TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Florida A&M football returned to play in front of nearly 10,000 Rattlers in Bragg Memorial Stadium for the 2022 Orange-Green Game, in which the Orange Team defeated the Green Team 28-10.
"It was good to come out today in front of fans," said Head Coach Willie Simmons. "I thought the guys competed well and ended the game on a positive note."
The Orange Team opened the game with the ball, and Rasean McKay at the helm managed to pick up one first down before the Green Team forced Orange to punt. The Green Team opened their first offensive possession with LeJohn Howard at the helm, and Orange forced a three and out.
Vanderbilt transfer Jeremy Moussa opened the second drive of the game for Orange, and on his first pass of the game, transfer linebacker Isaiah Major intercepted Moussa and returned it for a touchdown but a personal foul penalty took the touchdown off the board. Major's interception gave the Green Team a 3-0 lead.
The Orange Team defense responded the next drive with a big fourth-and-one stop to give Orange the ball in Green's territory. After throwing an interception, Moussa saw another opportunity to lead the Orange offense, completed two straight passes, and used his legs on fourth-and-one to pick up the first down. Moussa leads the Rattlers to another first down, and Green holds them to a field goal, in which Jose Romo-Martinez makes a 46-yard field goal to tie the game at three.
Both offenses struggled throughout the first half as the Orange Team went into the half with a 12-3 lead after Romo-Martinez added three more field goals.
Green opened the second half up with a three and out as Jeremy Moussa came in to lead the Orange offense for their first possession in the second half. Moussa and the Rattlers took advantage of a Green pass interference to connect with tight end Kamari Young for a 15-yard touchdown to give Orange an 18-3 lead. Orange's next possession Junior Muratovic led the Rattlers 63-yards to connect with transfer wide receiver Trevonte Davis from 10 yards out for Orange's second touchdown. Orange took a 25-3 lead.
Orange took a 25-3 lead going into the fourth quarter, and Romo-Martinez added three more points for Orange to extend their lead to 28-3. Green responded with their first offensive score of the game as LeJohn Howard connected with wide receiver Xavier Smith 20-yards to their own 40, and Smith did the rest making three defenders miss and outran the rest of Orange for an 82-yard touchdown. Romo-Martinez added the extra point to make it a 28-10 game.
Coach Simmons on the quarterback competition:
"It's a competition that's open. Rasean and Jeremy had 15 really good days, and we're not in a position to name a starter definitively, but if we had to play today, Rasean would probably take the first snap."
Coach Simmons on Xavier Smith returning:
"Xavier Smith was the biggest signee this year as he decided to come back for one more year. He's shown throughout his career that he is one of the most explosive players in college football."
Coach Simmons on how ESPN's Why Not Us assisted recruiting:
"Anytime we can highlight this great institution, it helps us. We feel FAMU has always been a national brand. The ESPN documentary "Why Not Us," the LeBron James deal we signed last year, our social media presence, and our communications team that does a phenomenal job continues to help get the FAMU name out into households. We're getting a lot of interest from top-tier student-athletes."
Linebacker Isaiah Major on his performance in the Orange-Green Game:
"It's truly been a blessing to come into the system and be able to excel right away. Today, I had an interception, a sack, and a couple of tackles for loss. It's just fun to be able to do what I love."
Quarterback Jeremy Moussa on his first Orange-Green Game:
"It was a great environment, and I'm excited to be out here. I thought it was cool how we split the team up with the draft. It was a lot of fun to play, and I thought my team played well."
Quarterback Rasean McKay on being in a position where everyone wants the starting job:
"It feels great to compete every day with all of my brothers. The quarterback room is exceptionally close, and every day we come in and pick each other's brains in the film room. We come out on the field and compete. It's a big competition, but we're all a family at the end of the day. When I leave, and Jeremy goes in, I wish the best for him. When Jeremy comes out and Junior goes in, I wish the best for him. They come to the sideline and ask for my feedback, and I give my honest opinion. I feel we're the most connected quarterback group there is. Even off the field, we all hang out together."
The Rattlers finish up the spring and expect to return for fall camp towards the end of July as they prepare for the 2022 football season and their first opponents, the North Carolina Tar Heels, in week zero.
The 2022 season tickets will go on sale Monday, April 11.