Thursday’s HBCU Preview: FAMU at WSSU

By Tony McClean, BASN Editor In Chief
Updated: September 9, 2009

NEW HAVEN, Ct. — While most of the eyes of college football world will be focused on Columbus this weekend, one of the best quarterbacks in the country will be showcased on national TV Thursday night.

Florida A&M (1-0), ranked No. 2 in the latest BTRC/BASN HBCU FCS Coaches Poll, will travel to Winston-Salem, N.C. to meet the Rams (0-1) on ESPN2. The game at Bowman Gray Stadium will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Over the history of the sport, quarterbacks at FAMU have always been amongst the best in the college game. Past field generals like Ken Riley and James Tullis to modern day standouts like Quinn Gray and C.J. Printers have left their marks all over the Rattlers’ record book.

Curtis Pulley, a transfer from the University of Kentucky, has added to the great tradition of outstanding quarterbacks. In just over a season in Tallahassee, Pulley is carving his own niche in FAMU.

He played the final 10 games of the season a year ago, leading the MEAC in total offense (2,267 yards), accounting for 24 touchdowns (17 passing, seven rushing). He led FAMU in rushing (885 yards, 7 TDs), while completing 98 of 178 passes for 1,382 yards, capturing first team All-MEAC honors.

Just how much of an impact did the 6-4, 200-pound senior quarterback from Kentucky have? FAMU finished the year averaging 35.2 points per game, scoring 40 or more points in their final three games and five of their last seven contests, cracking the 50-point plateau three times.

In the Rattlers’ season-opening 21-12 win against Delaware State, FAMU controlled the tempo of the game by controlling the clock with 328 rushing yards, 196 of them coming from Pulley. He also passed for 140 yards on 12 of 19 passing.

His rushing total from Saturday was also a school record for quarterbacks, surpassing the 100-yard rushing effort by Sammy Knight in the 1979 upset of the Miami Hurricanes. Overall, he has 2,613 yards of total offense in 12 career games at FAMU, good for a 217.75-yards per game average.

As for their opponent, Kermit Blount’s Rams are coming off a 19-10 home loss to North Carolina A&T last week. They are looking to snap a three-game losing streak dating back from last season.

WSSU was led by Brandon McRae who rushed for 20 yards in the contest as the Rams were held to 33 yards on the ground, their lowest rushing total since making the move to Division I.

FAMU leads the all-time series, 2-1 including last year’s 26-0 shutout victory at Tallahassee.