Florida A&M needed a lot of faith after quarterback Jeremy Moussa threw a crushing fourth-quarter interception that was returned for a touchdown on a screen pass perfectly read by Howard defensive back Christian Hinton intercepted.
The Rattlers had found themselves down 26-24 with 7:14 remaining in regulation.
After FAMU got the ball back, Moussa’s next pass was an incompletion. Following a pair of first down runs by Terrell Jennings and Kelvin Dean, head coach Willie Simmons dug into his playbook and called for a play, he didn’t have very much confidence would work.
“We had a couple of plays that we were saving for the right time,” said Moussa. “We had the same thought process. I told him (to call it), and he told me right back to call that one.”
The plan was a flea-flicker, a play the Rattlers worked on for weeks in practice but consistently failed to execute, said Simmons.
“It never worked in practice. I said, ‘We’re not going to run that play because it looked terrible.,” said Simmons.
It took some convincing from Moussa and others for Simmons to consider the call in that spot.
“They said, ‘Coach, run the play, have faith,” he said.
The Rattlers answered with a 38-yard, flea-flicker touchdown pass from Moussa to Jah-Marae Sheread to reclaim the advantage. Moussa handed the ball to Jennings, who pitched the ball back to the quarterback for the decisive touchdown that put FAMU up 30-26 with 5:46 in regulation.
“They (the offense) executed it perfectly,” said Simmons. “If I was in my right mind, I probably wouldn’t have run that one.”