First scrimmage opportunity for fans, Simmons to see where Rattlers are ahead of 2019

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By: Ryan Kelly | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
August 12, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- You'd need a full wardrobe to follow the Florida A&M football team over this past weekend; rain coats and boots on Saturday and some shorts, short sleeves and something for shade on Sunday.

But, despite the change in locale, the Fang Faithful did get their first look at the 2019 Rattlers on Sunday.

And so did head coach Willie Simmons.

Saturday in Quincy, the weather rained on the Rattlers' parade. Sunday at Bragg Memorial Stadium, it was the defense that proved to be the oncoming storm as FAMU's offense ran over 80 plays in the first scrimmage of the fall, with zero ending in the endzone.

"That's our motto, we've been saying it since we got here, just make the offense snap the ball again," Simmons said. "Keep them out of the endzone. Never in the history of football has a team been rewarded for getting down to the one yard line."

Despite the touchdown drought, it wasn't all gloom and doom for the Orange and Green offense; the running game looked particularly sharp and the Rattlers did bust a few big plays, however Simmons says down the stretch, his quarterbacks have to start anticipating and stop waiting.

"What's open in high school's not going to be open in college, what's open in college is not going to be open at the next level so you have to understand what throwing the football on time means, taking the right drop, having the right fundamentals and anticipating those throws to the Chad Hunter's and Xavier Smith's of the world because if we can get the ball out to those guys in time they've shown time and time again they can make explosive plays with the football," he said.

Sunday's scrimmage served as a reminder that the pieces are there for FAMU to make a run at a black college football national title, Celebration Bowl or not, but Simmons continues to stress capitalizing on opponent's mistakes and mastering the little things that will separate the good from the great.

"That's the difference between winning and losing, that's a lot of times the difference between good teams and great teams and we have a quest and a goal here to become a great team and that's gonna take us really, really delving into the little things moreso as opposed to the big picture of how good we can be," Simmons said. "Let's see how detail oriented we can be. And if we do that I think the rest will take care of itself."

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