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ESPN.com Florida Atlantic Spring Wrap Up


ESPN.com Florida Atlantic Spring Wrap Up


Florida Atlantic Owls spring wrap-up
May 11, 2009 11:15 AM
Posted by ESPN.com's Graham Watson

Florida Atlantic Owls
2008 overall record: 7-6
2008 conference record: 4-3, T-3rd

Returning starters

Offense: 6, defense: 4, punter/kicker 2

Top returners

QB Rusty Smith, WR Cortez Gent, WR Jamari Grant, TE Rob Housler, DB Ed Alexander

Key losses

LB Frantz Joseph, RB Charles Pierre, RB DiIvory Edgecomb, CB Corey Small, DB Greg Joseph, LB George Allen, LB Andre Clark, DE Michael Hancock, DB CarlDayle Brantley

2008 statistical leaders (* returners)

Rushing: Charles Pierre (1,014 yards)
Passing: Rusty Smith* (3,224 yards)
Receiving: Cortez Gent* (935 yards)
Tackles: Frantz Joseph (154)
Sacks: Michael Hancock* (6.0)
Interceptions: Ed Alexander*, CarlDayle Brantley (3)

2009 Schedule
Sept. 5 at Nebraska
Sept. 19 at South Carolina
Sept. 26 Louisiana-Monroe
Oct. 3 Wyoming
Oct. 17 at North Texas
Oct. 24 at Louisiana-Lafayette
Oct. 31 Middle Tennessee
Nov. 7 at UAB
Nov. 14 Arkansas State
Nov. 21 at Troy
Nov. 28 Western Kentucky
Dec. 5 at Florida International

Spring answers

1. Morris on the move: The Owls were looking for someone to replace top backs Charles Pierre and DiIvory Edecomb and they might have found him in backup fullback Alfred Morris. Morris was moved to running back when injuries decimated the position this spring. Morris rushed for 277 yards and three touchdowns during his two spring scrimmages at running back.

2. Brohm's influence on Smith: Quarterback Rusty Smith is one of the most talented quarterbacks in the Sun Belt but lost some of his 2007 swagger. New quarterbacks coach Jeff Brohm, who came over from Louisville, should help restore that. Smith has a lot of weapons returning and the FAU offense could be one of the best in the country.

3. Harmon returns: Tight end Jason Harmon returned this spring after sitting out the 2008 season recovering from ACL surgery. Harmon was one of the best players on the team prior to his injury in 2007. He, along with receiver Cortez Gent, was the first player to notch 100 receiving yards in 2007.

Fall questions

1. Rebuilding the defense: The Owls had significant losses from a defense that quite honestly wasn't that good last season. But it was experienced, something that is sorely lacking from the defense that played this spring. The defense was abused in the team's first scrimmage, but rallied in the second to force some turnovers and keep the Owls talented offense somewhat in check.

2. Filling in for Frantz: Filling the shoes of linebacker Frantz Joseph is a monumental task for the Owls. In fact, the entire linebacking corps will be new and filled with players with game experience but little in the way of statistics. Edward Bradwell is the top returner with 41 tackles last season.

3. Tightening up the defensive line: Head coach Howard Schnellenberger brought in Rod Payne to coach the defensive line. Payne has collegiate experience and experience in the NFL. He will be charged with shoring up a line that ranked 112th in the country in sacks and 110th in tackles for loss. He has his work cut out for him with a young inexperienced group.

My two favorite teams are FAU, and who ever is beating FIU!
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