QB Embick carries heavy team load
By Ted Hutton
Posted September 29 2005
BOCA RATON ? Florida Atlantic quarterback Danny Embick doesn't fall back on cliches.
The senior takes on questions like he does would-be tacklers, leading with his shoulder.
"Our depth is poor right now on the offensive line," said Embick, who has suffered the consequences as the Owls inexperienced line has been overwhelmed in every game this season.
Embick took his worst pounding last Thursday, when he was sacked three times and ran 16 times. Many of those runs ended in a collision with a Louisiana Monroe defender because Embick rarely slides to avoid contact.
The five stitches needed to close a cut on his left eyelid were gone Wednesday, but not the aches and pains he picked up in the 28-21 loss that dropped FAU to 0-4 and 0-1 in the Sun Belt.
"He was really beat up coming out of that game," coach Howard Schnellenberger said.
"No," Embick said when asked if he could make it through the remaining seven games taking the same kind of punishment he did against the Indians.
"Maybe if I had I less carries I would have less opportunity to get hurt," Embick said, "but that is hard to avoid."
Hard because his protection caves in frequently, as the offensive line has been susceptible to blitzes, forcing Embick to run.
"They are all young guys. It's not their fault for not being ready, it's just the position we are in," Embick said.
That explains why Embick is the leading rusher on the team, having run 47 times for 153 yards. Most of those rushes were designed plays, the rest came from scrambling. He has also been sacked 12 times.
Embick also knows things could get worse Saturday when the Owls play at No. 24 Louisville (2-1) in a noon game at Papa John's Cardinals Stadium.
Freshman John Rizzo will likely face senior defensive end Elvis Dumervil, who has nine sacks and has forced five fumbles in three games.
"It's going to be a challenge of a lifetime," Embick said. "If you are a freshman going against a guy who is going to get picked up early in the draft … "
Embick does not finish the sentence.
There is some hope that junior Antes Perkins will be able to play Saturday and keep Rizzo on the bench, though his shoulder sprain has kept him out this week.
"We're trying to get our best out there," said offensive lineman Nello Faulk. "To play against the best, we have to line up our best."
Ted Hutton can be reached at email@example.com.
I find it interesting that ULM beat him up more than any of the big three that FAU already played. GO OWLS!!!