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High scoring contest in the works?


High scoring contest in the works?

Owls to face a young defense

By Ted Hutton
Posted September 1 2004

BOCA RATON ? Hawaii's defense plays straight man-to-man against the Warriors' zany run-and-shoot offense in practice.

So, while the Florida Atlantic defense has been trying to come up with ways to slow down Hawaii quarterback Timmy Chang and his army of receivers, it's been business as usual as the Owls' offense prepares for Saturday's season opener in Honolulu.

"We're not going to change. They are going to have to change for us," FAU offensive coordinator Larry Seiple said.

FAU will run the pro-style offense coach Howard Schnellenberger has used throughout his long career, and Hawaii will use a standard 4-3 defense to counter it.

Hawaii's defense is not great, but it doesn't have to be, considering last year the Warriors were ranked No. 1 in total offense (488.1 yards per game) and No. 2 in scoring (34.7 per game) of the 117 Division I teams.

The Warriors were No. 76 in total defense, giving up 397.7 yards per game, and No. 85 in scoring defense, allowing 30.5 points per game, but that was enough to allow Hawaii to finish 9-5 and win the Hawaii Bowl.

FAU senior quarterback Jared Allen leads an Owls offense that returns nine veterans and is coming off its best season, averaging 371.9 yards and 28.9 points per game. They will go against a Hawaii defense that returns two starters.

That means while FAU knows what kind of defense it is going up against, it doesn't know who will be on the field.

"They play a pretty basic defense," Allen said. "We just don't know a lot about most of them."

The two starters Hawaii has back are impact players. Junior linebacker Ikaika Curnan (5 foot 11, 218 pounds) was the leading tackler last season with 121, and senior defensive back Abraham Elimimian (5-10, 191) had 78 tackles and four interceptions.

"We've got a pretty good nucleus coming back," Hawaii coach June Jones said. "We did lose some good players and some of the new kids are going to have to grow up in a hurry."

FAU's running game was improved last year, but still inconsistent. The Owls relied on the pass to score 29 touchdowns on 3,418 yards, while rushing for 764 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Elimimian, who did not allow a touchdown reception last season, will try and stop Roosevelt Bynes, FAU's top receiver, who had nine touchdowns last year.

Hawaii's biggest problem will be stopping FAU tight end Anthony Crissinger-Hill, who was the Owls' leading receiver with 1,134 yards and nine touchdowns. Crissinger-Hill was slowed by a shoulder injury midway through preseason camp, but said he is 100 percent.

"We're excited to have the opportunity to play against teams like [Hawaii], and now we have to take advantage of that opportunity," Crissinger-Hill said.


FAU will practice tonight at 11 under the lights at Pope John Paul II High School in Boca Raton.

Schnellenberger is looking for any edge as the Owls get ready to travel nearly 5,000 miles across multiple time zones.

"We got them on experience," Schnellenberger said. "We like to think we'll have them on conditioning and preparedness. So their advantage is they are playing at 6 p.m. and we're playing at midnight. So we're going to try and offset that."

Kickoff is at 6:05 p.m. Saturday in Hawaii, which is 12:05 a.m. Sunday in South Florida.

The Owls leave for the airport at 7 a.m. Thursday.
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High scoring contest in the works?

I was wondering when they would report that we do have an offense too. It can't be compared to Chang's Gang but we will put up some point. Their D has to stop our offense in order to keep Chang on the field.

I see that CB Abe Elimimian didn't give up a TD last year! Impressive to say the least. His rep and Bynes' 4.3 speed should make for an interesting afternoon.

I say that his streak comes to an end Saturday. 8-)

Good Luck Owls!
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High scoring contest in the works?

Abe didn't give up a td last year while defending pretty good WR's and man to man for that matter. We played at the Collosium against USC and Abe held his own against guys like Williams, Colbert and Steve Smith. This guy is the real deal and will be playing on Sundays for sure. Scary thing is that our corner on the other side(Patton) might be just as good. Our Secondary's coach Rich Miano said he woudn't be suprised if Patton leads the WAC in picks. There's no question this Hawaii defense is young but it may be the most talented group under Jones so far. Hopefully they do grow up fast as well as learn how to play together as a team. If that happens, Hawaii could have a very solid defense to go along with arguably the best offense in the country.
Tell me about some of your WR's. Speed, height, numbers they put up last year, etc?
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