Canes cannot get ‘rattled’

Is there such thing as a trap game when the team you are playing has a better record than you?

Even though the No. 11 Hurricanes (3-1, 2-1 ACC) are a 38-point favor to win against Florida A&M (4-0), a Football Championship Subdivision team, the Canes have to concentrate on executing and not taking the Rattlers for granted Saturday night at 7 p.m.

“Florida A&M is a good football team,” head coach Randy Shannon said. “We can’t take them lightly. We must remember Appalachian State and Michigan, Middle Tennessee [State] and Maryland.”

The Hurricanes are coming off an enormous win after knocking off then-No. 8 Oklahoma, 21-20. The focus will fall on the Hurricanes to remain steadfast and not allow Florida A&M to disrupt a great season so far. Florida A&M has nothing to lose against Miami.

“I told the players that a lot of their players feel they should be at Miami,” said Shannon, who defeated Charleston Southern 52-7 last season in his only game against a FCS team. “They’ll come out with a purpose [to show]they should be at Miami, not Florida A&M. There will be a lot of support in the stadium for Florida A&M.”

Miami leads the series against FAMU, 6-1. The last time the Hurricanes played the Rattlers they beat down FAMU, 51-10, in 2006. The Canes gained 339 rushing yards that season and senior running back Javarris James picked up 75 of those yards and scoring twice as a freshman.

“If our running game is going it makes the passing game a lot easier,” Shannon said. “Javarris starts running the football, the linebacker, safeties have to come up. It can be really scary if you run the football like we did the other night.”

FAMU finished the month of September with a perfect record for the first time in 12 years. They are averaging 33 points a game.

But Florida A&M has not seen any competition like they will see from Miami come Saturday evening.

“We have to worry about FAMU,” said linebacker Sean Spence, who had tied a career-high in tackles last week with 10 total. “The Oklahoma game is over with, we have to move on.”

Two key factors the Hurricanes have to worry about will be the play of Florida A&M senior quarterback Curtis Pulley, and a very dangerous return man in senior LeRoy Vann.

Pulley, who is a duel-threat quarterback, has connected on seven touchdown passes this season while leading the team in rushing with 291 yards.

Vann has already returned four punts for touchdowns.

However, if offense coordinator Mark Whipple and quarterback Jacory Harris move the ball with ease against FAMU, Vann will not see any punts come his way and will not be a factor.

This will be the first week of the season the Canes are facing a team that isn’t ranked and will look to come out with a blow out.

“We made a statement against Oklahoma,” offensive tackle Orlando Franklin said. “It is time for us to keep building and building on our season.”

Lelan LeDoux may be contacted at

October 7, 2009


Justin Antweil

Senior Sports Writer

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