Rattlers fall flat in opener in 62-0 loss to UCF

By: Fletcher Keel | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
August 29, 2019

ORLANDO, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Florida A&M Rattlers struggled to turn in much of an offensive performance, leading to an often tired and overworked defense as FAMU fell in their season opener to UCF, 62-0, in front of 44,073 at Spectrum Stadium on Thursday.

Thursday marks the first time that FAMU has been shut out since November 7, 2015 when they lost 33-0 at Hampton.

It looked like it was going to get ugly quick, as UCF took their first drive down the field in just 1:04 of game time on five plays for the first score of the game, a Brandon Wimbush to Gabriel Davis touchdown (the first of two touchdowns for Davis), but the Knights sured things up after that, forcing the Knights to punt on their second drive and holding them to a field goal on their third.

In stretches, the Rattlers defense looked as good as advertised; the secondary was able to stay with their receivers and at times, the defensive front was able to get some push against the UCF offensive line, even blowing up a handful of running plays, most notably when the Knights were driving in the redzone.

As well as the FAMU defense was playing in the first half, it was the opposite story for the Rattlers offense, who mustered just 25 yards of first half offense and one first down.

Due to that lack of offense, the Rattler defense was given either short fields or not enough time on the bench, allowing the UCF offense to have their way with them, scoring in all but one of their second quarter drives.

For a full recap of each score for UCF, click here

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The game got no better in the second half, with the exception of the FAMU drive that ended the third and began the fourth quarter. The Rattlers were able to move the ball well with backup quarterback Rasean McKay and, thanks to some timely plays from McKay, Xavier Smith and UCF penalties, were able to drive nearly 80 yards in 15 plays, but failed to score as Yahia Aly's field goal attempt from 37 yards out was blocked at the line of scrimmage.

UCF saw solid play from their two leading quarterbacks in the spring QB battle, as Brandon Wimbush, who started, logged 168 yards through the air on 12-for-23 passing and two touchdowns.

Dillon Gabriel added 127 yards through the air on 9-of-13 and three touchdowns in limited work, but was very efficient in his snaps.

Stanley completed just seven of his 24 attempted passes for 52 yards, while McKay went 7-of-12 through the air for 40 yards.

The Knights outgained FAMU, 694-96, and the Rattlers committed 12 penalties for 102 yards.