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Make 2022 your best year yet and let this Moon Reading decode your destiny with precise wisdom you can’t find anywhere else!

FAMU looks to avoid upset against Division II power West Florida on Ken Riley Day

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Get This Before It Disappears!

Make 2022 your best year yet and let this Moon Reading decode your destiny with precise wisdom you can’t find anywhere else!

Florida A&M University has become a traditional powerhouse since starting college football in 1907. The Rattlers’ résumé includes over a dozen HBCU national titles plus the 1978 NCAA championship in Division I-AA.

On Saturday, FAMU will honor a legendary alum while hosting another historic program. The University of West Florida wasted no time in establishing itself among elites. The Argonauts won the NCAA Division II national title in 2019 – just their fourth season of play. They’re still good, too, ranked fourth in the Division II coaches’ poll with a pair of 35–3 victories on the season.

‘”We’ve got our hands full,” FAMU head coach Willie Simmons said this week during his news conference. “We know they’re a really good football team, and we look forward to the challenge.”

FAMU, HBCUGo, HBCU, Florida A&M University, Jeremy Moussa,
Florida A&M Rattlers quarterback Jeremy Moussa (8) looks for a pass against South Florida Bulls during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium on Sept. 9, 2023 in Tampa, Florida. (Morgan Tencza-USA TODAY Sports)

The Argos want to limit celebrations as FAMU (1–1) plays its first game on the newly renamed Ken Riley Field at Bragg Memorial Stadium. Riley, who last month was posthumously inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, quarterbacked the Rattlers to three Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference crowns. He later served as FAMU’s head coach and athletic director after 15 seasons at cornerback for the Cincinnati Bengals.

“One of my highlights as a coach is to run out of the tunnel and lead our team onto Ken Riley Field,” Simmons said Monday during the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) media session. “Not only defending the nation’s second-longest home win streak [15 games], but playing our first game at home on Ken Riley Field means the world to us.”

“We know West Florida wants to be a spoiler of that great moment, and we’ve gotta prepare ourselves mentally to be ready to play our best game to prevent that from happening.”

They didn’t play their best in committing five turnovers and 12 penalties last week against the University of South Florida. Despite those miscues, the Rattlers trailed by just a touchdown with 10 minutes left in the game, but the South Florida Bulls scored again for the final margin, 38–24.  

Bright spots included quarterback Jeremy Moussa, who threw for a career-high 374 yards, and linebacker Isaiah Major, named SWAC Defensive Player of the Week for his 11 tackles and two sacks. FAMU recorded six sacks overall and held South Florida to just three points off turnovers. The Rattlers have a top defense thus far in the Football Championship Series, ranked first in sacks, fourth in tackles for loss, and 10th in rushing defense. Simmons said the unit could become the best he’s ever been around.

They’ll be tested by West Florida quarterback Peewee Jarrett (listed at 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds), the Gulf South Conference Offensive Player of the Week after completing 21 of 28 passes for 329 yards and four touchdowns against McKendree University. Jarrett leads Division II in completion percentage and ranks sixth in passing efficiency. The Argos also boast defensive lineman John McMullen, the GSC’s reigning Defensive Player of the Week who helped hold McKendree to -32 yards rushing.

First-year coach Kaleb Nobles was the quarterback in West Florida’s inaugural season (2016) and then spent three seasons as an Argonauts assistant. His team harbors championship aspirations and is excited to play a bigger opponent with a winning tradition, especially a neighbor like FAMU, ranked No. 24 in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) coaches’ poll. Competition for recruits and victories in the football-crazed Sunshine State hits differently than most other places.

“Everybody outside our building has been talking about this for a long time, ever since the schedule came out,” Nobles said Tuesday on his weekly show. “Our guys are doing a good job of focusing on what they have to do. Being able to scrimmage against [FAMU] a couple years ago was great. They have some talented guys, and they’ll be a really good challenge for us overall.”

Simmons isn’t taking West Florida lightly. Division II teams have toppled several FCS opponents this season, including Miles College over Alabama State, Central State over Mississippi Valley State, and Bowie State over Delaware State. Besides that, Simmons knows the type of squad FAMU is about to face.

“If you’re playing a team from Florida, you’re going to play a team that’s fast, a team that’s tough, and a team that’s athletic,” he said. “There may be a size disparity on the lines, but that’s what you expect when you play down in competition or up in competition. But on the perimeter, it’s going to be a pretty even matchup.”

Deron Snyder, from Brooklyn, is an award-winning columnist who lives near D.C. and pledged Alpha at HU-You Know! He’s reaching high, lying low, moving on, pushing off, keeping up, and throwing down. Got it? Get more at

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