The Florida A&M Rattlers will make the trip up north to Washington D.C. as they look to remain unbeaten in MEAC play against the Howard Bison on Saturday afternoon.
The Rattlers enter Saturday’s contest at 6-2 overall and 5-0 in the MEAC after a 38-3 romp over the Morgan State Bears. Ryan Stanley threw three touchdowns for the Rattlers and they led 31-0 at halftime in the victory. Howard dropped to 3-4 on the season and 3-2 in the MEAC after a surprising 27-21 loss to South Carolina State on Homecoming. Howard scored 14 4th quarter points, but the rally attempt fell short.
Florida A&M’s offense is averaging just over 28 points per game on the season after putting up 38 on Saturday. Stanley is completing over 60 percent of his throws for 1,708 yards and 13 touchdowns. Deshawn Smith is the leading rusher for A&M rushing for 420 yards and two touchdowns. Bishop Bonnett averages over eight yards per carry and has added 404 yards and three touchdowns. Chad Hunter has been the top target for Stanley, catching 35 passes for 469 yards and six scores while Xavier Smith has 26 catches for 335 yards and three touchdowns.
Despite a small step back on Saturday, the Bison offense is still averaging over 33 points per game on the season. Howard is accumulating 480 yards per game as well, but offense hasn’t been the issue for Mike London’s team. Caylin Newton has thrown for 1,955 yards and 16 touchdowns on the season, but is completing just 52 percent of his throws and has thrown 11 picks. Newton is the second leading rusher on the team with 362 yards and two touchdowns. Using a stable of backs this year, Howard has started to shift towards Dedrick Parson as the number one back. Parson leads the the Bison with 405 rushing yards and five touchdowns after a 93-yard, two touchdown performance against SCSU. In Parson’s last two games, he has run for 241 yards and four touchdowns. Jequez Ezzard was unable to play in Saturday’s game while Kyle Anthony had four receptions for just 26 yards in the loss. Ezzard still has 779 yards and eight touchdowns despite not being able to get out there on Saturday.
Antonio Miller has been a force on the defensive side for Florida A&M, racking up 11.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. Miller has added an interception and a blocked kick for the Rattlers. E. Richardson is the leading tackle for A&M with 60 tackles. Richardson has added 7.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble this season. A&M has picked off six passes in 2018 and recovered three fumbles, led by two picks each from Orland McKinley and Andrew Hines. The Rattlers allow just under 17 points per game and 333 yards.
The Bison have allowed exactly as many points as they have scored in 2018, allowing just over 33 points per contest. The yardage number is large as well, allowing over 430 yards per contest. Marcellos Allison leads the Bison with 47 tackles on the season. Bryan Cook has been one of the few playmakers for Howard, adding a fumble forced, a fumble recovery and a pick-six to go with 40 tackles and three tackles for loss. Jayson Robinson has recovered three fumbles for the Bison, who have recovered eight of them. Zamon Robinson leads the team with 5.5 sacks in 2018.
Florida A&M is the lone unbeaten left in the MEAC and has a chance to continue running away with it. With a win over NC A&T already on the resume, they essentially have a two-game lead in the conference. The Bison had a golden opportunity to make this a play at the MEAC championship, but the loss to South Carolina State is certainly a major setback.
The Bison came away victorious in last year’s matchup, a 37-26 win over the Rattlers. The Bison put up an unbelievable 565 yards of total offense against A&M. Newton will be hopeful he can match last year’s output, a game in which he threw for 294 yards and three touchdowns while adding 141 and a touchdown on the ground.
TIME: Saturday, Nov 3rd, 1 p.m.
WATCH LIVE: WDCW 50 CW, WHP 21.2 My Network, ENN+, ECTV Me TV (Tallahassee)
ANNOUNCERS: Phil Schoener (play-by-play), Emory Hunt (analyst), Jeff Jezewski (sidelines)