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O-Line Props. They're playing good ball.

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O-Line Props. They're playing good ball.

Offensive line measures up

By Ted Hutton
Staff Writer
Posted October 28 2004

BOCA RATON ? When the offensive line is not in the news, it is usually good news.

The line got some attention during the preseason, with a sophomore and freshmen replacing two veterans.



But with Florida Atlantic 5-1 midway through the season, there have not been many negatives, and the Owls line has stayed out of the headlines.

For coach Howard Schnellenberger, proof of how well the line is performing can be measured in yards per game.

"Even in the loss we gained a lot of yards," Schnellenberger said about the 411 yards gained by the Owls in the 17-13 loss to Louisiana-Monroe.

FAU is averaging 420.7 yards per game, the best in the team's brief history and nearly 30 more than last year, when the Owls finished 11-3.

The Owls are putting up bigger numbers despite an upgraded schedule that has included four I-A opponents to this point.

"It's a good indication," offensive line coach John Bock said about the offensive output. "We've been running the ball well and protecting the passer, and those are the things you want the line to do."

FAU is averaging 287.5 yards passing and 133.2 yards rushing each game going into Saturday's game at Florida A&M (3-5).

Senior Kevin Fischer said the line doesn't get caught up in numbers, instead focuses on laundry.

"We want to keep the quarterback's uniform clean, keep his pants white the whole game," said Fischer, a senior from Boca Raton.

Despite Fischer's efforts, FAU quarterback Jared Allen has gotten some grass stains, since he has been sacked 18 times, though many of those came on blitzes that were not picked up by the running backs or receivers.

Allen was sacked four times in the loss to Louisiana-Monroe, and offensive lineman Chris Shepherd said the Owls are working hard to make sure that doesn't happen again.

"We're not worried about blitzes. We're sure people are going to do it, but we've already fixed it," Shepherd said. "So we still dare teams to blitz us. Go ahead and try, it might put you in a hole."

Bock said he expects FAMU to take up the dare.

"We expect they'll bring the house," Bock said, "and see if we can beat them down the field."

As far as the concerns about freshmen Jarrid Smith and sophomore Nello Faulk, Bock said after the first couple games it was clear there was no dropoff over last year.

"They stepped right in," Bock said.

"I'm really proud of Nello and Jarrid," said Shepherd, a senior from Apopka. "You never think about how young they are. We've bonded together, every game pulls us closer together."

INJURY REPORT

Starting linebacker Tyrone Higgins sat out practice again Wednesday and is doubtful for Saturday's game after spraining his right ankle in the loss to Louisiana-Monroe.

Higgins, the third leading tackler on the team with 33 and two sacks, will be replaced by Chris McKinley, who has played in every game and has 29 tackles.

Also missing Saturday's game will tight end Ben Coker and offensive lineman Antes Perkins.


Copyright ? 2004, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
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O-Line Props. They're playing good ball.

They are playing pretty good right now. The youngsters are improving every game. The illegal motion penalties are coming from the wide recievers! I've looked at several past game films and notice the guys(WR's/TE) have the same tendacies. They lift up out of the set too soon. FLAG!
That need to be corrected before it becomes a learned habit.
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O-Line Props. They're playing good ball.

I feel one of the most under rated postion in football is the OL. Its all nice when they get recognize in a postive way.
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O-Line Props. They're playing good ball.

Agree! Underrated but one of the most important! I think that John Madden over the years has slowly changed the iimage of the O Line.
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