Wildcats Ready to Pounce on the Rattlers this Saturday

Posted on Aug 30, 2018

FVSU's Wildcats invade Bragg Memorial Stadium in Tallahassee to take on the Florida A&M University Rattlers in the Jake Gaither Classic this Saturday, September 1 at 5:00 p.m. EST. The game is the opener for both teams. This is a non-conference game, as the Wildcats are part of the NCAA Division II's Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and FAMU is part of the NCAA I-AA's Mid-eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). FVSU is looking for revenge after losing by a touchdown during the last matchup in 2011, resulting in a 28-22 victory for FAMU. FAMU leads the series 9-1. This is a new day for the Wildcats, however, with FVSU fresh from a 2017 SIAC Eastern Division championship.

"We're looking forward to repeat as division champions," said Wildcats Head Coach Kevin Porter. "Our guys have really worked really hard, even after the season and it was disappointing to get that far and not be able to finish it off, but we have a resilient group of guys that came back strong that worked hard all summer, worked hard all winter, worked hard in the spring too. We're looking forward to getting started this season."

Saturday's game will be the first played on Bragg Stadium's newly installed turf and represents a new era for the Rattlers. Under new Coach Willie Simmons, FAMU is looking to rebound from a tough season last year when they finished with a 3-8 record. The defense struggled in particular, giving up an average of 28.1 points per game. The Rattlers have something to prove"” no players were named to the MEAC's preseason first team. The game is highly anticipated in part because it will serve as Simmons first test as FAMU head coach. The Wildcats, though, are prepared.

"We've been in camp for a month," said Porter. "There has been and there's a lot of learning. We have to integrate new guys and I think that they all have assimilated pretty well and we're looking forward to the opportunity. FAMU is a good football team with great tradition. It will be exciting for our guys to be able to go over and play against a Division I opponent."

The 2018 season marks Head Football Coach Kevin Porter's third season at the helm of the Wildcat Football. The Wildcats received one SIAC Eastern Division first-place vote in the preseason rankings behind rival Albany State and Benedict. Tuskegee was named the West Division favorite with six top votes.

For those making the trek to Tallahassee to support the Wildcats, here are some things to remember:

  • FVSU has sold out of allotted tickets for the game and tickets must be purchased through FAMU's ticketing office here.
  • In order to provide a safer environment for all this Saturday, there will be an NFL-style 'clear bag' policy that limits the size and type of bags that may be brought into Bragg Memorial Stadium. Acceptable bags include:

    • Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12" x 6" x 12".
    • One-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar)
    • Small clutch bags, approximately the size of a hand, with or without a handle or strap can be taken into the stadium with one of the clear plastic bags.

After FAMU, the Wildcat's next contest is the Okefenokee Classic on September 8, when they will face Valdosta State University in Waycross, Georgia.

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