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ERROR: A link was posted here (url) but it appears to be a broken link.http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/sfl-fauspec09sep09,0,7755165.story?coll=sfla-sports-front
The differance in attitude just amazes me….
FAU crowd small, but loyal
FAU officials say 16,421 fans a step in the right direction
By Lisa Riddle
September 9, 2005
MIAMI ? The faces of Florida Atlantic fans were somber as they watched the Owls play a full four quarters without taking the ball into the end zone during a 23-3 loss to Oklahoma State on Thursday night. There were more of those faces in the audience than ever before in the history of the five-year-old Owls program, but there was little on the field to make them smile.
The crowd arose in unity, creating a clamor with air-filled plastic FAU sticks when the Owls threatened to score or when they needed a big stop defensively. But the fans departed Dolphins Stadium with memories of a single highlight ? a 27-yard field goal by Daniel Kennard.
FAU administrators did not see the expected loss as a setback for their school. They saw the number of fans, recorded as 16,421, as a step toward legitimizing their program.
"We used to want to get people to fill the stands first and sell tickets second, but now we think the opposite," FAU Athletic Director Craig Angelos said.
The fans brought FAU closer to the magic number of 60,000, which is the required number of tickets the Owls need to sell in total for their four home games in order to qualify for a bowl game and a chance to win the Sun Belt Conference. Angelos said the official number of tickets sold for the game, which will be greater than the attendance figure, will not be available until this morning.
In the stands Thursday were underclassmen, graduate students, alumni, teachers and impartial fans simply taking advantage of an opportunity to witness a major college football game.
Junior Julie Johnson of Tampa told all of her classmates to come to the game, which was played at Dolphins Stadium instead of the usual Lockhart Stadium site in Fort Lauderdale. Johnson, a popular student, competed on the swimming team last season and a majority of the current swim squad attended Thursday's game.
She and many of her fellow students lifted their voices when FAU athletes, like Cergile Sincere and Jervonte Jackson, beckoned the crowd to pick up its volume.
"I love it when they do that," she said. "It gets the crowd all riled up. You've got to have those crazy fans."
The audience proved remarkably loyal despite an unraveling of the Owls.
Two FAU professors remained, even after a late-game drive by the Owls proved futile.
"We're just hoping if we can hang on a little bit longer, then, maybe . . .," Marilyn Wiley said with a smile. "I'm glad we're not getting humiliated."