Vanns Returns Help Florida A&M Run Past Howard
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. - Leroy Vann continued his assault on the NCAA record books, returning two punts for touchdowns and Curtis Pulley passed for two more scores as Florida A&M University soundly defeated Howard University, 48-10 in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game in Bragg Memorial Stadium. The game was telecast on ESPNU.
Vann, a 5-9, 185-pound senior All American, set up the game's first score when he returned the opening kickoff 68 yards to give the Rattlers (3-0 overall, 2-0 in the MEAC) good field position at the Bison 25-yard line. It took FAMU three plays with Phillip Sylvester scoring from 10 yards out to give his team the early lead at 7-0 less than two minutes into the game.
After the two teams traded possessions, the Rattlers went 96 yards on 8 plays. The drive was capped off by a 46-yard pass from Pulley to Kevin Elliott. That made it 14-0 FAMU with 5:54 remaining in the first period.
Howard failed to move the ball on its next possession and was forced to punt to Vann, who holds NCAA records for returns. Vann caught the ball at the Howard 40-yard, found a seam and raced to a TD to make it 21-0 at the end of the first quarter.
"He (Vann) beat the hell out id us," said Howard Coach Carey Bailey. "We kicked to him and his return allowed them a short field. Then he breaks the punt return for a score. He's a dynamic player and our kicking wasn't smart."
The Rattlers would add a field goal early in the second period before the Bison (0-2 overall, 0-1 in the MEAC) got on the board on 30-yard return of a blocked punt by Casey Council.
But the Rattlers answered with a 35-yard strike from Pulley to Elliott, their second of the game, making it 31-7 with 5:01 left in the first half. Howard's Dennis Wiehberg nailed a 38-yard field to cut into the deficit, only to have Trevor Scott convert on a career-best 51 yard field goal to end the half.
Despite the 34-10 deficit at the half, Howard had a chance to make the game interesting at the start of the third quarter when it put together its best drive of the game, moving smartly down to the FAMU 10-yard line with plenty of time still left. But it was all for naught as a fumble inside the 10-yard line snuffed out the drive.
"We get a good drive to get a little momentum and to get our defense off the field," said a frustrated Coach Bailey. "Then we fumble the ball. The Number 1 thing you can't do is turn the ball over more times than your opponent. If you do, you are going to lose. This will be corrected." Howard has five lost fumbles in the two games played.
FAMU got two TDs to close out the scoring including a 66-yard punt return by Vann. It was the second straight game that Vann had returned two punts for scores in a game.
One of the determining factors in the game could be the timing of the schedule. FAMU had a week to prepare after having a rare back-to-back game on Thursday night while Howard had a short week after last Saturday's road game at Rutgers.
"I thought that we played well in all three phases of the games," said FAMU head coach Joe Taylor. "There was balance of offense, a good solid effort on defense and the special teams again, especially with Leroy (Vann), add another dimension."
Added Coach Bailey, "I thought we were a bit sluggish coming out. It was a rough five days to prepare. We were out coached, out played and outhit. We will correct these things."
Red-shirt freshman quarterback Jarad Dorsey got his first action as Bison, coming off the bench for Floyd Haigler and rushing for a team-high 38 yards on six carries while completing two of the four passes he attempted.
Sophomore wide receiver Willie Carter continued his consistency, catching five passes for the second straight game.
Defensively, red-shirt linebacker Keith Pough again led the team in tackles with 11, including two for losses. Senior safety Arando Jamison also had a good outing with 11 tackles and a sack.
NEXT UP: The Bison get a few days off before taking on the Hoyas of Georgetown on September 26 at 2 pm at Multi-Sport Field.