Owl's Looking for Balance
FAU offensive coordinator Brian Wright knows that if his team is going to upset Miami, it's going to take some sizable gains.
Last year when the Owl's faced Georgia and Alabama, the team managed just four plays of 20 yards or more in the two losses. Wright is looking for more of a spark in his offense on Friday night, and a harmony in his play calling will be crucial.
"I think we have to be able to hit some big plays," Wright said. "We have to be balanced. There is no way that you can be one dimensional against a group like this."
Miami brings a free-flying defense to the table, and Wright is hoping to execute his offense to near-perfection. Greg Hankerson and Jaquez Johnson are both expected to lineup at quarterback and a handful of other skill personnel will get touches out of the backfield.
"We have four guys right now, and possibly five that could touch the ball at running back – and they all bring us different things," Wright said.
Running backs Jontahan Wallace (pictured), Martese Jackson and Jay Warren are all in the mix, but it's the other weapons that could make a difference. Wide receiver Lucky Whitehead will be frequently sent in motion, while quarterback DJ Juste will have a package of his own. Melvin German is listed as a backup wide receiver on the team's depth chart, but there is still a chance that he could take a snap or two in the shotgun as well.
Wright has spent extra time this week working on the game plan with Johnson and Hankerson, and he feels that both players are where they need to be. When asked if there was much of a difference between the freshman and junior college transfer, the answer was brief.
"Jaquez has a little bit better grasp on the offense because he has been here and been through a spring ball, but they both throw the ball well. Jaquez is a bit bigger and a strong guy, so he has that, but other than that they are similar," Wright said.
Eliminating mistakes will be key on Friday, and Wright has made it clear that the Owl's can't turn the ball over.
"We have take care of the football," Wright said. "We have to be able to hand the football to the official at the end of every play to give ourselves just a chance."