Lone sustained drive tells plenty about Rattlers in loss to Miami
By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook staff writer
So the game played out as expected. The University of Miami easily handled FAMU.
But if there were any questions whether the Rattlers could sustain a scoring drive that much was answered in the second quarter of the Hurricanes’ 70-3 victory in Miami. Call the 61-yard march down the field the most telling bright spot for the Rattlers.
“Hopefully we can drive the ball against anybody,” second-year coach Alex Wood said during his weekly press conference this past Tuesday. “I know that we can. We didn’t have any problem driving it last year. It was scoring. That was the issue.”
During the drive engineered by starting quarterback Kenny Coleman, he found Desmond Noid on the receiving end of a 31-yard pass. It was the longest of six pass plays during the drive. That set FAMU up at the Hurricanes’ 15 and Tevin Spell’s 2-yard run gave placekicker Austin Miller good range to make his first field goal as a Rattler from 31 yards out.
It culminated in nine plays.
From that point, the Hurricanes were relentless in the final half, but for at least that one drive Miller, a transfer from Methodist University, was living a dream.
“It was definitely that surreal moment when it happened,” said Miller. “We’ve got that first one out of the way. We’ve got many more to come this season.”
When Coleman’s day was done, he passed for 135 yards, hitting nine of 16 attempts with one interception. FAMU also used back-up Ryan Stanley, who completed six for 11 attempts for 40 yards with an interception.
Coleman spent last season rotating with Carson Royal, but such a scenario with Stanley is unlikely, Wood said, reiterating that Coleman is his starter for the rest of the season.
What he was able to do in moving the offense against Miami spoke volume, Coleman said.
“That showed that we can tempo guys and get them out of position and make them make plays,” he said. “The game didn’t play out the way we wanted it to, but we just have to put it behind us. That was just game one. We just have to keep working.”
What Coleman displayed against the Hurricanes is the result of having split time last year, Wood said.
“He is still working with some things to fine tune it but so far he is much more accurate as a passer,” he said. “He has improved his fundamentals passing the ball. That was evident. He has the right trajectory and he also got the ball out on time.”
Wood said he was pleased overall with the effort his team gave despite being an overwhelming underdog.
“The obvious worst thing that you can’t do against a good team is turn the ball over,” he said. “We have to work on that; clean that up.”
Wood would like that to be in time for Saturday’s game against Coastal Carolina. It will be the second ever meeting between the two programs. The Chanticleers had to rally in the second half to win their opener over Lamar University, but Wood said they shouldn’t be overlooked.
“They are solid; the offensive line,” Wood said. “Their receivers are very capable. Special teams don’t make a lot of mistakes and that’s what keeps them with a winning record. Those are the types of things we’ve got to try to immolate.”