Lucky No. 13 next? Highlighting FAMU football's home winning streak at Bragg Memorial Stadium

A great deal of pride comes with playing at Bragg Memorial Stadium. And Florida A&M has had it on full display the past three years.

The Rattlers are currently on a 12-game home winning streak. Their last loss at Bragg was against South Carolina State, falling to the Bulldogs 44-21 on Nov. 10, 2018 — coach Willie Simmons' first season at FAMU.

FAMU's win streak started in the Rattlers' 2019 home opener, defeating Fort Valley, 57-20.

FAMU's win last Saturday against Alabama A&M extended its streak to 12, which is tied for second in the nation with North Dakota State and Kennesaw State, one spot behind Montana State (14).

The Rattlers have outscored their opponents by an average of 19.25 points per game during their winning streak. FAMU has averaged  34.7 points per game and allowed 15.4 points per game.

From featuring live entertainment in DJ Loose Kid and the Marching '100' paired with the student and alumni sections, FAMU feels strongly about having the best game-day atmosphere in the nation.

And because of that, a yearly goal is to go unbeaten at home.

"One of our team goals is at our beginning of the year meeting is winning all of our games at home and we've been able to maintain it for two straight seasons now," said Simmons, who is from the nearby Quincy.

"We want to have the longest streak. I grew up in the Miami Hurricanes era where they won 58 straight games at home. We're a long ways from that, but that's the level of dominance we want to have here at Bragg.

"It's a great game-day atmosphere. Our fans are loyal and get behind our guys and we feed off that. We want to continue to play at a high level in all three phases here at Bragg."

Javan Morgan, a Tallahassee native and former Florida High School star, has always known of FAMU. But he didn't connect with the school until his college recruitment.

Morgan, a redshirt junior rover safety and preseason All-SWAC second team, joined FAMU football in 2019 and has never lost at Bragg Memorial.

Last week, Morgan's interception late in the fourth quarter iced the 38-25 win over Alabama A&M.

"Before the game, I always tell the team, 'Let's not lose here,' " Morgan said. "The freshmen that came in with me and afterwards never lost here, so we're trying to keep that the same way.

"It's a great feeling playing at Bragg. It's better than playing away. We're trying to keep that streak going."


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A look at FAMU’s 12-game winning streak at Bragg Memorial Stadium

1. FAMU tallies highest score of streak against Fort Valley — Sept. 14, 2019

Fittingly, FAMU opened its win streak with its highest scoring performance, defeating Fort Valley, 57-20.

Former MEAC Player of the Year, quarterback Ryan Stanley, completed 20-of-31 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns. Current Rattlers quarterback Rasean McKay subbed in during the second half and went 10-of-11 for 113 passing yards and two touchdowns.

2. Xavier Smith saves the day against Southern — Sept. 21, 2019

FAMU and Southern has enjoyed a legendary rivalry as powerhouses in their respective conferences (MEAC and SWAC).

Now, both squads are members of the SWAC.

FAMU's winning streak nearly ended in this game as the Rattlers squandered a 17-0 lead. They allowed the Jaguars to take a 21-19 lead early in the fourth quarter.

That was until the heroics of wide receiver Xavier Smith.

Stanley and Smith connected on a game-winning 17-yard touchdown pass to pull ahead, 27-21, with three minutes left in the game.

Current Dallas Cowboys safety Markquese Bell also recorded two interceptions during the game.

Florida A&M Rattlers quarterback Ryan Stanley (14) waits for the snap during a game between FAMU and North Carolina A&T at Bragg Memorial Stadium Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019.
Florida A&M Rattlers quarterback Ryan Stanley (14) waits for the snap during a game between FAMU and North Carolina A&T at Bragg Memorial Stadium Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019.

3. A highly-contested homecoming against North Carolina Central, 28-21 — Oct. 5, 2019

Usually homecoming games are a gimme.

But not this one.

The Stanley-Smith connection continued in the FAMU and NCCU matchup.

Stanley completed 22-of-32 passes for 306 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. Smith had nine catches for 129 yards and followed up his game-winning touchdown with another one.

Stanley and Smith connected on a 2-yard touchdown pass with 32 seconds left to edge NCCU, 28-21.

4. College Football Sunday against North Carolina A&T — Oct. 20, 2019

The FAMU-NCAT matchup was moved from Saturday to Sunday because of Tropical Storm Nestor.

It was a heated and back-and-forth battle.

An altercation while teams went to the locker room ensued, resulting in FAMU quarterback Cameron Sapp and offensive lineman Jalen Brayboy and NCAT linebacker Stephen Davis to be suspended for one game for their roles in the skirmish. There were seven ejections from the altercation.

The game went into overtime knotted at 28 and FAMU allowed NCAT to score on a 32-yard field goal. Stanley was injured early in the game and backup McKay led the Rattlers on their game-winning drive.

He found wide receiver Marcus Williams for a 22-yard touchdown pass as the Rattlers prevailed, 34-31.

5. FAMU allows highest point total of streak against Delaware State — Nov. 2, 2019

FAMU allowed 30 points in this game, its most during the winning streak.

Granted, the points came after the Rattlers had a 31-0 lead.

Smith had nine catches, 184 yards, and four touchdowns. The defense also had five tackles for loss.

It got a little too close for comfort as Delaware State trailed, 38-23 in the third quarter.

But a 94-yard kickoff return touchdown by Williams as the third quarter ended shifted the momentum back in FAMU's favor on the way to a 52-30 victory.

Florida A&M Rattlers wide receiver Xavier Smith (19) runs the ball during a game between Florida A&M University and Alabama State University at Bragg Memorial Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla. Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021.
Florida A&M Rattlers wide receiver Xavier Smith (19) runs the ball during a game between Florida A&M University and Alabama State University at Bragg Memorial Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla. Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021.

6. FAMU defeats Howard, 39-7 on Nov. 16, 2019

FAMU had a defensive clinic against the struggling Howard in its 37-9 win.

The Rattlers had eight tackles for loss and two interceptions.

Smith had seven catches for 120 receiving yards and a touchdown.

7. FAMU returns home after two years to play Fort Valley — Sept. 11, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic shut down athletics in March of 2020. It spilled over to the fall, causing the MEAC to cancel all fall sports seasons.

After 665 days, FAMU football returned to Bragg Memorial Stadium.

The new-look Dark Cloud Defense showed up and showed out with nine tackles for loss, three sacks, two interceptions, and two fumble recoveries.

The high point was when linebacker Nadarius Fagan returned a 45-yard fumble recovery in the second quarter of the 34-7 victory.

8. FAMU pitches its only shutout of streak against Alabama State — Oct. 2, 2021

This is FAMU's lone shutout during its win streak — 28-0. 

The top-10 FCS defense was on display once again led by linebacker/edge rusher Isaiah Land.

He had four tackles for loss and three sacks on the way to winning the Buck Buchanan Award last season.

Defensive back Kortney Cox also added an interception.

9. Isaiah Land breaks sack record against South Carolina — Oct. 9, 2021

FAMU's win over South Carolina State sparked debate on social media after the Bulldogs defeated Jackson State in the HBCU Celebration Bowl.

Though the runners-up in the SWAC East behind Jackson State, FAMU fandom declared the Rattlers as the HBCU national champions since they defeated South Carolina State.

FAMU and SC State was the Land show. He had a career high and single-game program record with five sacks. He also added 4.5 tackles for loss in the 30-7 win.

Running back Bishop Bonnett rushed for 118 yards on 12 carries with one touchdown.

10. The return of homecoming against Grambling State — Oct. 30, 2021

The vibe of HBCU homecomings is unmatched.

After two years, FAMU had its first homecoming since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Rattlers celebrated the return of homecoming with a convincing 26-3 win in their final home game of the 2021 season.

11. FAMU wins ‘much-needed home game’ against Albany State — Sept. 10, 2022

After a disappointing showing in the Orange Blossom Classic earlier this month, FAMU was in dire need of a bounce-back win.

Fortunately, the Rattlers' next game was the home opener at the newly-upgraded Bragg Memorial Stadium.

FAMU trailed Albany State, 7-0, after the first quarter before taking the lead and not relinquishing it.

Former Rickards standout De'Andre Francis stepped up the absence of injured Terrell Jennings, A.J. Davis, and Jaylen McCloud.

The redshirt freshman carried the load with 18 carries for 79 yards, and his first collegiate touchdown in FAMU's 23-13 win.

12. FAMU comes back on Alabama A&M (again) — Sept. 24, 2022

FAMU returned from its bye week and displayed resolve in the comeback, 38-25, win over Alabama A&M.

The Rattlers trailed 19-7 in the second quarter before taking over.

New starting quarterback Jeremy Moussa had his best performance on the Division I level, completing 23 of 41 passes for 343 yards, and three touchdowns.

His main targets, Smith and Jah'Marae Sheread, combined for 15 catches, 234 receiving yards, and three touchdowns (all by Smith).

Fagan and Morgan also added two second-half interceptions.

Game Information

Who: Florida A&M (2-2, 1-1 SWAC) vs. Mississippi Valley State (0-4, 0-1 SWAC)

When: Saturday, 6 p.m.

Where: Bragg Memorial Stadium

Broadcast/Radio: Rattler Sports Network

Gerald Thomas III covers FAMU athletics for the Tallahassee Democrat. Contact him via email at or on Twitter @3peatgee.

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This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: FAMU Football: A look at the Rattlers' second longest home winning streak