In a game that was billed as a duel of two of the most efficient quarterbacks in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in SCSU's Richard Cue and FAMU's Damien Fleming, the defense rose to the occasion and propelled the Bulldogs to a 25-21 homecoming win in front of 20,022 raucous Bulldog fans.
Leading the defense was linebacker Joe Thomas who accounted for 10 tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack for the Top 10 ranked FCS Bulldog defense. The Bulldogs frustrated Rattler quarterbacks Damien Fleming (who was sidelined early with an ankle injury) and Carson Royal, limiting them to 157 yards of total offense.
Offensively, Richard Cue was efficient, going 18-25 for 186 yards and a touchdown, a 28 yard bubble screen to receiver Dennis Rowe. On the ground, SCSU wasn't able to get much going, but was led by Justin Taylor with 42 yards on 19 carries.
FAMU took little time letting the Bulldog faithful know they were intent on spoiling the Bulldogs
homecoming festivities. After a 58 yard kickoff by Demond Buice, the Rattlers took just six plays to punch it into the end zone culminated by a one yard TD rush by James Owens to give the Rattlers a 7-0 lead with 11:53 remaining in the first quarter.
SCSU countered with a four play, 38 yard drive culminated by a 28 yard touchdown pass from Richard Cue to Dennis Rowe to cut the Rattler lead to 7-6 with 3:21 remaining in the first quarter after a failed PAT attempt by Nick Belcher.
SCSU continued to give the Rattlers opportunities to score with untimely turnovers. With 14:08 after an Akil Blount interception, Buice plunged in from one yard out to give the Rattlers a 14-6 lead with 14:08 remaining in the first half.
After an errant snap and fumble by James Owens, the Bulldogs took over at their own 34 yard line. Six plays later, quarterback Richard Cue sneaked in from the one yard line to give the Bulldogs a 19-14 lead with 5:25 remaining in the first half.
On the ensuing kickoff, return specialist James Owens returned a Rattler kickoff 97 yards to the SCSU 3 yard line. One play and five seconds later, reserve quarterback Carson Royal fired his first TD pass of the season to Casey Gline to give the Rattlers a 21-19 lead in a see-saw battle at Oliver C. Dawson Bulldog Stadium.
A 26 yard field goal by Nick Belcher on the Bulldogs first possession out of the locker room gives SCSU 22-21 leads with 11:11 remaining in the third quarter. Belcher would then tack on another field goal early in the fourth quarter to end the scoring.
The Rattlers will host Delaware State for Senior Day next week, before finishing their season with arch rival Bethune-Cookman in the 35th annual Florida Classic in Orlando, FL.
The Bulldogs don't have much time to celebrate the homecoming victory as they immediately turn their attention to a surging Morgan State team fresh off a 24-23 victory over North Carolina A&T and sporting a 4-6 record, with all four wins coming in league play.