2018 FAU Spring Football
The FAU football team used its Saturday’s practice to showcase the program to the Fort Lauderdale community, who opened their arms and welcomed the Owls to Orange Bowl Field at Carter Park.
Both entities worked together to teach nearly 100 youth, ages K-8th grade, the game’s fundamentals. Throughout the day, funds were collected to benefit Marjory Stoneman Douglas victims and their families.
Coach Lane Kiffin
“Really good day. We stayed healthy for the most part of the scrimmage, which is always important. We got some tackle work in and went back to staying up after that.”
- Senior defensive end Hunter Snyder was credited with multiple sacks in the aggressive defense overseen by new defensive coordinator Tony Pecoraro.
- Two Owls who also got into the back field to record a sacks were junior defensive tackle Kevin McCrary and redshirt senior DaiKwon Fuse
- The line pressure can be attributed to Zyon Gilbert recording the day’s first INT as well as Korel Smith and Malik Vigille’s pass breakups
- The Owls’ run game got into the rhythm with D’Anfernee McGriff using his size for a big gain, while Daniel Leconte had a big run, “Motor” Devin Singletary and Silver Saunders found the end zone on their runs.
- The passing game had its highlights as well. De’Andre Johnson to Harrison Bryant got it started. Chris Robison hit fellow transfer Jovon Durante and senior DeAndre McNeal. Trent Wessel found Daniel Leconte to breakup Leconte’s runs and keep the offense moving
- Special Teams made the highlight reel as well with Vladimir Rivas connecting when his number was called
The Owls returned to the Tom Oxley Practice Fields for Tuesday morning’s practice, but the humid day was less than kind to the nearly 100 players working through the first really weather-challenging practice.
Coach Lane Kiffin
“Probably the best day offensively we have had, which is good. (There were) a lot of explosive plays. The quarterbacks made some really unique plays, which kind of fed off Saturday. After watching the tape, (there were) a lot of good plays in there. It is good to see that we ended up, last season, playing really well on offense and then struggled a little bit here early against a really good defense. So, that was good to see. Now that most of our install is in and all the plays match now, you have plays that complement each other. Probably helps the quarterbacks also.”
The Owls will return to the practice field for a 9:30 AM session on Thursday morning. FAU will open practice for the second time in as many weeks on Saturday, April 14 when the Owls travel to Liberty City and Hadley Field to practice. The Owls’ workout will begin at 11:20 AM.
FAU football completed the 11th of the 15 NCAA allowable spring football practices Thursday morning and it was the final practice before the Owls pack up and travel to Miami’s Hadley Park for Saturday’s practice, the second of two held off-campus during the 2018 spring.
Coach Lane Kiffin
“You guys saw a very spirited practice out there. Some really good points of guys feeding off of each other. The offense was backed up minus two and went about 80 yards, made a 3rd-and-8, made a 4th-and-8. Next play after that, defense hangs with it and makes a big interception. That play kind of ignited the defense. The next five plays were two safeties and three negative runs. Good to see a lot of good energy again. I kind of say the same thing every day in here. They do a phenomenal job of bringing the energy every day and have found a great way to have fun, but work really hard at the same time.”
- Defense forced multiple negative plays, tallied several tackles for a loss as well as turnovers, including Malik Vigille, who had an interception
- De’Andre Johnson, a redshirt junior quarterback, hit his target in junior Harrison Bryant to open the team drills with a big gain
FAU will open practice for the second time in as many weeks on Saturday, April 14 when the Owls travel to Liberty City and Hadley Field to practice.
Florida Atlantic Football traveled to Miami for its second Saturday spring scrimmage - the second consecutive week that the Owls have practiced off campus.
Coach Lane Kiffin
“It is good to get into different communities and different areas, obviously for recruiting and players’ family get to see them…maybe it is hard for them to come up, but also it is good for our own guys because it is a change of scenery. It is different than our same practice field. Guys had phenomenal energy again. Did a great job. A lot of big plays by the defense. Too many sacks, quarterbacks holding onto the ball too long, but I thought all in all they had really good energy. We just have to get better execution on offense.”
- Quarterback De’Andre Johnson used his legs on the first two third down conversions
- Zion Gilbert proved difficult for the Owl quarterbacks with his second pass breakup in as many weeks
- Johnson found tight end Harrison Bryant on back-to-back plays of 15-plus yards
- Defensive lineman Ernest Bagner had multiple sacks
- Quarterback Chris Robison found Ladante Harris to move the chains and later Johnson connected to Harris as well
- Robison also found tight end Jacob Wilson for a score
- The most exciting play was a deep pass from Johnson to Jovon Durante, who was in double coverage, but came down with the ball
- Quarterback Conor Miller threw a high strike to Kyle Davis, who seemingly rebounded the pass and came down with it in-bounds for a 10-yard gain
- DeAndre McNeal and Jacob Wilson were credited with big receptions, both from Robison
- Ocie Rose had a tackle at the two to prevent a score and on the next play Steven Leggett stopped the run up the middle, also preventing the score
- Running back Silver Saunders had a nice catch and run beating his defender for the score
- In the closing minutes of the day, the challenge between offense and defense was apparent. Both sides chanting, taunting and dancing during play, leaving one side to celebrate after the play.
- The first attempt to get into the end zone, led by Miller, was met with a huge sack for a loss of yards.
- On his final two attempts, he found Harris and Logan Peterson in the back of the end zone
- Vladimir Rivas made two of the games three field goals, one for more than 40 yards
The Owls will practice twice more this spring before the 2018 Spring Game, scheduled for this Saturday, April 21 at 4 p.m. The Spring Game will be played at FAU Stadium, which is currently undergoing renovations.
Fans will be able to purchase 2018 season tickets, select their seat(s), and receive a 2017 Championship Commemorative Pennant.
Florida Atlantic football offensive coaches began the final week of the 2018 spring season at the Miami Dolphins Academy, Sunday, teaching youth football. The staff reunited for Tuesday morning’s practice on the FAU Boca Raton Tom Oxley Practice fields to conduct practice leading up to the 2018 Spring Game.
Tuesday’s practice ended with more fun as many of the spring practices have. This edition saw wide receiver Willie Wright, who is 5-8 and 165 pounds, seeing action at nickel, defensive end, and quarterback. Herb Miller, traditionally a nickel, was spotted at receiver. More than anything, celebrations following these switch-ups are priceless.
Coach Lane Kiffin
“That wasn’t planned. That was just to create some energy at practice. He (Willie Wright) played nickel. He played defensive end. He played quarterback. Threw a touchdown pass too. Obviously, very talented kid. High energy. That is just spur-of-the-moment stuff. Just to create something different during practice…Herb (Miller) got to play receiver. I think you have to let them have fun and do things that are a little bit different, otherwise you get stale practices.”
FAU will practice on Thursday, April 19, at 9:30 a.m. on the Tom Oxley Practice Fields. The Spring Game is scheduled for 4:00 PM on April 21 at FAU Stadium.
The Owls took the practice fields the final time Thursday morning, closing out the 2018 spring season and second spring under Lane Kiffin’s direction.
The Owls used the morning to prepare, without pads, for the 2018 Spring Game, which is scheduled for 4 p.m., Saturday, April 21 at FAU Stadium.
The leadership council drafted the coaches into white and red teams. The No. 1 offense will face the No. 1 defense, and No. 2 two defense versus No. 2 defense. Threes and fours will be mixed in. Winners of the game will be treated to steak. Losers will enjoy hot dogs and beans, on Monday.
A complete list of the players on each team will be released on Friday.
Coach Lane Kiffin
“We did one, two and 14 (periods), so it was a little lighter practice. Getting ready for the game. Teams were drafted and picked so we will play it like we usually do. Last year was a different format because we had so few offensive linemen so we did the defensive/offensive scoring thing. They are divided with a red team and a white team. So coaches and players are divided. Probably tackle the first half and stay up the second half. Should be exciting.”
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Rick, was trying to post this as new topic but did not work - AT ALL!