After finishing 7-4 a year ago and 5-3 in MEAC conference play, the Rattlers return 76 letter winners from last year's team.
FAMU Quarterback Damien Fleming (photo by Florida A&M Sports Information)
This season, A&M returns one of the top offensive units in the MEAC. They bring back the second ranked passing offenses (227.2 ypg) and the eighth ranked rushing offense (112.1 ypg). The Rattlers were fourth in the conference in scoring (28.1 ppg) and sixth in total offense (339.3 ypg).
Like a lot of offenses, they'll spread it out, like almost anyone does anymore, three and four receivers, and all the traditional spread attack that you get," said Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops. "But they are coached very well.
"So, [A&M Head Coach Joe Taylor] is a special guy and runs an excellent program. They're a bunch of good athletes as you watch them play. Guys you can tell they've done a good job recruiting. [They're] very sound in the things they do."
Sophomore Damien Fleming returns as the Rattlers top signal caller. After taking over midway through last season Fleming finished the year with 1,622 and 11 TDs. A week ago in the Rattlers season opening loss to Tennessee State, Fleming was held to 119 yards passing and a TD.
The Rattlers will be hurting at wide receiver. Their top returning wide out, Lenworth Lennon was suspended along with three other players, for this game against Oklahoma. A year ago, Lennon lead A&M with 45 catches for 596 yards and two TDs.
"I don't know too much," said Safety Tony Jefferson. "I watched some film on them yesterday. They've got a good back and some receivers that can run and catch. We're looking forward to playing at home and having some excitement back here at home."
A&M's two other returning wide receivers, Travis Harvey and DeWayne Harvey, return after very limited action in 2011.
The Rattler offensive line returns two starters from a year ago along with three players that did see limited action in 2011.
In the backfield, the Rattlers return their top running back in Eddie Rocker. Rocker rushed for 524 yards on 104 carries and averaged five yards per carry. He scored three TD.
I see Florida A&M as a great opportunity for the Sooner front four to really get untracked. If A&M's marginal rushing offense finds success on Saturday against the Sooners, then there truly are a lot of problems along the front for Oklahoma.
Look for another great performance from the Sooner secondary on Saturday. While A&M's passing offense has been pretty good in the MEAC, they will not have seen a secondary with the athleticism as Oklahoma.
If the Sooner front can stop the rattler running game and force them to the air, look for the Sooner to really take advantage and finally get some picks. I think there's a good chance for the Sooner "D" to score against A&M on Saturday.
If the defense actually makes some improvement this week, the Sooners roll 49-3.