TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Nov. 10) – Visiting South Carolina State spoiled the 2018 home finale for the FAMU Football team taking a 44-21 win in Bragg Memorial Stadium Saturday evening.
The Bulldogs (4-5) continued their recent dominance over FAMU under coach Buddy Pough, taking control early in the game and never relinquishing it.
SCSU took a 10-0 first quarter lead on an 18-yard dash by Farrikia Grier with 11:38 left in the period, followed by Dillion Bredson’s 33-yard field goal with 4:18 left.
Elusive Bulldog quarterback Tyrece Nick scored on a five-yard run to extend his team’s lead to 17-0 with 12:05 left in the second period, before the Rattlers came to life to challenge the invaders from Orangeburg.
Deshawn Smith’s reverse field 15-yard TD run with 10:45 left, brought the Bragg crowd to life and cut the SCSU lead to 17-7.
The ‘Dogs responded with touchdown, as Nick ran it in from two yards out with 5:10 left in the half for a 24-7 cushion, which was chipped away a bit by Ricky Henrilus’ three-yard run with 58 seconds left before the half, making it a 24-14 halftime count.
FAMU drew even closer in the third period, ar 24-21, when Deshawn Smith tallied on a 47-yard TD gallop with 7:30 left, but SCSU’s Tayshwan Baines took the ensuing kickoff on an 88-yard TD return to push the ‘Dogs lead to 30-21 with 7:17 left in the third.
The fourth quarter saw the visiting Bulldogs close out the game, with a three-yard scoring burst by Nick with 14:26 left for a 37-21 edge, and Jarius Jenkins two-yard plunge with 12:59 left for a 44-21 lead.
THE MEAC RIGHT NOW: Saturday’s loss was not a conference game, so the Rattlers’ (6-4, 5-1 MEAC) can still win the league outright with a victory in next week’s Florida Blue Florida Classic against Bethune-Cookman at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida (2:00 p.m ET – ESPN Classic)….
Defending champ North Carolina A&T (5-1, 8-2) moved into a first place tie with FAMU thanks to a 28-12 road win at Savannah State… But since FAMU bested the Aggies, 22-21 back on October 13, they would own the tiebreaker should both win their rivalry games on Saturday.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Saturday’s win was the 14th in the last 15 games for SCSU and Coach Buddy Pough against FAMU since 2002…
The attendance was reported at 12,608 for the home finale, which was understandable with the big ticket Florida Blue Florida Classic coming up next weekend…
Deshawn Smith led the FAMU ground attack with 78 yards on eight carries, and two TDs, and senior Devin Bowers made a final splash during Senior Day, breaking off a 35-yard run to finish second overall in rushing with 52 yards on three carries….
QB Ryan Stanley passed for 234 yards, completing 19 of 32 attempts, with one interception….
Xavier “X-Man” Smith was the leading receiver for FAMU with eight receptions for 108 yards, followed by Marcus Williams with three grabs for 50 yards, and Chad Hunter with three for 37 yards, before exiting the game with an unspecified injury…
Safety Terry Jefferson led the FAMU Defense with nine tackles, a forced fumble and a tackle for loss, followed by defensive back Jalene Douse with seven tackles, and linebacker Derrick Mayweather, with six tackles, two for loss.