Florida A&M, holder of the nation's longest NCAA football winning streak, scored 21 first-quarter points against winless Howard last night and went on to a 28-7 victory.
FAMU, ranked No. 7 in NCAA Division I-AA, now has won 15 straight games.
Rattler fans has expected a larger margin of victory, but Coach Rudy Hubbard said a slippery field, caused by rain earlier in the day, had a lot to do with his team's performance.
"Anytime we win it's a good game to me," said Ike Williams, FAMU's hard-running tailback. "The score was not what I expected, but keeping the win streak intact is our main goal."
A bitter Howard Coarch Doug Porter said afterward:
"FAMU did not compare to South Carolina State (the nation's No 2 Division 1-AA team and a 27-0 victor over the Bison last week). I have nothing else to say except that I will file a complaint with the NCAA about the officiating."
Howard had 42 yards rushing and 138 yards passing. FAMU gained 245 yards on the ground and 113 through the air.
FAMU scored on its first two possessions.
After taking the opening kickoff on their own 22-yard line, the seventh-ranked Division I-AA Rattlers drove for a touchdown. Fullback Mike Solomon put the first six on the board with an 11-yard burst up the middle.
Then, less than two minutes later, Bison quarterback Ronald Wilson hit FAMU linebacker Jesse Spualding with a perfect pass at the Howard 28-yard line.
Five plays after that, Florida A&M signal caller Albert Chester hit tight end David Greene with a 12-yard scoring toss.
The Rattlers scored another touchdown with 13 seconds left in the first quarter when tailback Ike Williams ran in from the three.
In the second quarter, the Bison changed offenses and quarterback Brian Thomas led Howard inside FAMU's 30-yard line on two occasions.
But FAMU's defense, coming into the game as the nation's second-ranked Division I-AA defensive squad, stopped both drives.
An interception by Rattler cornerback Daryle Tyson stopped the first threat and Howard placekicker Howard Ward failed to connect on a 43-yard field goal attempt.
Howard's running attack was basically nonexistant in the first half. The Bison managed only 26 yards on the ground along with 34 yards in the air and three first downs.
On defense, Scott Facyson was his usual intimidating self, leading the Howard defense with five tackles and one quarterback sack.
After talking things over at intermission. Howard came back in the third quarter to put its first points on the board.
Starting their scoring march on their own six yard line, the Bison mixed the running of Greg Banes and Leonard Orr and the passing of Brian Thomas to penetrate the FAMU defense.
The touchdown came on a 38-yard bomb to Steve Wilson at 7:05 in the third quarter.
The Rattlers retaliated by driving inside the Bison 10 but Howard stopped that drive when Fred Spence recovered a Florida A & M fumble on the seven.
"From that point on, the game took on the aspect of punting practice as neither team could mount a successful drive.
Howard tried time and time again to move the ball in the air but the FAMU defense awoke and intercepted a Thomas pass at the Howard 32.