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Positives in Florida A&M’s loss to USF

Florida A&M didn’t pull off the upset against USF, but there were several positive developments for FAMU as it moves forward and preps for more SWAC play.

Florida A&M came into its game against South Florida (USF) as a big underdog. It left the game with a solid 38-17 performance against the FBS opponent (as well as a nice check).

Here are some positives from FAMU’s performance against USF.

Rasean McKay looked solid with good protection vs. USF

The USF game marked the return of Rasean McKay as Florida A&M starting quarterback, and it was a solid one. After starting the Fort Valley State game on the bench, the opening day starter put up solid numbers against an FBS defense. He completed 25 of 49 passes for 248 yards and one touchdown. Perhaps more important than the yardage and the score was the fact that he didn’t turn the ball over. He was sacked just once in the game after spending most of the JSU game “looking up at the sky” according to his coach. His performance showed that when he can be kept upright, he can guide this offense. 

FAMU’s running game looks promising

During its 2019 season, FAMU experienced most of its offensive success through Ryan Stanley and the passing game. The running game was mostly an afterthought that season, but with McKay still getting his wind beneath him, the run game has more importance in 2021. FAMU averaged 4.6 yards per rush against USF and finished with 132 yards. Terrell Jennings 93 yards on six carries and Jaylen McCloud’s 61 yards on 10 attempts, combining for 154 yards and a score between them. If that keeps up in SWAC play, it could mean great things for FAMU.

Xavier Smith probably helped his draft stock

Xavier Smith came into the season as an all-American candidate and he showed why on Saturday night. He caught 15 passes for 139 yards against an FBS defense. He had to be accounted for all night and showed himself as a dependable target despite all the attention he received. Games like this will be examined closely by scouts as they project who can play at the next level. 

And so did Markquese Bell

Like Smith, Bell is an All-American and pro prospect. The 6’3 senior likely helped his draft stock as well. He was all over the field, leading FAMU with 15 total tackles (10 solo), including a sack and a forced fumble. 

Positives in Florida A&M’s loss to USF
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