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Less thinking for the defense

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Less thinking for the defense

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Flip Flop Football | New plan for FAU D: Keep It Simple

Owls will simplify game plan for defense
By Ted Hutton | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
September 7, 2008

After reviewing video of Saturday's 49-34 win over Alabama-Birmingham, coach Howard Schnellenberger said there was nothing new to discover.

"Everything is the same as it was last night. The offense had a good day and the defense had a tough time," Schnellenberger said.

The Owls defense allowed UAB to stay in the game until the closing minute, as the Blazers gained 482 yards, with quarterback Joe Webb in on 415 of those, as he passed for 326 and ran for 89 more, both career highs.

FAU's offense has been solid in both games this season, but the defense has been porous in both, but Schnellenberger thinks he has found the problem.

"What may have been over-coaching, trying to beat them on the blackboard," Schnellenberger said.

He said to be effective, defensive players can't be thinking, they have to be reacting.

"They have to play with reckless abandon and zeal. Defense should be fun to play," he said.

Instead, FAU defenders have been slow to the ball, missing tackles and basically been on their heels throughout the game.

"We are going in another direction today to see if that doesn't spark us," Schnellenberger said.

One encouraging part of the defense was that the Owls had five sacks against UAB after having none at Texas.

"We would have lost the game without their valiant effort," Schnellenberger said.

Defensive end Michael Hancock had two sacks, the tackle Jervonte Jackson and 1.5.

MICHIGAN STATE NEXT: The Owls will need to fix their defensive problems in the next couple days, because this Saturady they travel to East Lansing to play Michigan State, the first of two straight road games against Big Ten foes, with Minnesota to follow.

Michigan State went to 1-1 Saturday after beating up Easting Michigan 42-10. Running back Javon Ringer who had 135 yards and five touchdowns in the win.

The Spartans lost their season opener to California 38-31.

"It's a major step for us to go into their place. We feel we have enough good players to have a realistic chance of winning," Schnellenberger said.

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