Clouds covered the sun throughout most of Tuesday morning, as the Florida Atlantic football team finished another game week session at the Schmidt Complex Field making a lot of preparation with four days to go until their home contest against Tulsa.
Offensive coordinator Charlie Frye made himself available to media following the session. He said the main lesson the offense has learned coming out of non-conference play is the team's ability to be effective when they play fast.
"We're most effective when we're able to get on the ball and snap the football. It kind of simplifies the process for our guys," Frye said.
"You've gone through adversity and you're still standing but now it's time to swing back."
Here are some notes from today's media observation period.
OwlBytes for October 3rd
Back To Full Strength After seeing the position be banged up since the beginning of fall camp due to injuries, the tight ends group has all of their players available. The latest return was freshman tight end Elijah Brown, who head coach Tom Herman said during Monday's presser that they are trying to get him back up to speed. Among the tight ends who have stood out for FAU have been Zeke Moore and Jackson Sumlin (pictured right) who have combined for 53 yards on eight receptions throughout the team's four contests. "There's a lot of guys in that group and every week, the guys are doing a good job of competing for playing time. That showed up in the bye week and that showed up today," Frye said.
"Those guys are doing a great job of pushing each other and letting the cream rise to the top."
Exposing The Pass Defense Tulsa has struggled to defend the pass to start their campaign, allowing 295.4 yards per game which lists themselves in the bottom 10 (eighth-worst) of the country. Frye believes it to be a big opportunity for quarterback Daniel Richardson to assert himself in throwing the ball in the air as frequently as possible throughout Saturday night. "He has that internal clock in his head. He's really good with his progressions and he's able to get the ball out quick," Frye said.
"Tulsa's also a very opportunistic defense. They've got interceptions and they've caused fumbles, so one of the keys to winning this game will be our ability of protecting the football."
Just Keep Running The run game left a lot to be desired, failing to reach 100 or more rushing yards in the Owls' last three games. Running backs coach Chris Perkins (pictured below) has been doing his due diligence in getting the running backs ready for Saturday, as Frye said it requires everyone on offense to do their job in order for the runs to flourish against Tulsa. "By hitting the hole, blocking downfield for touchdown blocks, and Daniel being good in the RPO game, when the runs present itself, we can get the ball handed off," Frye said.
Offensive lineman Chaz Neal agreed with Frye's sentiments, saying the o-line is prepared to do what is needed to help the offense succeed on Saturday. "Larry McCammon and Kobe Lewis, they're good running backs and their vision is really good. As long as we dominate upfront, they can read those holes and make a big break," Neal said.
Final Word The bye week has not only allowed FAU to recover from the tough non-conference schedule they dealt with for the past couple of weeks, but it also gave them time to bond and become more in sync when they are out on the field together. Larry McCammon III believed this to be true, saying the offense has benefitted from it and that the team became more united as a whole. With this boost in confidence and regained energy, the Owls have a chance to start conference play in the American with a bang.
Offensive coordinator Charlie Frye, offensive lineman Chaz Neal, and running back Larry McCammon III headline today's Coach's Corner.
The Owls will return to the Schmidt Complex practice field on Wednesday morning to continue preparing for Tulsa.