After losing their third straight road game to start the season, Florida Atlantic (3-3, 1-1 C-USA) has a lot of work to do heading to their next matchup with Charlotte (4-2, 2-0 C-USA,) who currently hold first place in the C-USA East.
“We have to be consistent in what we’re doing," head coach Willie Taggart said. "We have to look from a schematic standpoint, are we doing things that allow our guys to be successful, or are we asking them to do things we’re not good at?” Taggart said. "I think all of that plays a part in it and that’s the beauty of the bye week, figuring out are we doing what we need to be doing for those guys and, also are we being consistent with our execution up front?”
There is a lot of time for those questions to be answered, as FAU has 12 days in between their 31-14 loss to UAB and next Thursday's clash against the 49ers.
However, the effort is still there and it can be built upon in next week's matchup.
"Overall, our effort has been pretty consistent all year," defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. "But eliminating some of the mistakes within our scheme could even push us to a higher mark and that's what we need to strive to do."
The Charlotte 49ers have a bye week as well, coming off of a 45-33 win over FIU. Both teams will be well-rested as they take each other on in Charlotte, N.C. on Thursday, Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m.
Bye Week Mashup
- N'Kosi Perry Banged Up FAU Head Coach Willie Taggart said that starting quarterback N'Kosi Perry would not be practicing due to a foot injury suffered in Saturday's loss. During practice, Perry was present but did not participate in any of the drills during the 15-minute media availability. Backup quarterback Nick Tronti also was limited during the media window, not partaking in any of the drills. It was mainly Willie Taggart Jr. and Michael Johnson Jr. who were throwing passes to first-team wide receivers, such as T.J. Chase [photo.] Taggart mentioned that Tronti was also a bit banged up from Saturday's game, with both guys using this week to 'heal and lead' during practice. "Nick and Perry both have to get themselves 100%, both of those guys have to get better and they were both unable to practice," Taggart said.
- Stopping The Run While FAU's run defense held UAB's running backs to just 104 yards on 24 carries, Stoops mentioned that he wanted to key in on defending the quarterback run. "I think there's a combination of things, one was missed tackles on quarterback running," he said when asked about eliminating mistakes. "If you can't get a quarterback on the ground, we got some problems." UAB quarterback gained 40 yards of rushing on FAU last week, which is tame compared to the numbers UF quarterback Anthony Richardson and Air Force signal-caller Haaziq Daniels put up, but one play Stoops harped on is a 16-yard run he gained on 3rd and long in a drive that ended in a UAB field goal.
- Track Meet This week's practices were held at the turf fields over by the basketball stadium to help keep the quality of the practice fields stable after being used all season. They previously held a few practices over at the fields at the Tom Oxley Center for the same reason, but those fields are being used by FAU soccer at this time. Coach Taggart said that the cars driving by the turf fields "can only be a distraction if they make it a distraction." "That's part of focusing and locking in," he said. "I think as a football team, we can be better at those things: being disciplined and staying focused."
- Helm On The Mend Safety Jordan Helm wasn't at practice this week, Coach Taggart mentioned that he was also banged up from the UAB game. His status is still up in the air for next week. Taggart mentioned that Armani-Eli Adams is a player who has stepped up and helped fill Helm's void thus far, mentioning that he has been doing a good job with Helm out and has been paying attention even when not on the field.
- Preparing For The RPO Charlotte's offense is heavily powered by the Run-Pass Option, giving them a way to read the defense. Through six weeks, Charlotte is averaging 406.8 yards per play, which is a 30-yard improvement from their averages through the six games they played last year. "It's basically option football," Taggart said. "You basically have two plays in one and to be honest with you, the defense shouldn't be right. You have to be cognizant of whatever they decide to do because you're reading the guy and he comes at you and he throws the pass or he stays back and hands the ball off."
Head Coach Willie Taggart, Offensive Coordinator Michael Johnson, running back Larry McCammon, Defensive Coordinator Mike Stoops, and safety Teja Young headline this week's VideoPlay.