CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTXL) — Despite a number of off the field obstacles with ineligible players, the Florida A&M University football team showed fight against the University of North Carolina Saturday night.
The visiting Rattlers were unable to keep pace against the host Tar Heels as North Carolina defeated Florida A&M 56 to 24 inside Kenan Stadium.
North Carolina (1-0) ended a scoreless game in the first quarter as quarterback Drake Maye threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Kamari Morales to help give the Tar Heels, a Football Bowl Subdivision program (FBS Division I), a 7-0 lead.
FAMU (0-1), a Football Championship Subdivision program (FCS Division I-AA), responded as quarterback Jeremy Moussa connected with AJ Davis for a 17-yard touchdown reception to tie the game 7-7 with 3:21 in the first quarter.
Maye added his second touchdown pass in the first quarter as he connected with Bryson Nesbit for a 23-yard touchdown to give UNC a 14-7 lead late in the quarter.
The Tar Heels added to their lead with a Maye 4-yard touchdown pass to Gavin Blackwell to increase their advantage to 21-7.
With 2:01 to go in the second quarter, the Rattlers scored on a Jaylen McCloud 5-yard rushing touchdown to trim the Tar Heel advantage to 21-14.
UNC scored a touchdown with two seconds remaining in the second quarter to take a 28-14 lead at halftime.
Willie Simmons postgame: “I think this team has a chance to be really dangerous in all three phases.”— Alison Posey (@AlisonPosey14) August 28, 2022
They were tonight. Without a lot of key pieces. pic.twitter.com/HdrwcCk1c1
Florida A&M added a 35-yard field goal by placekicker Jose Romo-Martinez and a Moussa 22-yard touchdown pass to Trevonte Davis in the third quarter to trim the UNC lead to 35-24 in the third quarter.
Moussa led the Rattlers on offense as he completed 28-of-38 passes for 279 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
Xavier Smith had 10 catches for 78 yards, while Isaiah Major led FAMU on defense with nine total tackles.
Maye led the Tar Heels by completing 29-of-37 passes for 294 yards, five touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Josh Downs led UNC’s receiving attack with 78 receiving yards on nine catches and two touchdowns.
UNC rushed the football for 314 yards and three touchdowns.
Next week, Florida A&M begins SWAC action with the Orange Blossom Classic game in Miami Gardens against Jackson State on Sunday, Sept. 4 at 3 p.m. inside Hard Rock Stadium.
The Orange Blossom Classic will be on television on ESPN 2.