Junior running back Jah-Maine Martin ranks second in the nation with 742 rushing yards, 68 behind VMI’s Alex Ramsey.
But Martin, who leads the nation with an astounding 9.28 yards per carry average, has rolled up his yardage in two fewer games and 78 fewer carries than Ramsey.
“It starts with the O-linemen,” A&T quarterback Kylil Carter said. “They do a great job every week, especially getting Jah-Maine to the second level. Once he gets to the second level, it’s all on him, and he does a great job. And we’ve got big (receivers) on the outside blocking, too.”
A&T ranks 12th in the nation in rushing offense, but Martin has scored on so many big plays that the Aggies are only 38th in time of possession. Florida A&M, with its controlled passing offense, ranks ninth in the nation.
“Time of possession is critical. It was critical last year,” Washington said. “In the second half of that game, we only had three possessions. They kept the ball away from our offense. So defensively, we must get off the field. Third-down conversions are going to be humongous. We must win third down. And you do that by getting them in third-and-long situations, which means winning first down.”
A&T’s defense leads the MEAC in stopping third-down conversions (68.5 percent). Florida A&M’s offense is the best in the league at converting on third down (48 percent).