FAMU to host North Carolina Central for homecoming

From Florida A&M Sports Information:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. | The Florida A&M University football team will look to make it two straight in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) play as North Carolina Central comes to town for homecoming on Saturday afternoon. Kickoff against the Eagles is set for 2 p.m. at Bragg Memorial Stadium. 

The game will be broadcasted and streamed live on ESPN3. The broadcast crew of Keith Miles(play-by-play) and Albert Chester (color analyst) and Corey Staples (sideline) will call all of the action. In addition, the broadcast team will call the game live on WHBX – 96.1 FM (JAMZ).

The Rattlers (3-1 overall, 1-0 MEAC) needed three field goals from Yahia Aly and two rushing touchdowns by Terrell Jennings last Saturday to defeat Norfolk State, 30-28, at William “Dick” Price Stadium. Florida A&M racked up 431 total yards of offense including 293 through the air, but it was the ground game that provided the biggest punch. The Rattlers got 109 yards on 20 carries from Bishop Bonnett and Jennings, who finished with 29 yards, punched in a pair of scores. Defensively, Elijah Richardson returned from an early-season injury to register a team-high 10 tackles. 

North Carolina Central (2-3, 1-0) enters the game off a 27-17 road win against Morgan State to open conference play. The Eagles amassed 330 yards and four touchdowns on the ground against the Bears. In addition, NCCU registered three more interceptions to increase its takeaway total to 16. Quarterback Davius Richard threw for 86 yards and ran for 70 yards and two touchdowns. Isaiah Totten recorded 112 rushing yards and Jordan Freeman added 95. Defensive back Bryan Mills registered all three interceptions, two in the endzone to prevent Morgan State scores.

“I thought it was a really big win (against Norfolk State) for this program,” Florida A&M head coach Willie Simmons said. “Of course we have our goal of becoming conference champs and black college national champs and to do those things, you have to learn how to win on the road. To go on the road after the biggest non-homecoming ever crowd to an environment nowhere near that, I thought took an early toll on our team. 

“I thought they were a little flat and we didn’t have the life or juice that we needed. For the second week in a row, this team got into a position where it could have quit, given up or gone the other way, but we found a way to win, and I think that is a quality characteristic of a really good football team.”

About The Game
> This will be the 15th meeting between Florida A&M and North Carolina Central

> The Rattlers won the 2018 matchup, 55-14, in Durham, N.C., which ended a three-game losing streak

> Florida A&M leads the all-time series, 6-4-1, as two additional wins were vacated due to NCAA sanctions

> FAMU is seeking back-to-back 2-0 MEAC starts in consecutive seasons

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

> The Rattlers jumped up two spots in the BOXTOROW Coaches Poll to No. 4 and is ranked No. 2 in the SBN Black College Football Poll

> North Carolina Central enters the matchup unranked in all polls

> The Eagles are receiving votes in the latest BOXTOROW Coaches Poll
About Florida A&M
> The Rattlers enter the matchup off a 30-28 victory at Norfolk State last week

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

> For the third consecutive game, FAMU held an opponent under 100 yards rushing as the Spartans finished with 93 yards on 30 rushing attempts (3.1 yards per carry)

> The Rattlers will be seeking back-to-back wins over North Carolina Central since the 1951 and 1957 seasons

About North Carolina Central
> The Eagles are coming off a 27-17 victory over Morgan State

> NCCU finished with 436 total yards, including 350 yards on the ground

> The Eagles averaged 6.7 yards per a run against the Bears

> Davius Richard threw for 86 yards and rushed 70 yards and two touchdowns

> Isaiah Totten recorded 112 yards rushing, while Jordan Freeman and Latrell Collier added 95 and 53 yards, respectively

> Bryan Mills registered a career-high three interceptions

Last Time Against North Carolina Central
> The Eagles got a 13-yard touchdown from Jordan Freeman in the first quarter, but the Rattlers reeled off 48 unanswered points in rolling past NCCU

> Florida A&M registered 509 total yards, and was balanced on offense (255 rush; 254 pass)

> Ryan Stanley finished 13 of 18 passing for 254 yards and touchdown passes to Chad Hunter (three) and Marcus Williams

> Deshawn Smith led the ground game with 152 yards on 20 attempts

> Chris Faddoul punted the ball just four times for 207 yards (51.8 yards per punt) and had a long of 63 yards

Ryan Stanley quarterback records

> The senior quarterback continues to build on the all-time FAMU completions record with 594

> Stanley needs 13 more touchdowns to tie Gray’s mark of 57

> The Pembroke Pines, Fla. native is only 332 career yards behind Gray’s mark of 7,378

> In addition, Stanley needs 129 passing attempts to surpass Gray’s record

Weekly Accolades
> Kicker Yahia Aly was named the MEAC Special Teams Player of the Week. In addition, he earned national recognition as a STATS FCS Honorable Mention selection

Inside The Numbers

> Florida A&M ranks tops in the conference in scoring offense (28.5), pass offense (290.2), total offense (385.8), punting (41.3), sacks against (0.75), kickoff coverage (42.4) third-down conversions (44.8) and second in rushing defense (121.2), pass efficiency (136.2), interceptions (12.5), sacks by (2.75), first downs (20.8), turnover margin (+4) and time of possession (32:02)

> Ryan Stanley leads the MEAC in total offense (241.8 ypg) and passing average (243.8) and is ranked fourth in passing efficiency

> Xavier Smith continues to have a breakout season as he ranks first in the conference in yards per game (82.2) and second in receptions per game (96.8)

> Chris Faddoul leads the MEAC in punting at 47.5 yards and has nine kicks of 50-yards or more, with a long of 63 yards

> Outside of the Central Florida game, the Rattlers have given up just 49.0 yards over the past three games on the ground

> Florida A&M is averaging 28.5 points, while surrendering 32.8 points

> North Carolina Central is averaging 19.4 points and giving up 25.6 points

> No team in NCAA football (all divisions) has more takeaways than NCCU with 16 total turnovers gained (10 interceptions, six fumble recoveries)

> The Eagles sit atop the MEAC and rank sixth in the nation 9FCS) with a +8 turnover margin (+1.60 per game)

Up Next 
After Saturday’s matchup at home against North Carolina Central, the Rattlers will turn their attention to a tough road game as Florida A&M visits South Carolina State on Oct. 12. The Bulldogs, who have won 14 straight in the series, defeated the Rattlers, 44-21, last season at Bragg Memorial Stadium.

South Carolina State had back-to-back weeks off and will meet Delaware State on Saturday.

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