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FAU badly needs a win over improved North Texas! Not going to be easy!

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FAU badly needs a win over improved North Texas! Not going to be easy!

FAU badly needs a win over improved North Texas
by Tom D'Angelo
The Owls are 5-0 against North Texas and the not-so-Mean Green has lost four straight, including their first two Sun Belt games.

Additionally, North Texas’ strange history in the Sun Belt has seen it finish last or next to last the last four years after finishing first or tied for first in the conference’s first four years.

Nobody in the nation can claim such a contrast in its conference.

And we all know how badly FAU needs a victory when it travels to Denton this weekend to take on NT. Considering the Owls’ last victory came during the Bush Administration (that would be W not H.W.), 1-4 NT should be looking at this game the same way the Owls are: Finally, a patsy on the schedule to help us get back to winning.

During today’s coaches teleconference, Howard Schnellenberger praised NT for its improvement over last year’s team that was 1-11 and winless in the conference. In fact, the Green’s last SBC victory was two years ago tomorrow – Oct. 13, 2007, over Louisiana-Monroe _ although that streak came within 27 seconds of ending last Saturday when Louisiana-Lafayette scored for a 38-34 win.

“They’ve made monumental strides and improvement since our game last year,” Schnellenberger said. “Obviously, we’re struggling for an identity as well.”

NT coach Todd Dodge is working hard to change the culture of losing and makes it a point to keep the morale high in week’s like this, after what he calls a “heartbreaking loss.”

“Our players have shown they expect to win,” Dodge said. “We’ve got to make sure as a coaching staff that we can continually explain to our team who they are, the improvement that they’ve made, keep the confidence high, we don’t get caught up in the funk of losing and make them understand there is a lot quite good going on.

Schnellenberger continues to hammer home the point that FAU is in familiar territory.

“This is not an unusual position for us to be in,” he said. “Last year we were 1-5 and it looked pretty bleak for us and the kids rallied and came back with the five wins and one loss in the second half. That’s not going to automatically happen again but that’s what we’re working hard to make happen.”

He continued when asked why that happens. Pay close attention to the first part of the quote.

“We play over our heads in the first several games and if you get a couple off losses and then get a loss where maybe you should win then you’re suddenly behind the eight ball,” he said.

Isn’t this the same man who declared the day of the “advance training games” to be over? That the Owls were expected to be competitive in those early season guarantee games?

By saying the Owls are “playing over their heads,” it appears we are back to the “advanced training” days.

Let’s look at the statistical comparisons between FAU and NT:

Scoring offense: FAU – 18 ppg (110th). NT – 22.4 ppg (94th).

Total offense: FAU – 384.5 ypg (56th). NT – 382.8 ypg (59th).

Scoring defense: FAU – 36 ppg (114th). NT – 33.8 ppg (107th).

Total defense: FAU – 447.75 ypg (110th). NT – 363 ypg (66th).

Who do you think has the edge?

* Sun Belt Champions & New Orleans Bowl Champions-2007
* Motor City Bowl/Little Ceasers Pizza Bowl Champions-2008
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Re: FAU badly needs a win over improved North Texas! Not going to be easy!

I was shocked at the following stats, however we did play some tough teams Vs. the teams that NT played!


Scoring offense: FAU – 18 ppg (110th). NT – 22.4 ppg (94th).

Total offense: FAU – 384.5 ypg (56th). NT – 382.8 ypg (59th).

Scoring defense: FAU – 36 ppg (114th). NT – 33.8 ppg (107th).

Total defense: FAU – 447.75 ypg (110th). NT – 363 ypg (66th).


* Sun Belt Champions & New Orleans Bowl Champions-2007
* Motor City Bowl/Little Ceasers Pizza Bowl Champions-2008
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Re: FAU badly needs a win over improved North Texas! Not going to be easy!

We just need to stop the most untimely penalties, and play our brand of ball…

Rusty needs to settle down as well…but we can't keep putting him in situations where he has to perform the game saving miracle late in the fourth quarter either…he has done that a number of times, but to "expect" every time out it is not reasonable…


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Re: FAU badly needs a win over improved North Texas! Not going to be easy!

Rick said

We just need to stop the most untimely penalties, and play our brand of ball…

Rusty needs to settle down as well…but we can't keep putting him in situations where he has to perform the game saving miracle late in the fourth quarter either…he has done that a number of times, but to "expect" every time out it is not reasonable…




Rick, I agree with you 99% of the time but not here.  Shouldn't we want our all conference 5th year senior QB to have the ball with a chance to win at the end of every game?  I agree that we cannot EXPECT to win everytime….but he should be ready to handle these situations.

Teambeer is the most knowledgeable FAU sports fan I know, way smarter than me.
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Re: FAU badly needs a win over improved North Texas! Not going to be easy!

IMO, part of the problem Rusty is facing this season, is the supporting cast might not be as strong as we might have thought them to be.  Still too many dropped passes and I get the feeling Rusty only have confidence with a couple of guys as the go to guys. And when they are covered (double teams) Rusty still feels it's his best option.

Not good…somebody else will have to emerge and give reason for Rusty to throw them the ball to in those situations.  Both Rose & Morris possess great hands and could be used more in those situations - comes down to play calling as well.
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Re: FAU badly needs a win over improved North Texas! Not going to be easy!

Bytor said

IMO, part of the problem Rusty is facing this season, is the supporting cast might not be as strong as we might have thought them to be.  Still too many dropped passes and I get the feeling Rusty only have confidence with a couple of guys as the go to guys. And when they are covered (double teams) Rusty still feels it's his best option.

Not good…somebody else will have to emerge and give reason for Rusty to throw them the ball to in those situations.  Both Rose & Morris possess great hands and could be used more in those situations - comes down to play calling as well.

I respectfully disagree Bytor.  I don't really see the drops this year.  Sure, there have been some, but most are on balls that shouldn't have been thrown.  If I have two db's draped all over me, I'll probably drop the ball too.  I think Rusty's main problem is he doesn't trust the line to give him time.
- He looks very uneasy in the pocket
- He isn't setting his feet
- He is constantly throwing off-balance
- He doesn't go through his progressions and very rarely looks past his second option

To me, these are signs of a kid who doesn't want to get hit.  Did losing Paris have anything to do with this?  Could be.  But until the line can prove to him that they will protect him, he won't settle down, and with all the above, it is tough to make a good pass to the right receiver each and every time.
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Re: FAU badly needs a win over improved North Texas! Not going to be easy!

Baller07 said

Bytor said

IMO, part of the problem Rusty is facing this season, is the supporting cast might not be as strong as we might have thought them to be.  Still too many dropped passes and I get the feeling Rusty only have confidence with a couple of guys as the go to guys. And when they are covered (double teams) Rusty still feels it's his best option.

Not good…somebody else will have to emerge and give reason for Rusty to throw them the ball to in those situations.  Both Rose & Morris possess great hands and could be used more in those situations - comes down to play calling as well.

I respectfully disagree Bytor.  I don't really see the drops this year.  Sure, there have been some, but most are on balls that shouldn't have been thrown.  If I have two db's draped all over me, I'll probably drop the ball too.  I think Rusty's main problem is he doesn't trust the line to give him time.
- He looks very uneasy in the pocket
- He isn't setting his feet
- He is constantly throwing off-balance
- He doesn't go through his progressions and very rarely looks past his second option

To me, these are signs of a kid who doesn't want to get hit.  Did losing Paris have anything to do with this?  Could be.  But until the line can prove to him that they will protect him, he won't settle down, and with all the above, it is tough to make a good pass to the right receiver each and every time.

I think the fact that Rusty didn't get sacked once against Nebraska should give him confidence in his O-line. Suh was a wrecking machine against Missouri the other night and he couldn't get to Rusty.

Rusty has been a starter for more than three years. He should know that he will be getting hit. If Rusty is really worried about getting hit he won't be playing on Sundays.

GO OWLS!!!

You can run kitties, but you can't hide!!!
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Re: FAU badly needs a win over improved North Texas! Not going to be easy!

owlfan1 said


I think the fact that Rusty didn't get sacked once against Nebraska should give him confidence in his O-line. Suh was a wrecking machine against Missouri the other night and he couldn't get to Rusty.


 he said, it was because he was too busy playing patty-cake
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Re: FAU badly needs a win over improved North Texas! Not going to be easy!

NCowl said

owlfan1 said


I think the fact that Rusty didn't get sacked once against Nebraska should give him confidence in his O-line. Suh was a wrecking machine against Missouri the other night and he couldn't get to Rusty.


 he said, it was because he was too busy playing patty-cake


I don't care if he was busy square dancing or playing yatzee with our O-line. The distraction was effective and bottom line is no sack.

GO OWLS!!!

You can run kitties, but you can't hide!!!
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Re: FAU badly needs a win over improved North Texas! Not going to be easy!

walty12 said

Rick, I agree with you 99% of the time but not here.  Shouldn't we want our all conference 5th year senior QB to have the ball with a chance to win at the end of every game?  I agree that we cannot EXPECT to win everytime….but he should be ready to handle these situations.

Absolutely!

Just as soon as the rest of the offense gets in line with the play and does not get whacked with penalties that kill the drive he's exepected to perform on…

Totally on board with that!  And so is Rusty!

:D
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