FAU running back Travis Jones works for yardage against Middle Tennessee. (Photo Courtesy of Ralph Notaro/ Owl Pix)
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FAU was solid for 20 minutes against Georgia last week, but will need to play well for the entire game to compete vs. No. 1 Alabama on Saturday.
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BOCA RATON – Playing well for 20 minutes wasn't enough for Florida Atlantic to beat No. 7 Georgia last week.
Anything short of 60 minutes of flawless football surely won't be enough when the Owls go against No. 1 Alabama on Saturday.
Owls coach Carl Pelini said it will take a solid performance for the the entire game – not just a portion of it – for FAU to compete with the Crimson Tide.
“Anytime you can have success against a good team, it's a good learning lesson for our guys, but by no means should they be satisfied,” Pelini said. “I had people come up to me and say 'Good job' but I don't feel that way. We need to have more endurance than that. If we can do it for a a quarter and a half, we should be able to do it for four quarters.”
In the first of back-to-back games against two of the top teams in the SEC, FAU was tied with Georgia midway through the second quarter. The Owls coaching staff liked what they saw from their team in that span. Now the coaches just want so see more of it.
“Even before the game, we had more life, more passion, more excitement and more enthusiasm since I've been here,” FAU offensive coordinator Brian Wright said. “That's the attitude we have to have every day for the game of football and not just because we are playing at Georgia or at Alabama this week.”
Anything less than perfection could mean a long day for FAU, which has never faced a No. 1 team and is 0-9 all-time against opponents in the AP Top 25.
But players said they are excited to see where they stand up against the top team in the nation.
“We want to play against the best and if you play football, that's what you want,” said linebacker Adarius Glanton. “We surprised some people against Georgia and hopefully we can do it again.”
Keys To The Game: FAU at No. 1 Alabama
Key For FAU
Keep competing: Even if the Owls get down early against Alabama, it's important long-term for the team to keep fighting to the end and use the entire game as preparation for Sun Belt play.
Key For Alabama
Start efficient on offense: Alabama should be able to easily beat the Owls as long as it it keeps doing what it has done so far this season on offense. If the Crimson Tide keeps its mistakes to a minimum as it has done so far this season, the Owls defense will tire.
FAU LB David Hinds vs. Alabama RBs Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yelden: Hinds is FAU's leading tackler and has been effective at stripping the ball but will have a tough time slowing down Lacy and Yelden.
- 94 – Unanswered points scored by Alabama since the third quarter of its season-opening victory vs. Michigan.
- 8 – Penalties this season on FAU.
- 5-1: Nick Saban's record at Alabama against teams from the Sun Belt Conference. Louisiana-Monroe defeated the Crimson Tide 21-14 in 2007.