FAU fell on the road to No. 11 Auburn 45-10 Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The Owls found themselves overmatched early against the Tigers and gave up a school-record 421 rushing yards. While the loss moves FAU to 2-6 on the year, the team still has a shot at a bowl game with four games to play.
Here’s our notes from the press box:
Saturday’s contest against Auburn did not start out as the Owls hoped.
Linebacker Freedom Whitfield laid a huge hit on Auburn’s return man Chris Davis, and as the Owls cheered for their first big play of the game Whitfield remained motionless.
The team trainers and personnel rushed to Whitfield but approached with caution because the sophomore wasn’t moving.
Whitfield was knocked unconscious after the hit put on Davis.
After a few tests the FAU trainers loaded Whitfield in the stretcher and carted him off the field.
Whitfield received a standing ovation after giving the crowd a “thumbs up” acknowledging that he was conscious and moving.
The panic lessened when FAU head coach Carl Pelini stated after the game that Whitfield was awake and walking around.
“It is scary when you first walk up. You are not sure if he is out or just not moving,” Pelini said. “When he came to and answered a couple of questions, although incorrectly, he was moving his arms, but he was still pretty out of it.”
Whitfield’s injury was one of many according to Pelini.
Though none as serious as Whitfield’s Pelini said it was close to six or seven players lost to injury throughout the game.
“It was great to see [Whitfield] walking back in that locker room that is for sure,” stated Pelini.
LeBlanc’s Gets the Start
Defensive back Cre’von LeBlanc got the start in Saturday’s game against Auburn.
The sophomore who has played primarily in FAU’s nickel packages started over freshmen Reggie Brown at cornerback.
According to LeBlanc, pain in Brown’s shoulder is what caused the increased reps in practice and it seemed to pay off.
LeBlanc ended Saturday’s game with three solo tackles and one assist, though not stand out numbers LeBlanc’s presence on the field was known.
Despite a couple of long shots down the field which resulted in touchdowns for Auburn, the secondary held up well against the Auburn passing game, allowing only 206 yards, 32 more than the usual yards/game average.
“We came out slower than we usually come out,” LeBlanc said. “We didn’t come out fast enough, and they came out ready to play.”
LeBlanc later went on to discuss that the team must move on and start preparing for next Saturday’s game against Tulane.
The Owl’s have to win out of the last four games left in the season to try to reach bowl eligibility.
- FAU has started the same offensive line for three straight weeks. With DeAndre Williams, Isaac Edwards, Mustafa Johnson, Dillon DeBoer, and Branden Lyons getting the start.
- Freshman quarterback Greg Hankerson was inserted seven minutes into the game, replacing Jaquez Johnson. Minor injury to Johnson speculated with the substitution because Johnson was on the field the next drive.
- Defensive back Christian Milstead obtained his first career interception off of quarterback Jeremy Johnson.
- Mitch Anderson made a 31 yard field goal and extra point attempt, but with wide receiver Jenson Stoshak holding the ball in place of punter Sean Kelly.
- Linebacker Adarius Glanton (pictured) had a season high eight solo tackles. Though it was not his game high in total tackles.