This is a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference match-up between the Bison of Howard University and the Rattlers of Florida A&M University. The Bison (0-1 overall, 0-0 in the MEAC) dropped a 45-7 decision to Rutgers University in their season opener this past Saturday on the road. The Rattlers (2-0 overall, 1-0 in the MEAC) defeated Winston-Salem State University, 34-10 this past Thursday at home. FAMU's other win was a 21-12 decision over Delaware State on September 5.
The game will be televised on live on ESPNU with Charlie Neal providing play by play and former Bison great Jay "Sky" Walker doing color commentary...The game will be broadcast on the Rattler Network with Keith Miles doing the play by play, Mike Thomas the color commentary and Victor Duncan roaming the sidelines.
Howard University is coached by Carey Bailey (University of Tennessee, '92), who is in his third season at the helm and has a 6-18 record to date. Joe Taylor (Western Illinois, ‘72) is in his second year with FAMU and has an 11-3 record to date there. Taylor, who previously coached at Howard in 1983, has an overall record of 208-79-4 in 27 years as a head coach.
Howard is currently second among all HBCUs in players in the National Football League with five: Tracy White (Philadelphia Eagles), Marques Douglas (New York Jets), Antoine Bethea (Indianapolis Colts), Ronald Bartell, Jr. (St. Louis Rams) and Geoff Pope (Cincinnati Bengals). The Bison also boast three former players who are on coaching staffs: Jimmie Johnson (Minnesota Vikings/TEs coach), Pep Hamilton (Chicago Bears/QBs coach) and Roy Anderson (Baltimore Ravens/defensive coach).
Veteran assistant coach Nick Calcutta takes over the duties of offensive line coach and offensive coordinator...Jafar Williams, a former standout wide receiver at the University of Maryland, takes over as wide receivers coach for Alvin Harper...Lawrence Ellis enters his first season as defensive line coach and William Smith will serve as kicking coach.
Setting the Scene
OFFENSE: The offense will be led by red-shirt senior QB FLOYD HAIGLER (12 of 27, 151 yards, 1 TD; 14 carries, 55 yards), sophomore WR WILLIE CARTER (5 receptions, 94 yards, 1 TDs), senior WR BRANDON SHERMAN (2 receptions, 17 yards) and freshman TB ANDRA WILLIAMS (6 carries, 24 yards). Senior center SEAN WOOLFORD and senior guard MICHAEL RUSSELL anchor the offensive line.
DEFENSE: The defense is led by freshman OLB KEITH POUGH (3 solos, 7 assists, 2 tackles for losses), LB PATRICK JEAN MARY (1 solo, 7 assists), sophomore LB IAN SIMON (8 tackles), senior DB DANTE MARTIN (3 solos, 3 assists), red-shirt junior LB JERMELL ELLIS (6 tackles, a tackle for a loss), red-shirt junior DB LANNY KELLY (3 tackles, a fumble recovery, a pass breakup) and senior safeties ARANDO JAMISON (4 tackles, a forced fumble) and MARTIN CORNIFFE (5 tackles).
BISON HOOVES: Howard QB Floyd Haigler had his best day as a runner against Rutgers, rushing for a career-high 55 yards on 14 carries...Haigler, who threw 19 interceptions last season, did not throw any against Rutgers...Willie Carter picked up where he left off from last season...the 2008 MEAC Rookie of the Year, grabbed 5 passes for 94 yards and the team's only TD...Keith Pough, a red-shirt freshman, made his debut a sterling one, collecting a team-high 10 tackles, including 2 for losses.
OFFENSE: The Rattlers are led by red-shirt senior QB CURTIS PULLEY (29 of 40, 349 yards, 3 TDs; 25 carries, 230 yards, 1 TD), freshman RB EDDIE ROCKER (20 carries, 94 yards), sophomore RB LAVONTAE PAGE (20 carries, 61 yards, 1 TD), junior WR ISAAC WEST (10 receptions, 163 yards, 1 TD), red-shirt WR KEVIN ELLIOTT (9 receptions, 95 yards, 1 TD).
DEFENSE: On defense, FAMU is led by senior LB BRYAN PARKER (9 solos, 8 assists, 2.5 sacks), red-shirt SS GREG HARVEY (10 solos, 2 assists, 3 pass breakups), sophomore LB JOHN WILLIAMS (10 solos), red-shirt sophomore LB ALVIS GRAHAM (8 solos, 2 assists, 1.5 sacks) and junior CB QIER HALL (8 solos, 2 assists).
RATTLER HISS: FAMU returns three first team All-MEAC selections and four second team selections...both Pulley and Vann are pre-season All-Americans...Pulley is also the pre-season Offensive Player of the Year...FAMU has won five straight dating back to last season.
SPECIALTY TEAMS: All American LEROY VANN is one of the most dangerous return specialists in all of college football. The 5-9 senior returned two punts for scores in the win over WSSU. He owns several NCAA, MEAC and school records.