FAMU took its first loss of the season to USF, but its effort and strategy did not go unnoticed by the Alabama football staff. USF had to play its starters the entire game to fend off FAMU. The 36-24 game exposed some key points that the Alabama Crimson Tide confirmed to head coach Willie Simmons that they observed.
Simmons confirmed the acknowledgment by Alabama in his weekly appearance at the FAMU 220 Quarterback Club.
“We have some friends of ours who coach at the University of Alabama. I spoke with one yesterday that said ‘Coach, I just want to commend you guys on how y’all played.” Simmons said. “Usually when teams play lower (FCS) teams, typically Alabama would not have watched Saturday’s game…Alabama would typically think that about a team playing an FCS opponent. He said, ‘Our whole staff sat there and watched and were thoroughly impressed by how you guys played.’ We made mistakes, but they complimented us on the quality of football they saw.”
FAMU pushed the USF until the final seconds ticked off the clock. With five turnovers, the Rattlers literally turned over the game to USF. FAMU reduced the offensive output of the Bulls from the previous week against FBS opponent Western Kentucky University. USF racked up 540 yards of total offense against Western Kentucky, while FAMU’s “Dark Cloud” defense held the it to 393 yards of total offense. In the WKU game, USF gained 374 yards on the ground while FAMU held USF to just 108 total yards.
While the scoreboard showed a 14-point loss, Simmons also said that even USF head coach Alex Golesh complimented the team on their effort. The USF will take on the University of Alabama in a sold-out Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on Saturday at 3:30 PM. FAMU will face the Argonauts of the University of West Florida (DII) at 6 PM in Tallahassee.
FAMU to name field after Pro Football Hall of Famer Ken Riley
FAMU will officially unveil the naming of the football field that was unnamed since Bragg Stadium was built in 1957 on Saturday. FAMU VP/AD Tiffani-Dawn Sykes sponsored the initiative that was unanimously accepted by FAMU’s Board of Trustees.
Riley was a former All-SIAC player who led the Rattlers at quarterback to three SIAC championships. He was drafted in 1969 to the Cincinnati Bengals where he was converted to a running back. He played 15 seasons all in Cincinnati where he retired as the fourth leading interceptor in NFL history. Currently, he still holds the No.5 position with Charles Woodson.
Riley’s widow Barbara, son Ken Riley II and a contingent of Riley family members will be in Tallahassee for the unveiling. FAMU’s football stadium will henceforth be recognized as Ken Riley Field at Bragg Memorial Stadium.