TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—The scene at the end of Hampton University's game at Florida A&M on Saturday was familiar for the Pirates.
The clock hit zero, and longtime coach Joe Taylor walked off the field with another victory in his storied career.
This time, however, Taylor was on the opponent's sideline, and his win belonged to the FAMU Rattlers.
Led by QB Curtis Pulley's four touchdowns, Taylor's Rattlers downed the Pirates 45-24 in his first game against the school he coached for 16 years. The loss was HU's fourth consecutive and dropped the Pirates to 5-5, 4-3 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
After the game, Taylor said it was difficult coaching against his former team.
"It was tough all week," he said. "Just one of those games that you're glad it's over."
Early on, the Pirates seemed poised to steal one from Taylor, who compiled a 136-49-1 record during his time with HU.
Hampton blocked a FAMU field-goal attempt on the first drive of the game. Then, on the Pirates' first offensive play from scrimmage, sophomore Herbert Bynes connected with Justin Brown for a 47-yard reception. Three plays later, that same twosome hooked up from 7 yards to give the Pirates an early 7-0 lead.
It was the first of three touchdown passes for Bynes, who finished with 401 passing yards. His 2,670 passing yards on the year set a school single-season record.
"It's always going to be emotional going against your old coach, but at the same time, it's a game," Bynes said. "They're just a team like anybody else. Old coach or not, it's a team you've got to beat."
Brown, a senior from Dover, N.J., contributed 10 catches for 147 yards.
The Pirates added a field goal and looked to be in control before the Rattlers' offense took over.
FAMU (8-3, 4-3 MEAC) rattled off 35 consecutive points, starting with Pulley's first of three rushing TDs, a 10-yarder that cut Hampton's lead to three.
With less than two minutes to play in the half, Pulley added TD runs of 14 and 30 yards just 55 seconds apart to send the Pirates reeling into halftime with a 21-10 deficit.
"It's very difficult (to defend) an athletic guy that can hurt you throwing the ball, then you drop back and try to play coverage against him, and all of a sudden now he's pulling the ball down and running with it," Hampton coach Jerry Holmes said of Pulley, who finished with 305 yards of offense.
FAMU broke the game open in the second half.
Running back Philip Sylvester scored his first of two rushing touchdowns from 38 yards, then wide receiver Isaac West hauled in a 49-yard TD pass to extend FAMU's lead to 25 points.
The Pirates finally answered late in the third when Bynes hit Dennis Mathis for a 15-yard touchdown near the end of the third quarter. Bynes tossed his third TD pass, a 2-yarder to Jeremy Gilchrist, on the final play of the game.
Hampton's streak of 11 consecutive winning seasons will be on the line next week in the season finale at Morgan State.
FLORIDA A&M 45, HAMPTON 24
|Florida A&M 0211410—45|
First QuarterHU—Brown 7 pass from Bynes (Turavani kick), 8:44. HU—FG Turavani 40, 3:13.
Second QuarterFAMU—Pulley 11 run (Scott kick), 13:28. FAMU—Pulley 14 run (Scott kick), 1:58. FAMU—Pulley 30 run (Scott kick), 1:03.
Third QuarterFAMU—Sylvester 38 run (Scott kick), 11:19. FAMU—West 49 pass from Pulley (Scott kick), 4:35. HU—Mathis 15 pass from Bynes (Turavani kick), 1:17.
Fourth QuarterFAMU—FG Scott 43, 12:40. FAMU—Sylvester 4 run (Scott kick), 7:50. HU—Gilchrist 2 pass from Bynes (Turavani kick), :00. A—9,711.
|Time of Possession||33:11||26:49|
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICSRUSHING—Hampton, Coker 10-25, Dixon 1-(minus 7), Bynes 12-(minus 32). Florida A&M, Pulley 12-132, Sylvester 13-92, Page 7-19, Henry 4-6.
PASSING—Hampton, Bynes 29-61-2-401. Florida A&M, Pulley 6-14-0-159, Battle 1-1-0-(minus 4), Elliott 1-1-0-12.
RECEIVING—Hampton, Brown 10-147, McCain 6-69, Gilchrist 5-67, Thomas 3-45, McDaniel 2-41, Mathis 2-20, Coker 1-12. Florida A&M, Elliott 4-89, West 2-70, Pulley 1-12, A.Smith 1-(minus 4).
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