TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida A&M Director of Athletics Milton Overton, released FAMU’s 2016 football schedule today. The slate includes four home games in the historic Bragg Memorial Stadium. The schedule also includes a familiar opening day opponent in Miami Gardens, Fla., against the University of Miami Hurricanes.
This year, an old foe will return after a 20-year absence from competition. FAMU will face the Tigers of Tuskegee University in Mobile, Ala. on Sept. 17. The revitalization of one of FAMU’s traditional foes dates back to their first meeting in 1908. The last time the Rattlers faced Tuskegee was in 1996, with FAMU’s famed “Gulf Coast” offense posting a 56-0 routing of the Tigers.
According to Overton, the schedule will provide an opportunity for Rattler fans to enjoy the action and the spirit of FAMU. In addition to FAMU having four home games, adjustments to the schedule made in response to last year’s fan survey allow for only the Oct. 1 home contest against Savannah State to take place on the same day as a Florida State home football game.
“We listened to our constituents, including alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends of FAMU,” Overton said. “We are making every effort to ensure that attending football games at Bragg Stadium are more affordable, the fan experience is improved and we put customer service at a premium. In that vein, 2016 football ticket pricing will not increase.
The FAMU Department of Athletics has developed new season ticket packages and an annual athletics giving initiative. These new initiatives will be rolled out in early to mid February.
“This initiative launches our four-year athletics strategic plan to repair one of six critical support pillars needed in the process of building a championship department of athletics. Repairing the fracture in the financial pillar helps move FAMU Athletics from a traditional transactional giving revenue model to supporting a 21st century intercollegiate athletes business model,” Overton said.
Participation in the” Investing in Champions Athletics Annual Giving Program” from season ticket packages and donations, will earn Rattler donors the opportunity to purchase premium seating at all ticketed athletic events throughout the year, including the Florida Classic.
The Full Slate:
Sept. 3 – University of Miami (Miami Gardens, Fla./Sun Life Stadium)
The Rattlers open the season in South Florida against the Miami Hurricanes. FAMU opened the series against the Canes with a 16-13 win in 1979, but since have failed to hold the Hurricanes close. The Rattlers last faced the Canes in 2014, dropping the contest 41-7. This game will have heightened visibility, as it will mark the first game for new head coach Mark Richt. FAMU coach Alex Wood and Richt face off for the first time in opposing orange and green teams. Ironically, Richt was a member of the 1979 Canes, while Wood is a former Miami Hurricanes assistant coach.
Sept. 10 – Coastal Carolina (Conway, S.C./Brooks Stadium)
The Rattlers head up to the Eastern coast of South Carolina for a first-ever trip to play the Chanticleers of Coastal Carolina. The Rattlers fell 48-3 to CCU in their only prior meeting, in 2014 at Bragg Stadium.
Sept. 17 – Tuskegee University (Mobile, Ala./Ladd-Peebles Stadium)
Renewing the second oldest rivalry in the history of FAMU football, the Rattlers will meet the Tigers in mobile, Ala. for a showdown on the Gulf Coast. The first meeting between the two schools in 1908 marked just the second loss in school history. The Rattlers have rebounded nicely holding a 29-16-1 overall record against TU.
Sept. 24 – South Carolina State (Tallahassee, Fla./Bragg Stadium)
The Rattlers open home and MEAC play with a visit from the Bulldogs of South Carolina State. Predicted again to be one of the top teams in the MEAC, veteran coach Oliver “Buddy” Pough and his Bulldogs will kickoff FAMU’s four-game home slate for the 2016 season.
Oct.1 – Savannah State (Tallahassee, Fla. /Bragg Stadium)
After FAMU’s first-ever loss to the Tigers of Savannah State last season, Coach Wood and his crew have a mission to atone for last season’s lapse in Savannah, Ga. The second half of a back-to-back home stand, the Rattlers will face the Tigers in the lone game that runs concurrent with a home game at FSU.
Oct. 8 – North Carolina Central (Durham, N.C./O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium)
After a 27-24 loss to the Eagles of NCCU in Bragg Stadium last season, the Rattlers return to Durham after a five-year absence. The Eagles are coming off a season where 13 players earned All-MEAC honors.
Oct.15 – Delaware State (Dover, Del./Alumni Stadium)
The lone win for the Rattlers last season came on homecoming against the Hornets of Delaware State. The Hornets look to return the favor as the Rattlers will play in the Hornets’ homecoming.
Oct. 22 – Hampton (Tallahassee, Fla./Bragg Stadium)
The Rattlers welcome in the Pirates of Hampton University for the 2016 homecoming game. Last season, the Rattlers were upended in a sluggish performance in a rain-filled 33-0 shutout loss in Hampton.
Oct. 29 – North Carolina A&T (Greensboro, N.C./Aggie Stadium)
The Rattlers travel to Greensboro, N.C. to face the 2015 HBCU National Champion North Carolina A&T Aggies. Armed with senior All-MEAC running back Tarik Cohen, coach Rod Broadway and his team look to continue toward the rebirth of “Aggie Pride.” The Rattlers, however, have avoided allowing Cohen to rack up the monstrous yards over the past two seasons. With an expected improved offense, this could turn into a key game for the season for both teams.
Nov. 5 – Open Week
Nov. 12 – Morgan State (Tallahassee, Fla./Bragg Stadium)
The Rattlers welcome in the Bears of MSU for the final home game of 2016. MSU defeated a sluggish Rattler offense 21-7 last season in Baltimore, but FAMU will play inspired on Senior Day, as they look to close out the home schedule with a win.
Nov. 19 – Bethune-Cookman (Orlando, Fla./Orlando Citrus Bowl)
All bets are off in the annual Florida Blue Florida Classic. In one of the biggest weekends in HBCU football, the Rattlers will again face the Wildcats in Orlando for state bragging rights. The Cats have bested the Rattlers for a record five years in a row, but even in a down year like last season, the game was close down to the wire. Coach Alex Wood and his staff have a year of the classic under their belt and look to prepare the team for the magnitude of one of the longest standing rivalries in college football.
Courtesy: FAMU Athletics