With their first win of the season in the books, Florida Atlantic (1-1) is looking to stay undefeated at home under head coach Willie Taggart, as Fordham (0-2) will travel to Boca Raton to play the Owls on Saturday, Sept. 18. This week presents a new challenge, as FAU will be going from playing a Georgia Southern team that only passed for 118 yards last week to a Fordham offense that averages 257.5 yards through the air this season.
Quarterback Tim DeMorat in particular is a player that FAU needs to stop, as he is coming off of a 352-yard, three-touchdown performance against Monmouth. "He's an excellent thrower of the football," defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. "I think this is his third year starting. I like the way he throws the football, he's very accurate, he'll look you off and go the other way, he does a lot of good things. He handles the football, the run-pass option reads are very good, and he's able to get out of a run play and throw to his receiver, so they do an excellent job of spreading the field."
FAU will now have to go from stacking the box to locking up on individual assignments and that has been the focus throughout practice this week. The development of getting to the quarterback has also been something they have been looking at improving on as they head into their first-ever matchup against the Rams.
Kickoff for Saturday's game is set for 6:00 p.m. at FAU Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.
- Carter Odell Blossoming Into Contributor Carter Odell (photo) arrived at FAU as a walk-on safety, but after a spectacular camp, he is now a steady contributor on special teams for the Owls. He is a fixture on the punt protection team, he is a gunner on kickoffs, and he is used on the field goal block unit, doing whatever is asked of him. When asked if Odell could see the field on defense, Stoops said "it's possible, he is a tremendously hard worker. He came in as a walk-on and has worked hard to contribute in any way he can. If he continues, then sure. Safety is one of our strongest positions right now, but he's made his way through special teams and that's a compliment to his effort, his work ethic, and his passion."
- Raking In The Hardware Between the two teams, four players were awarded weekly awards for their efforts last week. For FAU, N'Kosi Perry was named C-USA offensive player of the week after his 332-yard, four-touchdown effort against Georgia Southern last week. Fordham had three players awarded with Patriot League Player of the Week honors, with quarterback Tim DeMorat being named Offensive Player of the Week, linebacker Ryan Greenhagen being named Defensive Player of the Week, and linebacker James Conway being named Rookie of the Week.
- Fordham's Tackle Machine Fordham linebacker Ryan Greenhagen owns the NCAA record for tackles in a game after racking up 31 tackles against Nebraska on Sept. 4. He still leads the country in tackles through two weeks with 59, with second place going to Jacob Dobbs of Holy Cross, who has 29. Head Coach Willie Taggart described Greenhagen as a "tackle machine" on Monday, saying that the Owls' offense needs to be aware of where he is on the field when trying to make plays.
- From Defending The Ground and Pound to Watching the Air After playing a triple-option Georgia Southern offense, Stoops and his defense will be playing a more pass-heavy offense in Fordham. During his availability, Stoops said that FAU needs to get to the quarterback in the backfield more, but still watch out for the run, as the Rams do have the runners in the backfield to be able to catch the Owls off guard. With Georgia Southern, FAU was able to stack the box and bring down Eagle runners without having to worry about the passing game as much.
- Korel Smith Develops into a STAR After securing an interception last week, Korel Smith continues to prove why he is where he is on the depth chart as the starter at the STAR position. Coach Taggart expressed how impressed he was with the redshirt senior, saying that he's a smart football player and is like a coach out there on the field. When asked what he wants to do better, Smith said he wants to be tighter on his coverage and he wants the defense to be able to get to the ball more, creating a "Sea of Red" for the opposing offense.
Today's video play is headlined by tight end John Mitchell, wide receiver Je'Quan Burton, defensive coordinator Mike Stoops, and cornerbacks Korel Smith and Diashun Moss.
Coach Taggart September 13th Presser Notes
Inside the Burrow 2021 Ep 6: Fordham
GAME CAPSULE: Fordham @ FAU - September 18th, 2021
Takeaways from FAU's Home Opener Victory over Georgia Southern