FAU senior left guard Andy Czuprynski has seen action at left tackle this season. (Owl Access File Photo)
Some FAU offensive linemen are seeing action at new positions.
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BOCA RATON – FAU offensive lineman Andy Czuprynski is trying another position – again.
Czuprynski, a redshirt senior who was a defensive lineman for his first season at FAU before moving to left guard, where he has played the last three seasons, is now taking snaps at left tackle.
Czuprynski played left tackle for several series during the Owls' 20-14 loss to North Texas and held his own.
“It was a little bit different experience,” Czuprynski said. “It's like you are on an island the whole time. But, it's just something you have to get used to. ...I think I did all right at it, just not as good as I wanted to do.”
Czuprynski is expected to be in the rotation there again Saturday vs. ULM and he isn't the only player on the line who is giving a new position a try. Redshirt junior Jordan Sessa, who started three games at center last season, saw significant playing time at left guard vs. North Texas.
“I prefer it because I played guard in high school and have always wanted to get back there after they moved me to center,” Sessa said. “I really look at this as an opportunity to get better.”
FAU startng right guard Ricaldo Henry also has played extensively at tackle this season.
Moving some players around is the best way to make sure the best lineman see playing time, even if it means learning a new position, FAU offensive line coach Luke Meadows said.
“We want everybody to play two positions,” Meadows said. “It's part of our philosophy that we want to play our top 5. ...It's a way to get our best football players on the field."
Different looks: While Louisiana-Monroe's offense, which is ranked No. 13 in the nation and leads the Sun Belt Conference with 514.6 yards per game, might be the biggest concern for Florida Atlantic, the Warhawks' defense also presents some problems.
FAU coach Carl Pelini said it has been a challenge for the staff and quarterback Graham Wilbert to prepare to face ULM's defensive 3-3-5 defensive formation.
“They do keep you off balance and there is a lot of studying to do for your offensive coaches and for Graham,” Pelini said.
“It's not your typical defense that you see week-to-week. ...It's fairly unique and takes some getting used to for your offensive lineman. Hopefully the bye week helped us in that regard because that's a tough thing to prepare for with just a few days of practice.”
The Warhawks have the No. 2 defense in the Sun Belt, giving up 360 yards per game.
Blast from the past: FAU quarterback Graham Wilbert is familiar with the Warhawks' defense that held the Owls scoreless in ULM's 26-0 victory in the season-finale last season.
While ULM will likely show different looks against FAU's spread offense than it did vs. last season's pro-style scheme, Wilbert expects to be be familiar with what the Warhawks will show on defense.
“I've seen that defense before, but it's a different defense than we see every week,” said Wilbert, who was 11-of-27 for 79 yards and also threw an interception.
Although he struggled in last year's game Wilbert made an impression on Louisiana-Monroe coach Todd Berry.
"The FAU quarterback is impressive size-wise, and has a very strong arm,” Berry said earlier this week. “That's something we're going to have to contend with.”
How much action for Jackson? FAU running back Martese Jackson has been effective running the ball, but coaches want him to work on not fumbling in practice before he sees more playing time.
“Martese needs to continue to work and show in practice that he is ready to help us in football games,” said Owls offensive coordinator Brian Wright. “He needs to continue to work on taking care of it, but he has worked on it and is getting better at it.”
Jackson rushed for 99 yards in FAU's season-opening victory vs. Wagner but also fumbled twice. Since then Jackson has rushed for 37 yards on eight carries.