It’s no secret that East Carolina will push the tempo Thursday night, but that doesn't mean FAU isn’t aware of the Pirate’s air-raid offense.
The Owl’s best preparation for ECU, may have came in the form of a few losses over the years.
Senior cornerback Keith Reaser has made some comparisons to past opponents in the Sun Belt Conference, and claims that there is a sense of familiarity with the no-huddle attack.
“A lot of teams like Arkansas State, ULM and Louisiana ran it in the Sun Belt, so we have seen it before,” Reaser said.
FAU fell 35-14 to ULM last year on the road, but the defense notably held the Warhawks to below their season averages on offense. Quarterback Kolton Browning, who plays a similar style to ECU’s Shane Carden, registered his lowest completion percentage of the season – and Reaser believes that could be an indicator of what might happen this week.
“He (Carden) reminds me of (Kolton Browning) because they’re the same type of quarterback. He’s not a runner as far as rushing yards go, but he keeps the play alive and makes guys miss while the receivers find an open spot,” Reaser said.
In recent years, FAU has struggled with mobile quarterbacks, but the key against ECU will be to diffuse a short passing game and hope the offense can generate some points.
“Passing is basically their offense, and those quick throws are their run game so we’re going to mix it all up. Sometimes base, sometimes maybe five or six defensive backs,” Reaser said.
Aside from a few breakdowns against Miami, the Owl’s secondary looked serviceable last week, and with the addition of nickleback Cre’von LeBlanc – who is slated to return from injury – the unit should only improve.
Reaser says that every defensive back should see action in the rotation on Thursday, but it’s safety Damian Parms that could have the biggest impact.
“He (Parms) has really improved the mental aspect of it. It’s definitely a comforting feeling knowing that you have a guy over the top that will be there if anything goes wrong,” Reaser said.
Not only will the past experiences from playing fast-paced offenses help against ECU, but the fact that FAU’s offensive coaches spent a period of fall camp installing some no-huddle packages should be beneficial.
“Our offense does it too in spurts by moving fast, so it’s not something that’s uncommon for us,” Reaser said.