No. 17 Florida A&M takes on Delaware State on Saturday

From Florida A&M Sports Information:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. | The Florida A&M University football team, ranked No. 17 in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) polls, seeks its eighth straight win on Saturday afternoon as the Rattlers play host to Delaware State. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. from Bragg Memorial Stadium.

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

The Rattlers (7-1 overall, 45-0 MEAC), winners of seven straight, will enter Saturday’s matchup off a 24-12 road victory over Morgan State. Florida A&M started backup quarterback Rasean McKay and the redshirt freshman went 25 of 35 passing for 246 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. The Rattlers held Morgan State under 100 yards rushing and 280 total yards. With the victory over the Bears, FAMU jumped three spots in the STATS FCS Top 25 and six spots in the FCS Coaches Poll to No. 17.

Delaware State (1-7, 0-5) enters the contest off a 30-23 loss last Saturday at North Carolina Central. The Hornets’ lone victory came on Sept. 14 against Lincoln (Pa.), 58-12. DSU, which averages 18.9 points per game, led 3-0 after one quarter and trailed 16-13 at the half. The Hornets tied the game at 23 with 50 seconds remaining, but allowed a 75-yard kickoff return as the Eagles escaped with the win.

“Obviously this is another huge opportunity for the football team and every game from here on out is conference play,” Florida A&M head coach Willie Simmons said. “It would be easy to look at their (Delaware State) record and their statistics and see that this would be ‘a trap game or a cake-walk game,’ but our guys will not take that approach and we haven’t all season. We don’t believe playing up or down to our competition. We believe that this is the biggest game that we’ve ever played in and that’s simply because it’s the next one that we are allowed to play.

“So that’s our focus and doing the little things right, that starts on Sunday with our scouting report, transitions to Monday where we talk about doing everything right academically, and then as the week progresses, we have practice, weights, treatments, along with eating right, which are all the little things that it takes to prepare to play on Saturday. That’s been our focus all year and I think that’s why we’ve had success on the field all year and we won’t change that approach this week.”

About The Game
> This will be the 35th meeting between Florida A&M and Delaware State

> The Rattlers won the last meeting against Delaware State, 41-27, in 2016, but that victory was vacated by NCAA sanctions

> Florida A&M leads the all-time series, 19-9, as six FAMU victories were vacated due to NCAA sanctions

> Each team has won five games in the series over the last 10 games

Inside the Rankings
> Florida A&M is ranked No. 17 in the STATS FCS Top 25 and FCS Coaches Poll

> The Rattlers remain in the top spot in the SBN Black College Football Poll and BOXTOROW Coaches Poll

> Delaware State is unranked in the STATS FCS Top 25, FCS Coaches Poll, SBN Black College Football Poll and BOXTOROW Coaches Poll
About Florida A&M
> The Rattlers continued their winning ways with a 24-12 road victory last weekend against Morgan State

> Florida A&M has now won seven straight games, the longest streak since the 1998 season

> FAMU is averaging 30.2 points and allowing 29.1 points per game

> The Rattlers have faced a pair of ranked teams this season – No. 17 Central Florida (FBS) and No. 10 North Carolina A&T State (FCS)

> Bishop Bonnett continues to pace the FAMU ground game with 221 yards on 69 carries, while Davonne Kendrick has 217 yards on 51 touches, along with two touchdowns

> Ryan Stanley is 144 of 236 passing for 1,928 yards, with 15 touchdowns and four interceptions

> Backup quarterback Rasean McKay, who made his first collegiate start last week against the Bears, is 44 of 62 passing for 427 yards, with four scores and a pair of interceptions

> Xavier Smith has 769 yards on 54 catches, along with six touchdowns

> Terry Jefferson and Elijah Richardson lead the defense with 45 and 43 tackles, respectively

About Delaware State
> The Hornets are coming off a 30-23 loss last week to North Carolina Central

> Delaware State is seeking its first win since a 58-12 victory over Lincoln (Pa.) on Sept. 14

> The Hornets are averaging 18.9 points, while allowing opponents to score 29.5 points per game

> Bryant Dallas leads the rushing attack at 402 yards on 107 carries, with four touchdowns

> Tylik Bethea is 103 of 219 passing for 1,203 yards, with eight touchdowns and six interceptions

> Kwannah Kollie and Bizzet Woodley have combined to catch eight touchdowns and amass 668 yards

> Defensively, Brooks Parker leads the team with 46 tackles, including 28 solo stops

Last Time Against Delaware State

> The Rattlers scored 21 unanswered fourth-quarter points in pulling away from the Hornets, 41-27, in 2016 in Dover, Del.

> The victory over Delaware State was later vacated due to NCAA sanctions

> The Hornets finished with 27 first downs and 509 total yards, including 332 on the ground

> Florida A&M registered 17 first downs and 368 total yards

> Ryan Stanley led the ground game with 118 yards on 12 carries, with three scores

> Ryan Stanley also went 15-of-29 through the air for 204 yards and one touchdown

> Terry Jefferson paced the defense with nine tackles and returned an interception 60 yards

Ryan Stanley quarterback records

> The senior quarterback continues to build on the all-time FAMU completions record with 660

> Stanley is the FAMU record holder in career passing yards and is just one yard shy of 8,000

> The Pembroke Pines, Fla. native is just two touchdown passes away from Gray’s mark of 57

> In addition, Stanley needs 25 passing attempts to surpass Gray’s record

Inside The Numbers

> Florida A&M ranks tops in the conference in pass offense, pass efficiency, kickoff coverage, PAT kicking, sacks against, first downs and third-down conversions

> The Rattlers rank seventh in the FCS in fumbles lost, ninth in sacks allowed, 12th in turnovers lost, 12th in passes intercepted, 12th in passing offense, 20th in third-down conversions and 21st in rushing defense

> Chris Faddoul ranks second in the FCS in punting

> Xavier Smith ranks 12th in the FCS in receiving yards, 13th in receiving yards per game, 14th in receptions per game and 23rd in receiving touchdowns

> Florida A&M is averaging 30.2 points, while surrendering 29.1 points

> Delaware State is averaging 18.9 points and giving up 29.5 points

Up Next 
After Saturday’s matchup against Delaware State, the Rattlers conclude their home campaign after the bye week on Nov. 16 against Howard. The two teams met last season in the Nation’s Capital with the Bison picking up a 31-23 victory.

Howard will play host to North Carolina Central this Saturday, followed by a road trip to South Carolina State on Nov. 9.

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