FAU has never faced East Carolina, let alone played in a Conference-USA game.
Thursday night, that will all change when the Owls travel to Greenville, N.C. to face the Pirates in the program's inaugural C-USA contest.
Emotions will certainly be running high, but the team's focus is clear. Senior captain Andrew Stryffeler, who has a grasp of the locker room, believes the Owl's are taking the right approach towards ECU.
"We're going to treat this game like we do every game," the defensive end said after Tuesday's practice. "As far as playing in a bigger conference and on national television, we certainly have a little bit more pep in our step than before."
Stryffeler is one of just two players on FAU's roster from the state of North Carolina, and was recruited by the Pirates coming out of high school. He claims that over half of his graduating class enrolled ECU, and that he is no stranger to the environment at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
"They have pretty rowdy fan base," Stryffeler said. "They do a nice job of packing them in there, but we're going to do our best to not let that effect us. We have played in bigger stadiums with much larger crowds."
FAU spent a chunk of fall camp practicing with simulated noise to prepare for road games like the one at ECU. A crowd of over 40,000 is expected for the game, and the Pirates will dawn all-black uniforms for the first time in school history.
Senior running back Martese Jackson, the teamís other North Carolina native, downplayed the notion that the atmosphere could effect the outcome of Thursday.
Jackson (pictured) mentioned that the team is more concerned with executing at an efficient level on offense.
"It's real important because it's our first game in Conference-USA, so we need to go in there and be able to do what we're suppose to do," Jackson said.
FAU is 3-5 in midweek games over the last ten years, but 2-0 on Thursday nights. The last time the team played on a Thursday, it was a thrilling 32-31 win over UAB to open the 2010 season.