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FAU Practice starts 8/7!! News articles


FAU Practice starts 8/7!! News articles

Sentinel Articles:

Owls outlook

Posted August 6 2006

2005 record: 2-9, 2-5 in Sun Belt

First game: Sept. 2, at Clemson, 3:30 p.m., ESPN2

First practice: Monday, 3:30-6 p.m.

Practice info: Practices are held on the two fields behind the Tom Oxley Athletic Center and are open to the public. Preseason practice schedule - daily from 3:30 to 6 p.m., except for three-a-day sessions on Saturday, Aug. 14, 16 and 18 (8-9:15 a.m.; 10:30 a.m.-noon and 4:30-6 p.m.). FanFest scrimmage is Aug. 19 from 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Problem areas: The offensive line got pushed around last year and must improve. A rookie quarterback will be under center, and who that will be is still undetermined. Middle linebacker is still open.

On the spot: Either Sean Clayton or Rusty Smith will be quarterback and will be put under pressure immediately when the Owls open the season at Clemson.

Newcomers to watch: Redshirt freshman Cortez Gent will battle for a starting spot at wide receiver. Redshirt sophomore linebacker Frantz Joseph (6 feet 1, 229 pounds), a Boston College transfer, adds depth and could start.

Of note: Opening with five road games, the first four against BCS opponents, the Owls have a lot to do to avoid blowouts. The Owls will be depending primarily on sophomores.

- Ted Hutton

Owls a little older, wiser

Experience, depth give FAU optimism

By Ted Hutton
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Posted August 6 2006

Florida Atlantic begins practice Monday with two things it lacked last season – depth and experience.

One big problem remains, however. The Owls are still young.

"We have a bunch of sophomores this year, which I guess is better than a bunch of freshmen," said offensive coordinator Gary Nord.

FAU started as many as eight freshmen in some games last season, and the majority of other starters had limited or no game experience.

That youth and inexperience was evident as FAU stumbled to a 2-9 record and went 2-5 in the Sun Belt, good for last place. It was FAU's first full season in Division I-A and in the Sun Belt.

"We learned that we needed to get stronger and faster," said junior linebacker Cergile Sincere, one of those with limited experience who started last year. "It was a wakeup call and motivated us in the offseason."

"We have an altogether different team than we came to camp with last year," coach Howard Schnellenberger said. "Last year, we had a group of players in our first 22 that had never played, now everyone in our first 22 has played. That is a major movement upward."

Also moving upward is the toughness of FAU's schedule, especially the first four games, all on the road.

FAU opens at Clemson, then on to Kansas State and Oklahoma State before taking on Steve Spurrier and South Carolina in Columbia.

FAU is picked to finish seventh in the eight-team Sun Belt, ahead of Florida International, which lost a big senior class after last season, mirroring what happened to FAU in 2004.

"We have a lot of work to do," Schnellenberger said.

"We face a great task of pulling it together before we take on Clemson," Nord said.

One of the first priorities will be to find FAU's new quarterback.

Junior Sean Clayton started the last two games last season after Danny Embick broke his thumb, but then could not separate himself from Rusty Smith or McKinson Souverain in the spring.

Souverain decided to transfer, leaving the battle between Smith and Clayton.

"Competition is always good, but we can't keep this lingering very long," said Nord, who also is the quarterback coach.

"We plan on announcing a starter after the last scrimmage," Schnellenberger said. That scrimmage is Aug. 19, making it a 12-day competition for the starting job.

Most other positions are settled, though there could be some movement on the depth chart.

One thing fans probably won't see is any freshmen in the starting lineup.

"It would be unlikely," Schnellenberger said. "We're nearly where we need to be, and that means we can redshirt players instead of rushing them into the lineup."

Miami Herald
5 Questions For FAU

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Five questions facing FAUBY BOB EMANUEL JR.
[email protected]
Top five questions for the Owls heading into fall practice. Practice begins Monday.

1. Who will be FAU's starting quarterback this season?

Going into the spring, Sean Clayton was penciled in as the starting quarterback. Clayton, a transfer from Michigan State, played in nine games as a sophomore and started twice. He finished the season 31 of 57 for 329 yards, with one touchdown and three interceptions. The job, vacated with the graduation of Danny Embick, is not open because of a poor showing by Clayton in the spring. Though Clayton did well, redshirt freshman Rusty Smith played his way into the competition for the job. The two posted similar numbers in scrimmages. McKinson Souverain, who brings an athletic ability unmatched by Clayton or Smith, remains a long shot.

2. How can the Owls' ground game be improved?

FAU averaged 114.5 yards per game, and 3.0 per carry, last season. Both averages must go up if the Owls are to be successful. FAU's offensive line possesses talent but does not open enough big holes or protect the quarterback well enough to be consistent. Several talented freshmen will join the team this fall. If one could win a spot and improve the talent level and depth, it will be a major step forward.

3. After losing linebackers Chris Laskowski and Shomari Earls in back-to-back seasons, who will become FAU's defensive leader?

Although there is solid talent and depth across the line – yet no breakout star – and youth at linebacker, the Owls' defensive presence probably will come from its secondary. FAU is deep at safety, with Kris Bartels, Troy Pindell, Taheem Acevedo, Greg Joseph and Carldayle Bentley. Bartels could emerge as the leader.

4. Which freshmen can make an impact immediately?

Although it always is difficult to predict freshman success, offensive linemen Dennis Bowling and Ryan Wischnefski could earn instant playing time. Running back Willie Floyd and receiver Avery Holley are both undersized but could work their way into the rotation with impressive summers. Defensive tackle Mauricio Riquer could contribute immediately.

5. How many victories could FAU expect this season after going 2-9 while being outscored 339-148 last season?

The Owls conceivably could finish the season around .500 but probably will be below that number. FAU could begin the year 0-4 with its tough, nonconference road schedule. The Owls open the season Sept. 2 at Clemson, followed by games at Kansas State (Sept. 9), Oklahoma State (Sept. 16) and South Carolina (Sept. 23).

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FAU Practice starts 8/7!! News articles

'McKinson Souverain, who brings an athletic ability unmatched by Clayton or Smith, remains a long shot' :o

Even though I like the fact that the Herald writes something about FAU…it would be nice if they had any idea what they were talking about.

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FAU Practice starts 8/7!! News articles

Ditto ::)
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