FAMU and Southern University football is almost always must-see television. But Saturday night in Baton Rouge, there was a moment you had to actually be in A.W. Mumford Stadium to see.
Southern University utilized its new LED lights to create a unique atmosphere against rival FAMU between the third and fourth quarters. During the TV time out, the 95-year-old stadium went dark and then went blue. The players from each school stood yards away from each other jawing back and forth before the lights returned to normal.
While it created a beautiful cinematic moment, it also created some anxiety for the coaches.
“It was terrifying,” FAMU head coach Willie Simmons said with a smile. “They’re guys were at the hash, our guys were at the hash…didn’t know what was going to happen. Was counting down the seconds until the lights came on so we could get some order.”
Our Vaughan Wilson was in Mumford Stadium switching his gear and recalled the eerie excitement he felt in the moment.
“It was unreal. It was so dark, in my mind I was like “Isn’t it dangerous to have a stadium this dark?” Wilson recalled. “Then when I saw the players beefing, it took on a whole new meaning.”
Nearly 36 hours after the moment had passed, a relieved Simmons was able to appreciate the moment a bit more. It probably didn’t hurt that his team won 26-19.
“But it really just plays into the atmosphere there. It’s an electric atmosphere,” Simmons said. “Like I told the team — these are the type of games that you want to come to FAMU to play in. Two top teams, two great fanbases and that’s what you expect. So again, I’m really excited about the atmospheres we get to play in being a part of in this conference.”
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