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#1 Alabama coasts past FAU in 40-7 win

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#1 Alabama coasts past FAU in 40-7 win

<img src="http://www.fauowlsnest.com/itb/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/alexdeleon2011.jpg" alt="alexdeleon2011" title="alexdeleon2011" width="401" height="280" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-11629" />

TE Alex Deleon scores a late touchdown snapping Bama’s streak of shutouts

It took all of three plays Saturday afternoon for the message of the game to become apparent. Alabama – the defending national champions and top ranked team in the nation – are a much better football team than Florida Atlantic.

On the opening drive of the contest, the Crimson Tide scored on an 85-yard touchdown pass to take a lead that would eventually result in a 40-7 victory.

The Owls’ offense struggled from the start against an Alabama defense that was looking to post their third consecutive shutout of an opponent.

Quarterback Graham Wilbert faced a consistent pass rush that was frequently in the backfield and the team went three-and-out on their first three possessions of the game.

Alabama took full advantage of the Owls’ lackluster offense and took a thirty point lead into halftime.

The deficit could have been larger for FAU, but thankfully the defense was able to come up with multiple stops and force the Crimson Tide to settle for field goals instead of touchdowns.

On three consecutive drives in the first half the Owls’ defense stood while the team’s offense battled to gain just a first down.

“Obviously, you would rather hold them to field goals than touchdowns but we gave up way too many yards and didn’t tackle very well. You know, yards after contact were ridiculous today. We’ve just got to do better than that,” Head Coach Carl Pelini said.

At the half FAU had a mere 23 yards of total offense and a single first down while Alabama had amassed 353 yards. Wilbert was unproductive completing one pass for a one-yard loss, and the team’s only trip into Crimson Tide territory resulted in a 48-yard blocked field goal attempt.

“We just started slow. It was just tough to get things going the first half and we just did a terrible job coming out. We didn’t have a lot of energy,” Wilbert said.

The second half proved to be more of the same for the Owls until the fourth quarter rolled around and the offense came to life.

Running back Jonathon Wallace ripped off a 20-yard run to the outside and began finding holes in the stout Alabama defense. Wilbert connected with tight end Alex Deleon on a clutch fourth down, and the Owls started their longest offensive drive off the night.

Wallace continued to pound the football, as fellow running back Damian Fortner took snaps at quarterback in a “wildcat” package.

The duo worked the ball down to Crimson Tide’s 12-yard line, before Pelini decided to go for the first down instead of kicking a field goal on fourth-and-one.

Wallace took a handoff and ran to his left diving for the first down and to keep the drive alive.

Two plays later, Wilbert dropped back in the pocket and found Deleon in the corner of the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown.

The points marked the first time Alabama had been scored on since week one of the season and snapped a two-game streak of shutouts.

“They were as good as advertised. They are a disciplined group. But, on our side, we need to pick it up quicker. We need a quicker start,” Deleon said.

Wilbert finished the game 7 of 13 for 34 yards and the score.

While the Owls managed just 110 yards of total offense, Wallace was able to gain 47 yards on a dozen carries. Fornter added an additional 39 rushing yards of his own in his new role of taking snaps in the backfield.

Deleon was the team’s leading receiver hauling in a career-high four passes including his first collegiate touchdown. The tight end looked productive and like a viable receiving option for Wilbert.

“That’s a great defense that we faced, I mean I don’t know if it was a slow start or if it was a fast start for them defensively. They’re a very good defensive football team and they were just physically handling us upfront early in the game,” Pelini said.

Things should get easier for the Owls next week as they host North Texas.

Game notes:

-One positive the Owls can take away from the loss, is the play of punter Shawn Kelley. The freshmen was frequently called upon and responded with booming kicks including a long of 57 yards. He finished with a 49.4 yard average on eight punts and downed two kicks inside the 20-yard line.

-FAU won the turnover battle by simply not giving away the ball for the first time all season. Long snapper Tim Raber recovered a fumble forced by Sharrod Neasman on a punt, but the Owls failed to capitalize and produce points.

-The Owls held Alabama to just 150 yards in the second half and 10 points.

-Although he was primarily responsible for getting beat on Alabama’s first touchdown pass, safety Brent Hardstad finished second on the team with 10 tackles. He also recorded one of the Owls’ two sacks by dropping the quarterback 16 yards behind the line.

Twitter: @andrewrivins
Email: [email protected]
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Re: #1 Alabama coasts past FAU in 40-7 win

A few thoughts…

TE is still playing a noticeable role in the offense. Even though we have gone to "The Spread", the more things change, the more they remain the same at times.

After showing more attention to the passing game last week, the Owls went heavier on the run. By design? SBC play starts next week.

Speaking of which, the North Texas tilt should be a good game, but also another test. Even though FAU could not move the ball against the Crimson Tide's #1 unit, they will be in much better shape to succeed next weekend.

Lastly, as Andrew mentioned, we have a SOLID punter. Golden actually. Now that we move into league action, field position will play a much more critical role. Great thing to see consistency there given the upcoming transition.
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Re: #1 Alabama coasts past FAU in 40-7 win

Glad we scored but les's all be honest, it was 0-40 and we were still playing our strters while bama was all 2nd and 3rd stringers.

13 passes and 32 carries in a game when you are playing from behind from the 3rd play of the game? Way to work out the kinks of the "spread" we have installed.
I am not encouraged by this score (7-40) as it WOULD have been 0-60 if saban had not subbed extensively in the 2nd half.

I know we just played the No. 1 team in the nation but we DID NOT CHALLANGE them on O AT ALL! One completion to a WR and the longest of the game for 10 yards? Sorry, but the Coaches just played this one VERY CLOSE TO THE VEST to try and avoid the 0-60 score, so thanks shou;ld go out to Coach Saban from all Owl fans, players and Coaches for showing some mercy.

Me, I want to see FAU go out and challenge EVERY opponent EVERY game. We did vs. UGA but we did not vs. Bama and I just don't get it!

But Go Owls, we will be there on Sat. to see what team shows up vs. the Mean Green and I pray we see an aggresive one, especially on the O!
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Re: #1 Alabama coasts past FAU in 40-7 win

I think we have a pretty decent chance next weekend. Defense did bend but did not break on some of those poession holding Alabama to only field goals. I think versus the Mean Green, we could very well win.
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Re: #1 Alabama coasts past FAU in 40-7 win

Agree!

But the line does not…

Still at +4

Regardless, if we lose this one, things will likely get ugly again around here…….
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Re: #1 Alabama coasts past FAU in 40-7 win

Depends on how we lose. We are and should be the underdogs. If we lose but in a close competitive game while showing improvemnt, ok. But if we get blown away and embarrased at home by another belt team, not a top 10 SEC team...
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Re: #1 Alabama coasts past FAU in 40-7 win

Rick said

Agree!

But the line does not…

Still at +4

Regardless, if we lose this one, things will likely get ugly again around here…….

I dont think it matters how we lose if we do lose…they NEED to win this game to get momentum and start getting fans and players to believe in Pelini.

Teambeer is the most knowledgeable FAU sports fan I know, way smarter than me.
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Re: #1 Alabama coasts past FAU in 40-7 win

www.firepelini.com has already been bought by OC40 for if we lose this game  ;) It's ready to launch at 9pm on Saturday night!
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Re: #1 Alabama coasts past FAU in 40-7 win

What does everyone think attendance will be for this one?

Will the students show up again even with the craptastic football they got to witness?

WIll more of the "casual" show since its a Saturday and not a Friday?


I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick @$$ and I'm out of bubble gum.

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Re: #1 Alabama coasts past FAU in 40-7 win

I think the strategic placement of the Rats Mouth next to the stadium was genius, it was too easy for kids to tailgate all day and then bail on the game when they were 12 feet from the entrance, now I think more will continue to go into the game. We will struggle with the losing stigma until we do away with games that leave us 1-3 to start the year.

Casual fans probably aren't going to make it to this one, I would suspect a light crowd until we put some W's on the board.
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