FAMU FB gears up for Orange Blossom Classic, massive SWAC implications on the line

Organizers say the giant screen will be fixed before the music festival starts on Friday.
Organizers say the giant screen will be fixed before the music festival starts on Friday.(Source: Hard Rock Stadium)
Published: Sep. 4, 2022 at 12:27 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (WCTV) - From New Orleans to Miami Gardens, WCTV Sports has you covered during this busy weekend of college football.

Hard Rock Stadium the site for Florida A&M football taking on Jackson State in the Orange Blossom Classic. A game with massive SWAC Conference implications as we saw a year ago.

No doubt Willie Simmons, Rattler nation, and this football team breathing a little easier as Isaiah Land, BJ Bohler, and Cam Covin are all cleared to suit up in this game--a definite jolt of energy for this group.

After a week of some uncertainty, Coach Simmons spoke on Friday morning about the resilience of this team and how they’ve come out even stronger on the other side.

“Obviously it’s been tough for some of our key players and key backups not being able to travel to Chapel Hill last weekend combined with the uncertainty around this weekend whether they would be cleared to play. Again, though, this is a resilient group of young men. I’ve never been prouder of a football team and the way they’ve come together,” Simmons said, “We always talk about being a close football team, but what they’ve shown over the past week and a half has really made me proud as a head football coach to see them grow up.”

On the football field, a one point loss a year ago to the Tigers was ultimately the difference between winning a SWAC Championship and not. Coach Simmons says all the goals this team has set for themselves start on Sunday--a SWAC Championship and a berth in the Celebration Bowl with an opportunity to win a Black College National Championship. There’s no hiding from the importance of this game.

“We saw last year that this was the determining game. We had one conference loss and they didn’t have any. So, the blunder we had last year--losing by one point--made all the difference for us not being able to win the SWAC Championship,” Simmons concluded, “These guys still had a phenomenal season winning nine games and going to the FCS Playoffs for the first time in over 20 years, but again, our goals of winning a SWAC Championship and an HBCU National Championship start right here in Miami.”

Simmons says it’s going to come down to getting pressure on Shadeur Sanders on Sunday, and if Jeremy Moussa can replicate his stellar performance from a week ago, the Rattlers without a doubt will be in great position to win.

Jackson State and Florida A&M kick off at 3:00PM on ESPN.