FROM STAFF REPORTS
Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) continued its Florida Classic winning streak on Saturday, defeating instate rival Florida A&M University (FAMU) 29-24 in their annual gridiron grudge match at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.
The Rattlers haven’t won a Florida Classic game since 2010 when they defeated the Wildcats 38-27 with 61,712 in attendance. Last year, the Wildcats trounced the Rattlers 39-19.
B-CU went into the game as the favorite, with a 6-4 overall record and 5-2 MEAC (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) record. FAMU’s record was 3-7 overall and 2-5 in MEAC play. MVPs for the game were Ryan Stanley (FAMU) and Larry Brihm, Jr. (B-CU).
Attendance at Saturday’s game was 47,819. In recent years, the game has drawn 40,000 or more fans. The attendance last year was 45,728; it was 45,372 in 2015.
From 1999 to 2006, the Florida Classic drew record crowds of more than 70,000 fans, including an individual game record of 73,358 in 2003.
The Florida Classic is more than the football game. It’s billed as a weekend for college friends to reunite and a time for families to come together and fans to show out during a showdown of the two HBCUs.
The tailgating started early Saturday with Rattlers and Wildcats cranking up their grills and enjoying a picture-perfect day in Orlando with family and friends from around the country.