ORLANDO, Fla.– Florida A&M head coach Earl Holmes won his first contest as the permanent head coach of the Florida A&M Rattlers defeated the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils 27-10 in the 2013 MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney. The MEAC extends their win streak to five with the victory, here Sunday afternoon at Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando.

In addition, FAMU has won their third straight contest against Southwestern Athletic Conference member MVSU. The Rattlers faced the Delta Devil, twice before as FAMU defeated MVSU, 10-0 in 1987 and 28-13 in 1990.

This was FAMU’s second appearance in the MEAC-SWAC Challenge, as the Rattlers dropped a 33-27 decision to Southern University in the third MEAC-SWAC Challenge in 2007 at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala.

Holmes was happy with the effort he saw from his team, but feels they have to solidify the game plan and concentrate on working out the kinks. “The most important thing is to make you biggest improvement between the first and second game. It’s always easier to correct the guys with a win. We did some things well, but there are certainly some things we need to work on. We can now move forward after getting this first win under our belts,” Holmes said.

While the game was in Orlando, Holmes said the game felt eerily like a home game because of the familiarity with the Citrus Bowl, the return of the Marching “100” and other factors. “It felt a lot like playing in Bragg Stadium. When we were about to kick the ball off, some of the players commented on how it felt like home. With all of the fans and having the band back and the cheerleaders, that 12th man made all the difference in the world today,” Holmes said.

The attendance for the game was 24,763, making it the second-largest MEAC-SWAC Challenge attendance. The highest attended game in the history of the matchup was when it eclipsed 30,000 in 2007, when the Rattlers faced the Southern University Jaguars.

FAMU will return to action as they will host Tennessee State in their home opener on Sat., Sept. 7 at Bragg Memorial Stadium in the annual Hall of Fame game


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