By: Fletcher Keel | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
August 29, 2019
ORLANDO, Fla. (WCTV) -- The beginning to the 2019 season is officially here for FAMU, who take on UCF Thursday night to open both team's season.
FINAL: FAMU 0 - UCF 62
Well, that's that on an ugly game to open 2019 for FAMU. But, if you're a betting person and took the Rattlers to cover, they did just that!
Tonight's loss for FAMU marks the first time they've been shut out since November 7, 2015 in a 33-0 loss at Hampton. FAMU also failed to gain 100 total yards of offense.
4th Quarter, 8:31: FAMU 0 - UCF 62
A kind of nothing drive turned into an explosive play really quick, as third-string QB Quadry Jones found Amari Johnson for a 49-yard touchdown pass after FAMU's DJ Phillips momentarily lost his footing while in pursuit on the coverage.
The drive took a very slow five plays and 61 yards to complete.
4th Quarter, 13:15: FAMU 0 - UCF 55
Well, the best drive the Rattlers have put up so far still ends in zero points, as Yahia Aly's 37-yard field goal attempt is blocked at the line of scrimmage.
The drive spanned 15 plays and 80ish yards. McKay looked sharp under center.
END OF THE THIRD QUARTER: FAMU 0 - UCF 55
FAMU is putting together their first real drive of the game and is doing so with backup QB Rasean McKay against a defense still comprised of mainly first teamers.
3rd Quarter, 6:25: FAMU 0 - UCF 55
For the first time tonight, UCF has not scored after being led in a series by Dillon Gabriel.
3rd Quarter, 13:32: FAMU 0 - UCF 55
A quick five-play, 71-yard scoring drive opens the second half as Dillon Gabriel continues to be the more efficient quarterback for the Knights tonight.
He finishes the drill with a 26-yard touchdown pass to Alex Harris.
HALFTIME: FAMU 0 - UCF 48
The score pretty much says it all. The defense may have statistically not played a very strong second quarter, but short fields and short times on the bench due to short offensive series certainly didn't help. They're doing all they can to hold their own.
Offensively, it feels like the Rattlers almost have something going, but have been far from putting a drive together. We'll see how they regroup in the second half.
Stats look like this:
If you want a good stat for FAMU, Chris Faddoul is averaging 49.9 yards per punt (10 punts, 499 yards).
2nd Quarter, 3:37: FAMU 0 - UCF 41
Another Dillon Gabriel drive, another quick drive for the Knights: This time, it takes just three plays to span 59 yards (a couple of penalties from FAMU helped) and Gabriel has two touchdowns in three drives at the helm, his latest a six-yard strike to Tre Nixon.
All Knights here, gang.
2nd Quarter, 8:02: FAMU 0 - UCF 34
FAMU's offense continues to do nothing while UCF continues to roll. This time, it took just two plays for Greg McCrae to stroll into the endzone, running through a tackle-sandwhich in the process.
In the Rattlers' defense's defense, they were given a short field to work with, as the Knights returned a punt for 49 yards to set them up at the 25.
It was also the second drive of the game for Dillon Gabriel at quarterback, who missed throwing his second touchdown pass by inches as his receiver, Gabriel Davis, was tackled out of bounds by mere inches.
2nd Quarter, 10:16: FAMU 0 - UCF 27
I'm not going to sugar coat it for you: That is the prototypical FBS playing FCS school drive for the Knights, that ended in Gabriel Davis' second touchdown of the game (also, it was Wimbush's second passing touchdown).
Eight plays, 71 yards, 2:02 in game time.
Also marks the first ever multi-touchdown game for Davis.
2nd Quarter, 13:14: FAMU 0 - UCF 20
UCF had no issues moving down the field after the short offensive series for the Rattlers, then the Rattlers D got a bit of a break at the quarter change and were able to rest up and force the Knights to a field goal.
That stand at the goalline is thanks, in large part, to Markquese Bell and Mack Green blowing up the play action for the Knights.
If I'm FAMU, I'm going to the run game until UCF gets me for a loss on this drive; the passing attack has had little to no success this evening.
29 straight quarters with a score for UCF, a stat the Knights are quite proud of.
END OF THE FIRST QUARTER: FAMU 0 - UCF 17
FAMU's defense is as good as advertised, the 17 points allowed aside.
Wimbush has been getting it done on the ground and in the short game, and Gabriel really impressed in his one drive for UCF.
Overall, the Rattlers have 19 yards of offense after one quarter.
1st Quarter, 2:22: FAMU 0 - UCF 17
We knew heading into tonight we'd see both Wimbush and Dillon Gabriel. Well, we have seen Gabriel (a bit earlier than I thought, I must admit) and he put on a show.
A beautifully placed passed to Otis Anderson caps off a 38-yard, four-plays scoring drive and it's now 17-0.
Yet another drive that was aided for the Knights by a personal foul penalty, that gave the Knights a free 15 yards into Rattler territory.
1st Quarter, 5:36: FAMU 0 - UCF 10
UCF adds to their lead, thanks to a 42-yard field goal from Dylan Barnas on a drive that spanned 12 plays, 71 yards and took 3:01 off the clock.
In hindsight, it could have been worse for the Rattlers, who allowed a second play this quarter of 30 or more yards, but they logged their first tackle for a loss of the game and forced the Knights to stall around the 35 yard line to force the field goal.
The defense is starting to step up, now let's see the offense do something.
1st Quarter, 8:37: FAMU 0 - UCF 7
It could have been a golden opportunity for the Rattlers to strike as they were set up around the Knights 40 due to a poorly shanked punt.
But, a post-play personal foul penalty moved the Rattlers to their own 45, and they went three and out.
Like I said, it could have been a golden opportunity.
1st Quarter, 12:25: FAMU 0 - UCF 7
Chris Faddoul could competently kick anywhere in the country and he has the Knights pinned at their own three yardline after the Rattlers went three-and-out for the second time today.
On the first defensive series, the Rattlers were unable to get any pressure up front to even threaten Wimbush, but if they can bust through here and keep UCF pinned, things will get interesting.
1st Quarter, FAMU 0 - UCF 7
That didn't take long - an 80-yard drive covering five plays and 1:04 off the clock finishes with a 37-yard touchdown pass from Wimbush, who has all the help he could want up front against the FAMU defensive front, to Gabriel Davis to put the first touchdown of the season on the board.
I'll say this - the FAMU secondary isn't getting burned*, they're keeping up with UCF receivers, Wimbush is just placing the ball perfectly.
*Except on the third play of the drive which would have been darn near a 55 yard touchdown bomb to Davis.
FAMU won the coin toss and will begin the game on offense.
It's time to football.
WHO IS READY FOR FOOTBALL?!
It's almost time to kick off year two of FAMU football under Willie Simmons and they open the season against their toughest opponent on the slate, UCF.
As I said on the WCTV Sports Opening Drive Podcast this morning, I think tonight will see a 45-17 Knights win, but I'd love to be proven wrong and see the Rattlers shock the world.
Be sure you're following along on Twitter, and let the games begin.