Rattlers’ home opener comes after two games on the road

Coach Willie Simmons at a recent 220 Quarterback luncheon.
Photo by St. Clair Murraine

Special to the Outlook

Looking to get at least their fourth consecutive nine-win season, the FAMU football team begins its quest on Sept. 3 against Jackson State in the Orange Blossom Classic.

That game will be followed a week later by a date against the South Florida Bulls in Tampa. The Rattlers play their first home game on Sept. 16 against West Florida at Bragg Stadium.

“We know that Rattler Nation has been eagerly awaiting its release so they can take this amazing journey with us this fall as we look to build upon the success of the past few seasons and bring the first football SWAC Championship to the highest of seven hills,” said head football coach Willie Simmons.

As it has been the past two seasons, the opener against Jackson State is pivotal to the SWAC championship. Both seasons he Rattlers lost and finished as runner-up to Jackson State in the race for the SWAC East Division championship. 

The  Rattlers’ meeting with the Bulls will their second in three seasons. The matchup that follows the game at South Florida will put the Rattlers in position to extend the nation’s second-longest home winning streak to 17. A date against Alabama State on Sept. 23 at Bragg will follow the home opener. 

After the two home games in Bragg, the Rattlers will spend three of their next four weeks on the road at Mississippi Valley (Sept. 30), at Southern (Oct. 7), on bye (Oct. 14), and at Texas Southern (Oct. 21). 

Following their road trip to Houston, the Rattlers return home  to host Prairie View A&M in their homecoming game on Oct. 28. 

The Rattlers will begin November on the road at Alabama A&M (Nov. 4) and return for their home finale against Lincoln University on Nov. 11. 

The annual Florida Classic in Orland will wrap up the regular season for the Rattlers. That game against Bethune-Cookman is scheduled for Nov. 17 at Camping World Stadium.

Season tickets will go on sale later this spring. The FAMU box office is open Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. to  4 p.m.

The complete 2023 schedule

Sept. 3 – Jackson State (Orange Blossom Classic)

Sept. 9 – South Florida

Sept. 16 – West Florida

Sept. 23 – Alabama State

Sept. 30 – Mississippi Valley

Oct. 7 – Southern

Oct. 14 – Bye

Oct. 21 – Texas Southern

Oct. 28 – Prairie View A&M (Homecoming)

Nov. 4 – Alabama A&M

Nov. 11 – Lincoln University (Ca.)

Nov. 18 –  Bethune-Cookman (Florida Classic)

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