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FAUís Defense Going in Reverse.

FAUís defense is going in reverse. The expectation for any team is that improvements will be made throughout the course of the season. The FAU defense has proven that this expectation is not always met. This is especially true when it comes to the FAU rush defense. A look back at the past five games shows opponent rushing totals of 198, 270, 163, 239, and most recently 330. The most disturbing stat with reference to the 330 yards given up on the ground against UAB is that the Blazers averaged 9.4 yards per rush. That number exceeds the 8.1 and 8.2 yards per rush that FAU gave up against Nebraska and South Carolina respectively. While 8 yards per rush is hard to swallow, FAU fans could at least take comfort in the fact that those numbers were tallied in the first two games of the season against the two toughest opponents on the FAU schedule.

The numbers alone tell us one thing, but the reasons for such a horrific rush defense must be addressed. Is there a talent disparity between FAU and Nebraska or South Carolina? The answer is a resounding yes. How about between FAU and UAB? I donít think the answer is quite as clear. FAU has talent on defense. Some of FAUís biggest recruits over the past couple of years have come on the defensive side of the ball. Without mentioning the names of any specific players, I think it is fair to say that many FAU fans were excited by the talent that FAU was recruiting on the defensive side of the ball over the past few seasons. This is especially true of the LB position. If the talent and athletic ability are there, then what is the problem? It could be chemistry, scheme, confidence, or motivation. In all of the aforementioned cases it is the responsibility of the coaching staff to prepare these young men to play each week. Unfortunately the defense has regressed as the season has moved forward and the performance against UAB leaves little hope for improvement throughout the remainder of the season.

As a fan of FAU football since the very beginning I have rarely found reason to question what is happening with this growing program. However, I think it is some time for some soul searching for the players and the coaching staff. Changes need to be made on defense. Nobody can argue that FAU is seeing success on the defensive side of the ball. The numbers tell us that FAU is failing miserably defensively. Giving up 237 yards on the ground per game and an average of 453.75 total yards per game on defense should not be acceptable. It takes offense and defense to compete at any level and while FAU has always been a team dominated by offense, the disparity between offense and defense has never been as evident as it is this year. The players and coaching staff have four more games to make some changes and get this ship sailing in the right direction. If that doesnít happen it will be time to seek a new course.