 20 carries and three touchdowns

Ryan Stanley quarterback records

> The senior quarterback continues to build on the all-time FAMU completions record with 616

> Stanley needs eight more touchdowns (51) to break Quinn Gray’s mark of 57

> The Pembroke Pines, Fla. native should break Gray’s mark of 7,378 career passing yards and he is just 27 yards shy of the record

> In addition, Stanley needs 98 passing attempts to surpass Gray’s record

Weekly Accolades
> Quarterback Ryan Stanley was named the BOXTOROW National Player of the Week on Monday
> South Carolina State quarterback Tyrece Nick was selected the MEAC Offensive Player of the Week

Inside The Numbers

> Florida A&M ranks tops in the conference in pass efficiency, pass offense, sacks against, punting and time of possession

> Ryan Stanley, who ranks 2th in the FCS in passing yards, 30th in completions per game and 33rd in passing yards, leads the MEAC in total offense (259.0 ypg) and passing average (256.2)

> Xavier Smith, who ranks 11th in the FCS in receptions per game, 17th in receiving yards per game and 26th in receiving yards, continues to have a breakout season as he ranks first in the conference in yards per game (91.6) and second in receptions per game (7.2)

> Chris Faddoul, who ranks third in the FCS in punting, leads the MEAC in punting at 47.0 yards and has nine kicks of 50-yards or more, with a long of 63 yards

> Markquese Bell is fourth in the FCS in passes defended and 30th in interceptions per game

> The Rattlers rank eighth in the FCS in sacks allowed, ninth in fumbles lost, ninth in net punting, 15th in third-down conversions, 17th in passing offense, 24th in time of possession and 25th in passes intercepted

> Outside of the Central Florida game, the Rattlers have given up just 60.7 yards over the past four games on the ground

> Florida A&M is averaging 28.4 points, while surrendering 30.4 points

> South Carolina State is averaging 29.0 points and giving up 23.0 points

Up Next 
After Saturday’s matchup at South Carolina State, the Rattlers will return home for a showdown with North Carolina A&T State. Kickoff against the Aggies at Bragg Memorial Stadium is set for 6 p.m. and the game will be streamed on ESPN3.

Last season, Florida A&M edged North Carolina A&T State, 22-21, on a 26-yard field goal by Yahia Aly.

The Aggies are off this week after rolling past Norfolk State, 58-19, on Oct. 5.

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