tampabay.com

Scouting reports

By IZZY GOULD
Published September 23, 2006


FAMU (1-2) VS. WINSTON-SALEM STATE (1-2), 6

The Rattlers host their home opener after a three-week road trip, which finally yielded a 31-23 win at Howard last week. FAMU freshman Cameron Houston earned Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week after he registered four tackles and a sack against the Bison. Rattlers senior receiver Roosevelt Kiser had arguably his best performance of the season with nine catches for 107 yards and a touchdown. Though the Rams won't officially join the MEAC until 2007-08, this will provide a first taste of what could be an annual matchup.

B-CC (2-1, 1-0) VS. NORFOLK ST. (2-0), 4

This game went to four overtimes last season before Bethune-Cookman finally won 63-61. Wildcats coach Alvin Wyatt said he won't choose a starting quarterback until today. It's hard to believe he won't go with Jarod Rucker, who earned MEAC Offensive Player of the Week after he threw for 367 yards and five touchdowns in a 45-21 win against South Carolina State. He could also go with Jimmie Russell, who has thrown for 194 yards and two TDs. The Spartans, coming off a bye week, are off to their first 2-0 start since 2002.

FLORIDA ATLANTIC (0-3) AT S. CAROLINA (2-1), 7

FAU is among the nation's worst teams in several categories, including last in scoring defense (49 points per game) and 116th in scoring offense (4.67 points per game). It took the Owls 11 quarters to score their first touchdown. Fullback Willie Rose scored on an 8-yard run in the fourth quarter of a 48-8 loss at Oklahoma State last week. Nothing eases up at South Carolina, which marks the Owls' fourth consecutive road game. The Gamecocks of the SEC are fifth in the nation in pass defense.

FIU (0-3) AT MARYLAND (2-1), 6:05

Florida International has dropped three games by a total of seven points. It is led by senior quarterback Josh Padrick, who has thrown one touchdown, four interceptions and averages 163.3 yards. FIU's bright spot is its special teams, ranked 15th in punt returns (15.83 yards per game) and 18th in kickoff returns (26.78 yards). Maryland of the ACC looks to rebound after it was blown out on national television by then-No. 5 West Virginia 45-24.