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Posts from October 2009

FAU's season may rest on Smith's shoulder
FORT LAUDERDALE - Florida Atlantic may have lost more than just the game to Middle Tennessee on Saturday.

The Owls may have lost their starting quarterback in the Blue Raiders' 27-20 victory.

FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger said he is concerned that senior quarterback Rusty Smith may have to miss some time after hurting his shoulder late in Saturday’s loss to the Blue Raiders, but won't know for sure until Smith has further tests.

"I don't know yet because I don't know the depth of his injury," Schnellenberger said. "Once I know the depth of his injury I'll have to make some plans, but I am assuming it's serious enough to curtail or make some changes in the ranks of our quarterback."

The injury is to Smith's non-throwing shoulder - the same one he disloacted in last year's loss at Texas.

"What I know is that it's some type of an AC sprain and I am day-to-day," Smith said.

While Jeff Van Camp is a more than capable backup, having Smith go down for any length of time would be a big loss to the team.

We'll follow this situation closely.
Hall of Fame before Halloween

One of the best events of homecoming week is the induction ceremonies to the FAU Hall of Fame, and this year the dinner held Friday at the Forkas Alumni Center was extra special.

The first individuals from the football team were inducted this year and the choices were no-brainers. The entire team that made it to the I-AA playoffs in 2003 is already in the hall as a team, but selecting quarterback Jared Allen and linebacker Chris Laskowski were excellent choices to join the Hall of Fame.

This year's Hall of Fame class also included Sheri Pla, who was a four-sport athlete (softball, golf, women's basketball and cross-country) and former women's soccer star Rhonda Jones.

Not only was it great to see Laskowski, who is coaching high school football with his dad, Larry, at Rockledge High School but his family who were at almost every game when Chris was playing.

Also in attendance was Allen's family, who made the trip from Oklahoma.

Rest assured there was plenty of talk of the 2003 Middle Tennessee game won by the Owls when Allen connected with Roosevelt Bynes for a 62-yard TD pass as time expired to give I-AA FAU its first victory over a I-A team.

I can remember that sideline erupting like it was yesterday.

FAU football coach Howard Schnellenberger also invited both Allen and Laskowski to speak to the team before Saturday's game.

Thanks for the memories guys and congratulations.

Owl Links

  • has our preview of today's game vs. Middle Tennessee and don't forget to print out Today's Lineup including rosters and depth charts for the Owls and the Blue Raiders.

    Also we'll have full coverage of the game from Lockhart Stadium later this afternoon.

  • The Palm Beach Post examines the Owls' offense and how it is using the run to set up the pass.
  • The Sun-Sentinel has a look at the game
  • The Murfreesboro Daily News Journal looks at the wild series between FAU and MTSU

    Owl Cal
    1 p.m. True Blue BBQ, Lockhart Stadium
    1:30 p.m. Trunk or Treat Halloween tailgate, Lockhart Stadium
    4 p.m. MTSU at FAU football, Lockhart Stadium
  • Sun Belt shows horror show on Halloween

    This week in the Sun Belt Conference there are a couple of intriguing matchups.

    It's too bad a limited audience will see them.

    The early lead in the conference race is up for grabs in Troy, Ala. when the Troy plays host to ULM in game matching teams who are unbeaten in conference play.

    And in Fort Lauderdale, the matchup between Middle Tennessee and FAU is sure to be exciting with both teams on a roll offensively.

    So of course the televised Sun Belt Conference Game of the Week is...Western Kentucky at North Texas. That's two teams who haven't won a a conference game and are a combined 1-13. What a nice job by league honchos to showcase what the Sun Belt is all about.

    Please spare me the pablum about the television schedule being made months in advance. Anyone could have seen these teams would be the dregs of the conference last year.

    But at least, thanks to the Sun Belt Network, many around the country will have a chance to see a horror show on Halloween. It will be scary indeed. Set your DVRs for 4:15 p.m.

    Owl Links
  • gave analysis of the first-half of the 2009 season with our mid-term grades and a look at the best and worst of the first six games. Also, beginning at noon, we are allowing non-members to watch this week's edition of The Howard Schnellenberger Show.
  • The Palm Beach Post has another nice player feature, this one on wide receiver Chris Bonner
  • The Sun Sentinel wonders if the Owls' can turnaround this season
  • The Murfreesboro Daily News Journal asks MTSU players from Florida about why they didn't go to FAU.
  • In a sign basketball is around the corner, the Palm Beach Post also examines Mike Jarvis doing things his way in Boca Raton.

    Owl Cal

    12:45 p.m. 3rd annual Pumpkin Drop – Science and Engineering Building
    5-8 p.m. Fall family fun fest and Bonfire
    5 p.m. Hall of Fame Inductions - Forkas Alumni Center

    1 p.m. True Blue BBQ – Lockhart Stadium
    1:30 p.m. Trunk or Treat Halloween tailgate – Lockhart Stadium
    4 p.m. MTSU at FAU football - Lockhart Stadium
  • Are FAU practices becoming the place to be?
    Are Florida Atlantic football practices turning into the place to be seen?

    Last week, when Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder was on campus to shoot a video he made it a point to stop by the Oxley fields and say hello to Owls coach Howard Schnellenberger. On Wednesday it was Eddie Brown's turn to drop by practice.

    Brown and Schnellenberger go way back. He was a wide receiver on the University of Miami team that won the national championship in 1983 and later enjoyed an eight-year NFL career with the Cincinnati Bengals.

    Schnellenberger and Brown still talk frequently, but this was the first time Brown had been on campus since the early days of the program.

    "It's outstanding," Brown said of the facilities. "From what it was where I came from, in Miami, and from when I first came out here, with them in the trailers, it's phenomenal. I'm impressed. I really am."

    On Wednesday Brown brought his son, Sammie, and family friend Michael Rafferty to meet the coach and talk about playing for the Owls.

    Sammie, a 6-foot-2, 255-pound senior defensive tackle at Plantation, is garnering some recruiting interest. Brown thinks that Schnellenberger would be the ideal coach for his son.

    "He did wonders for me and gave me that pro-style atmosphere," Brown said. "He would be my No. 1 choice (to be my son's coach). He definitely offers so much knowledge of the game."

    Like his father, Sammie was also impressed with the Owls.

    "I like the effort out here," said Sammie, who is one of Plantation's captains. "This is new - things I've never seen before... I like the area. This is great."

    Get in the Van: A personal engagament will keep Schnellenberger for appearing on tonight's FAU SportsPage featuring Howard Schnellenberger on ESPN 760 radio. FAU is sending assistant head coach Kurt Van Valkenburgh - and possibly other guests - to appear in Schnellenberger's place.

    Howard Schnellenberger compared Alfred Morris with a Hall of Famer Schnellenberger he once coached. tells you who and why in this video feature. FAUOwlAccess also reports that Schnellenberger said Morris and Willie Rose are "scheduled to play" on Saturday against Middle Tennessee.

    The Palm Beach Post says the Owls are working on the kicking game.

    The Sun-Sentinel features a story on the Owls offensive line.

    3:30 p.m. practice on the Oxley Center practice fields.
    7 p.m. FAU SportsPage featuring Howard Schnellenberger on ESPN Radio 760 - Miller's Ale House
    Now that's how you tailgate, the FAU way
    We spend a great deal of time on football Saturday's walking through the parking lot talking to tailgaters. During the first two home games, one of the most frequent questions asked of us was: Have you seen that trailer over there? What's going on with that?

    For those who haven't seen it, David Matlock's parents built their own kitchen on wheels and covered it in FAU-themed photos and graphics. Every home weekend they tow it from Lake Wales to Fort Lauderdale, set up in the Lockhart parking lot, and cook a post-game meal for players and parents.

    We posted a video tour of the rig on Normally, this is the kind of video we would reserve for our premium customers - if you don't have your Owl Access Pass, what are you waiting for? - but we figured that since the Matlock-Vaughan family is good enough to share with so many, we will make this exception. (In Dallas they went to the closest Jack In The Box, ordered 100 tacos, then brought them to the hotel lobby for all to chow).

    For those who haven't had the opportunity to partake in the goodness, let's just say the food is as impressive as the cooking vessel. For the Louisiana-Monroe game, the highlight was steak sandwiches. After Wyoming, it was kabobs. Tasty, tasty, tasty.

    This week's menu will include the usual fare, with a little swamp funk that - believe it or not- isn't left over from the bayou.

    It seems that David Matlock (white shirt), and teammates Willie Rose (green shirt) and Kevin Wischnefski, spent one of their off days during the bye week hunting gators. They got a couple of big ones, as you can see in the photos, so there will be a little tail on this week's menu.

    Wonder how many ways they will find to cook it....

    Rose still uncertain:
    Speaking of Rose,the fullback was held out of practice on Tuesday after suffering a blow to the head on Saturday against ULL. The video below shows that a Cajun defender's knee hit Rose in the back of the head while the fullback was throwing a block - and a pretty good block at that.

    Rose will be reevaluated later in the week. If he isn't able to play, Xavier Stinson will move up to the starting fullback roll. Rose, though, will likely still be at Lockhart, if for no other reason than to eat his gator.

    OWL LINKS: released the latest Howard Schnellenberger Show for premium members. There is also a story detailing the success of Owls' punter Mickey Groody and the punt coverage team.

    Groody was a popular topic. The Sun-Sentinel and Palm Beach Post also wrote about him.

    The Murfreesboro Daily News-Journal says both schools are accustomed to second half winning streaks.

    OWL CAL:
    Noon: FAU Sports Hour with Brian Rowitz, OwlRadio, Guests include's Marcus Nelson
    2 p.m. FAU football weekly press conference
    3:30 p.m. FAU football practice, Oxley Practice Fields

    Rusty closes in on 10,000

    Like the Dow Jones average, FAU quarterback Rusty Smith is flirting with 10,000. In Smith's case, it's 10,000 passing yards in his career.

    Smith currently is 192 yards short of eclipsing 10,000 yards in his career and should surpass that mark during the Saturday's game. Heck, the way Smith has been playing, he has a shot at getting it in the first half.

    Smith is currently No. 6 on the NCAA list of active leaders in passing yardage with 9,802 yards and hasn't thrown an interception in his last 159 atempts.

    Game balls: FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger gave game balls to the following playres

    Offense: RB Alfred Morris
    Defense: DB Marcus Bartels
    Special Teams: DB Rod Huggins
    Bone Award: TE Jason Harmon

    Owl Links

  • had an early look at Middle Tennessee with 10 things you should know about the Blue Raiders. We also posted our weekly Sun Belt Conference notebook with a look at this week's big ULM-Troy game.

    Today we will post this week's edition of The Howard Schnellenberger Show. We will also have the latest from today's practice with live updates during the workout and a full report when it's over.

  • The Sun-Sentinel looks at the FAU offense's gaudy numbers.
  • The Murfreesboro Daily News Journal says the Blue Raiders are improving on special teams. Well, that makes one of the teams playing on Saturday doing well in the kicking game.

    Owl Cal

    3:30 p.m.
    Football practice, Tom Oxley Practice Fields
  • FAU lays it on the table, still wins

    After I asked FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger about the status of cornerback Tavious Polo for Saturday's game vs. Louisiana-Lafayette, Schnellenberger paused before he said it was possible one of his stars on defense and special teams would miss the game.

    I'm sure he wasn't happy Polo wouldn't be playing and easily could have danced around the issue in case Louisiana-Lafayette coaches were to get wind of Polo's status. Of course, as our readers found out first, Polo didn't make the trip and the Owls played without one of their top defensive players.

    But that's Schnellenberger. Honest - and the kind of coach who isn't into deception and trickery. Alas, it's a dyying breed as most coaches treat their college football practices like state secrets are on display on their practice fields.

    But Schnellenberger? A closed practice? I don't think so.

    Schnellenberger would never hear of it and once said "We invite the other team's coaches to come watch us prepare."

    Which brings us to to the case of the coaches who FAU just played and will play this week.

    Early last week, ULL coach Rickey Bustle said cornerback Dwight Bentley was out for the FAU game after he received a serious ankle injury vs. Western Kentucky.

    Well, it must have been a Bayou Miracle as Bentley not only played but didn't show signs of the ankle injury as he scampered for a defensive PAT vs. the Owls. I'm not sure if there was some gamesmenship there, but to an outsider that sure seemed like a fast recovery from a player who was thought to be out for the game.

    And how about Middle Tennessee coach Rick Stockstill closing practice last week for the Blue Raiders' big game against...winless Western Kentucky?

    Hey, keeping the spies out must have worked as the Blue Raiders narrowly defeated the worst team in the Sun Belt 62-24. If practice was open, no doubt Middle Tennessee would have only scored in the 50s.

    Those two examples are just a reason you have to admire Schnellenberger's attitude of not caring if the opponent knows what's coming, because they still have to stop you.

    An old-school philosophy that is quite refreshing.

    Here are the links to coverage of Saturday's 51-29 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette:

  • Go to FAU for our game story, video highlights of the game, a post-game notebook featuring the big game by WR Chris Bonner, and we also have posted a video breaking down the Owls' 94-yard drive that chewed up almost 10 minutes off the clock in the fourth quarter.

  • The Palm Beach Post: Game story / Notebook
  • Sun-Sentinel: Game story
  • Lafayette Daily-Advertiser: Game story / Notebook
  • Late drive key for FAU
    Florida Atlantic coach Howard Schnellenberger was in an exceptionally good mood following the Owls' victory over Louisiana-Lafayette. He sat in the media room for about a half hour while waiting for the equipment to load. It's amazing what scoring 51 points will do for a team's psyche.

    The Owls' offense was clicking all night, but oddly enough, their most impressive drive only netted a field goal.

    Backed up to their 2-yard line early in the fourth quarter, the Owls embarked on a 94-yard drive that consumed more than nine minutes. They did it mostly on the ground, pounding the ball with Alfred Morris and Xavier Stinson.

    FAU even overcame a couple of penalties, something it hadn't been able to do in past games. In a couple of months, players and coaches may look back at the 17-play possession as the defining drive of the season. will have a video notebook on the drive, complete with player and coach comments, posted on Sunday afternoon.

    We are on the plane now, about to take off. During the flight I'll be cutting the highlight package. Those of you reading this on Saturday night will have something to enjoy with your morning coffee.

    Night Owls - especially those heading to the Mug or Porterhouse - may just have some entertainment when they get home.

    Tray tables locked. Seatbelt fastened. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight.

    - Chuck
    FAU should be wary of Ragin' Cajuns

    LAFAYETTE, La. - The good folks here in the Acadiana region have long memories and Louisiana-Lafayette fans certainly remember FAU coming into their house twice and leaving with a victory each time.

    Let's add to the storylines that today is homecoming at ULL - the second consecutive week that the Owls are playing a team on its homecoming. Also this week, the Daily Advertiser called out the fans for not showing up for games.

    And did I mention that Cajun Field now sells beer?

    Mix it at all up like a gumbo and there will be a vocal crowd at Cajun Field today. Not that the Owls are intimidated easily, but FAU should be ready for some fired up Cajuns.

    Owl Links
  • has the most comprehensive coverage of today's game available anywhere. Check out our game preview, our video breaking down the game and the our blog that broke the news that CB Tavious Polo did not make the trip. You can also see our predictions and then post yours or any other any thoughts you have in our message boards. Follow all the action until the final gun with updates all day on

  • The Palm Beach Post says it's time for the Owls' young defense to grow up.
  • The Sun-Sentinel takes a look at the game in a capsule
  • The Lafayette Daily Advertiser says FAU isn't the only team looking to start a winning streak.

    Owl Cal
    5 p.m.
    FAU at Louisiana-Lafayette, Lafayette, La.
  • CB Polo won't play vs. ULL
    LAFAYETTE, La. - On Thursday, members learned that junior cornerback Tavious Polo may miss Saturday's game against Louisiana-Lafayette.

    Well, it's official - Polo did not make the trip and won't play vs. the Ragin' Cajuns due to his thigh contusion.

    Look for senior Erick McIntosh and sophomore Darian Thomas to split time in Polo's spot.

    However, another area where Polo will be missed is special teams. Polo was the Owls' leading punt returner and, after Avionne Rolle left the team last week, Polo stepped in to return kickoffs vs. North Texas.

    That means the Owls have lost their leading punt returner and two kickoff returners in the span of a week.

    WR Avery Holley or WR Lester Jean are the top candidates to return punts while FB Xavier Stinson and Holley or Jean may return kicks. Also, FAU is considering TE Jason Harmon to return kickoffs and punts.

    Should be interesting.
    FAU RB Rolle not expected back
    Just enough time for a quick blog before heading to the Acadiana region of Louisiana.

    On the FAU SportsPage radio show on Thursday, Howard Schnellenberger made it official when he said he didn't expect running back Avionne Rolle will return to the team. That's too bad and really cuts down on the depth at running back. You can get all the details in this story we wrote Thursday, but for the game vs. ULL it looks to me like there is essentially no backup for Alfred Morris.

    Speaking of the radio show, there was a packed house last night at Bru's Room in Delray Beach, but most of the fans there were watching the Yankees game, the FSU game or attending Jazz on The Avenue. Of course Howard Schnellenberger and two cheerleaders were there representing the university and creating some excitement for the Owls, but an opportunity was missed to gain new supporters at a place that was packed with sports fans. Owl fans need to attend these events, because the lack of FAU people last night at an event Howard was the guest of honor was embarrassing for the university.

    We'll be dining at Prejean's this evening, some of the best cajun food around, so I'm skipping lunch.

    Owl Links
  • reports on a defensive starter Schnellenberger said may not be able to play in Saturday's game vs. the Ragin' Cajuns. Also check out this video on what enabled Rusty Smith to run for a 17-yard TD - the Owls' offensive line.

  • The Palm Beach Post notes FAU's improving offense

  • The Sun Sentinel looks at FAU's defense and its quest for early stops

  • The Lafayette Daily Advertiser looks at FAU's chances for a second-half surge

    Owl Cal
    5 p.m.
    FAU at ULL, Lafayette, La.
  • FAU will keep stadium use in check
    FAU's stadium effort appears to have cleared a major hurdle.

    Sure there is that pesky detail about securing funding, but don't minimize the effort FAU took to reach an agreement with the city of Boca Raton to get the fine folks at City Hall to agree to the project.

    You may remember several years back FAU agreed, at the city's strong-armed request, to not build a stadium until an exit off I-95 at Spanish River was coming. With that not happening anytime soon, FAU needed to uh, renegotiate. And fast.

    What FAU came up with was a plan that would limit the number of events it will hold at the proposed stadium.

    Here is the item in the agenda for the meeting held Wednesday:

    "The BOT and City agree that the design and construction of the Stadium will consist of a maximum 30,000 seat stadium that may be built in two phases. It is agreed that the Stadium will hold no more than a total of fifteen (15) scheduled events per year, including: (i) a maximum of six FAU football games on campus, of which only one will be a weekday (Monday – Thursday) game, (ii) a maximum of eight (8) Friday night events, which may include but are not limited to high school football games, and (iii) one special event per year; provided, however that nothing herein shall limit or impact the number of events held in the Stadium that are primarily attended by or intended for FAU faculty, staff, students and family. The BOT and City agree that upon execution of the CDA, the City and BOT will enter into an Interlocal Agreement to address traffic management, law enforcement, and Fire-Rescue operational impacts associated with events scheduled in the Stadium."

    I can't see a scenario anytime soon where FAU would have more than six home football games, and it's unlikely TV would dictate more than one weeknight game. Also, it's assumed that a possible bowl game FAU officials have been talking about would fit into the "special event" category.

    That said, it looks like a sound agreement, but I wanted to ask FAU Athletic Director Craig Angelos about the deal with the city.

    "We're not sure what we are going to have in there, but whatever it takes to get the stadium going," Angelos said. "We've got the ability to have one midweek game there and with approximately 15 events, I think that's enough. To be honest, I'm not sure how many events are out there. I think that's a good plan and we'll just work going forward."

    This doesn't mean the stadium is finally on the way, but it's good to know City Hall (finally) is on board with something that will do nothing but benefit Boca Raton.

    Late Linkage...

  • caught up with Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder, who was at FAU filming a commercial for his mother's football clinic. Also, check out our story on the Owls' offense putting it together with game on the line.

  • The Palm Beach Post had a nice story on linebacker Michael Lockley. Great story by Tom D'Angelo, but as they say a picture is worth a thousand words and they have a great shot of Lockley dunking a ball over the goal post.

  • The Sun-Sentinel looks at WR Chris Bonner, who had a career-high 134 yards receiving vs. North Texas

  • The Lafayette Daily Advertiser asks Acadiana 'where are the fans?' and also tells us about RB Yobes Walker, who will be starting vs. FAU

    Owl Cal
    3:30 p.m.
    FAU football practice, Tom Oxley Practice Fields (Twitter updates @FAUOwlAccess)
    7 p.m. FAU SportsPage from Bru's Room, Delray Beach on ESPN 760
  • FAU could land another TV game
    FAU fans will be in the dark this weekend when the Owls play at Louisiana-Lafayette because there is no TV broadcast.

    I've been told that the Twitter updates on are the same as watching the game on TV, but some just need to see the game live.

    But there could be some good news on the horizon. If all goes well, this could be the last road game of the season not televised.

    The folks at OwlTV, the on-campus TV station, is feverishly working on plans to get have the FAU-UAB game shown somehow, someway.

    The details are stil being worked out, but it obviosly would be a great thing for Owl fans if they can pull this off.

    FAU's other two remaining road games at Troy and at FIU are already slated to be televised by the Sun Belt Network and shown on CSS here in Palm Beach County.

    OwlTV does a great job and not just on televising games. Check out our report of them helping Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder out with a commercial for mis mom's football clinics on Tuesday.

    Owl Links

  • Of course posted The Howard Schnellenberger Show and also took at look at the FAU defense's stand late in the game vs. the Mean Green

  • The Palm Beach Post had notes from Tuesday's practice

  • The Sun-Sentinel looks at the running of Alfred Morris

    Owl Cal
    Noon FAU Sports Hour with Brian Rowitz, OwlRadio, Guests include ULL coach Rickey Bustle, The FAU offensive line and's Marcus Nelson
    2 p.m. FAU football weekly press conference
    3:30 p.m. FAU football practice, Oxley Practice Fields
  • Harmon inspiring another FAU tight end
    Today at noon we will post the latest installment of The Howard Schnellenberger Show on Man, it was nice to do a show after a win. There was much more energy - more life.

    Needless to say we spent a lot of time discussing the Owls' victory over North Texas. We also did a video feature on redshirt sophomore tight end Darian Williams. The video clip to the left was originally going to be part of that piece, but didn't make it through the editing process (damn those pesky high standards).

    Thought this clip was a little too interesting to die, so it's posted here. Enjoy.

    Awards day: To the winners go the spoils. Following the Owls' first victory Howard Schnellenberger handed out the team awards. Kevin Miller earned the offensive game ball. Ed Bradwell took the defensive honor. Austin Jensen nabbed the special teams ball and Marcus Bartels can chew on the Bone Award.

    Taking the World Serious: Sure, it's football season at the Oxley and basketball is beginning at the Burrow, but those hankering for a little fall college baseball can kinda have their day at the ballpark, too.

    FAU is hosting the Ontario Blue Jays, a Canadian high school all-star team, on Wednesday at 5 p.m. Should offer an interesting preview of the 2010 Owls.

    Middle of the road: Women's basketball has been picked to finish fourth in the Sun Belt's East Division in the pre-season coaches' poll. Brittany Bowe was pre-season third team all-conference.

    Owl Links:

    Owl Cal:

    Today at noon: The Howard Schnellenberger Show on
    Today at 3:30: Practice on the Oxley Center fields.
    Oct. 24 at 5 p.m.: FAU at Louisiana-Lafayette

    FAU turns page on North Texas

    BOCA RATON - There were plenty of smiles at FAU's practice on Sunday as the team went through its light Sunday practice.

    Actually light is not the right word - there was hardly any light when the practice was over as the Toilet Bowl ended long after the sun went down.

    It's amazing what winning can do as everyone was in a good mood. But beating a woeful North Texas team isn't cause to celebrate and the Owls have to turn the page quickly to get ready for Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday, where it's homecoming in case playing in front of the Ragin' Cajun fans wasn't going to be difficult enough.

    Today's links:
  • was the only media outlet at Sunday's practice and members can see our report with coverage of the Toilet Bowl. Also we finished our "day-after" package for the UNT game and all of our game coverage can be found here.
  • The Sun-Sentinel has a capsule setting up this week
  • The Lafayette Daily Advertiser's Joshua Parrott breaks down ULL's victory vs. Western Kentucky

    11:30 a.m. Sun Belt Conference coaches teleconference
    FAU players have today off
  • FAU victory worth the weight
    DENTON, Texas - FAU players are going to be rewarded for earning their first victory of the season, FAU coach Howard Schnellenmberger said.

    After defeating North Texas 44-40 on Saturday night at Fouts Field, Schnellenberger cancelled the usual Sunday weight-lifting sessions even though the team will go through corrections and there will be a Toilet Bowl.

    It sounds like it's Schnellenberger's way of saying "nice job, but there is plenty of work to be done."

    The players were happy - and rightfully so - after defeating the Mean Green.

    However there were plenty of shortcomings on offense and defense that need to be addressed. And you don't do that by taking the day off.

    Here's the links to the game coverage:
  • and a companion video of the highlights
  • The Palm Beach Post and Notebook
  • Sun-Sentinel and notebook
  • Denton Record-Chronicle

    TBA, Practice, Tom Oxley Practice Fields
  • Stretch run starts early for FAU

    IRVING, Texas - After spending an interesting night in the West End section of Dallas (Off Topic, but Shiner Bock is one damn good beer) and listening to "Texas Sucks" and "Oklahoma Sucks" for hours on end, it's time to turn attention to the other big game in this area.

    When FAU faces North Texas, the Owls are really starting their second season. OK, I think everyone said that when FAU began the Sun Belt portion of its schedule.

    But this time I mean it. The bye weeks are over and for the next eight weeks, the Owls will be playing elimination games (except for one remaining non-conference game at UAB).

    Even if the Owls win out, a bowl berth isn't guaranteed, but with the next SBC loss, FAU will pretty much be eliminated from winning the Sun Belt.

    Here are some things I'll be watching tonight:
  • Should the game be close - a distinct possibility - will the Owls be able to put together drives late in the game without committing penalties?

  • With RB Avionne Rolle not making the trip, how much of a breather can the Owls give Alfred Morris? Morris' backup Michael Barasch hasn't carried the ball in a college game.

  • North Texas isn't your normal spread team. They like to run the ball plenty and FAU's defensive line and linebackers had better be prepared for a physical game - I think they will be.

    After lunch at Sonny Bryan's, we'll have our predictions up and will be starting our GameDay coverage when we arrive at Fouts Field around 5 p.m.

    Owl Links
  • At we posted our game preview and also had our own Midnight Madness with this video previewing the basketball team opening up its training camp.

  • The Palm Beach Post previews the game

  • The Sun-Sentinel says the Owls need to turn things around.

  • The Denton Record-Chronicle looks at the Mean Green's losing streaks.

    Owl Cal
    8 p.m. FAU at North Texas, Denton, Texas (CSS)
  • FAU heading to Big D (Denton)

    It will be a short Owl Things Considered this Friday as we get ready for Saturday's game and head to Dallas embedded on the team plane.

    Just saw where ESPN GameDay will be on hand for the Big Game in Big D. That's the Texas-Oklahoma game in Dallas, not the FAU-North Texas game in Denton.

    Oh well, it should be a good weekend and I've already mapped out directions to legendary Dallas BBQ joint Sonny Bryan's - one of the best BBQ restaurants in the country.

    Check back later for our preview of the UNT-FAU game along with the key matchups.

    Also later today since there is no Midnight Madness at FAU like many other places in the country, we'll have our own here with a video preview of the FAU pre-season basketball training camp. You won't want to miss it.

    Owl Links:

  • On we were the only ones to report on RB Avionne Rolle, the Owls' leading kickoff returner, missing practice and that he will not play at North Texas. We also have a video previewing the game against the Mean Green available to our members.

  • The Palm Beach Post remembers Darian Thomas' defensive extra point vs. North Texas last season

  • The Sun-Sentinel says it's time for the FAU defense to make a stand

  • The Denton Record-Chronicle looks at UNT running back Lance Dunbar

    Owl Cal
    1 p.m. Team flight to Dallas
  • FAU has always been mean to Mean Green

    Former FAU quarterback and current Owls GA Jared Allen stopped by the media room at the Oxley Center on Wednesday.

    OK, Allen wasn't in there just to shoot the breeze with reporters. The media room at the Oxley is also the copy room.

    Whatever the reason is was great to talk with Allen who was the quarterback when FAU started its current five-game winning streak against the Mean Green.

    Few remember that in 2004, North Texas was the dominant team in the Sun Belt, winners of the first four conference titles. The big talk back then was can anybody beat the Mean Green, who were 25-1 in Sun Belt games.

    So here comes FAU, which did a Texas waltz into Fouts Field in 2004 to do just that - and North Texas hasn't been the same since. Remember at the time, FAU was just transitioning into I-A and the was playing some Sun Belt teams as a "scheduling partner." That night, I'd say FAU passes the initiation.

    Here's the AP story from that night:

    DENTON, Texas (AP) - Doug Parker plunged into the end zone from a yard out with 29 seconds left to give Florida Atlantic a 20-13 win over North Texas on Saturday night.

    The Owls (2-0), the fourth-year program coached by Howard Schnellenberger, got the winning points on their last offensive play for the second straight week. They shocked Hawaii 35-28 in their opener.

    North Texas (0-2) had one more drive, but Scott Hall's last three long passes were knocked down to end the game.

    Parker ran for 126 yards on 27 carries, including another 1-yard TD in the first quarter. Mark Myers kicked two field goals (42 and 19 yards) and Jared Allen completed 18 of 25 passes for 245 yards.

    Patrick Cobbs, the nation's leading rusher last season, left midway through the third quarter with what North Texas officials said was a sprained left knee. The injury will be evaluated Monday.

    Held to 1 yard on eight carries in the season-opening 65-0 loss at No. 7 Texas, Cobbs had 57 yards on 20 carries before getting hurt.

    Myers' 19-yard field goal on the first play of the fourth quarter gave Florida Atlantic a 13-3 lead.

    North Texas got to 13-10 when Cobbs' replacement, Kevin Moore, scored on a 1-yard run on fourth down with 7:12 left. Moore was stopped for no gain the previous two plays.

    The Mean Green, set up at the 47 when Derek Mendoza recovered a fumble, tied the game on Nick Bazaldua's 31-yard field goal with 1:25 left.

    Bazaldua had a 45-yard kick on the opening drive of the second half blocked by Willie Hughley.

    Florida Atlantic joins the Sun Belt Conference next season. The Mean Green have won the league's last three titles.

    Notice the mention of running back Patrick Cobbs. Yes, it's the same Patrick Cobbs of the Dolphins who received a torn ACL vs. the Jets on Monday that will cost him this season.

    Thanks to our new members: I have to say thank you to our new members who signed up just hours after we announced we were now providing members with an Owl Access Pass. I didn't know what the response would be, but it's good to see serious FAU fans step up right away. It looks like the naysayers will be proven wrong again and that FAU has enough serious fans to support a site like ours.

    Thanks again!

    Owl links:
  • At we had a look at the North Texas improving defense and a practice report from Wednesday's workout. Check back later today for a video preview of the FAU-North Texas game and a report from Thursday's practice.
  • The Palm Beach Post has a nice feature on DB Marcus Bartels, the younger brother of former Owls DB Kris Bartels.
  • Staying with the family theme, the Sun-Sentinel examines UNT quarterback Riley Dodge and his relationship with his father, Todd Dodge, the Mean Green coach.
  • The Denton Record Chronicle looks at why the Mean Green have 15 turnovers(!) this season.


    3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. FAU football practice, FAU Track and Field Complex
    7 p.m. FAU SportsPage radio show, Bru's Room Delray Beach
  • FAU Owl Access Pass to take members inside the huddle

    FAU didn't play last week, so that means there was nothing going on at the Oxley Center, right? FAUOwlAccess readers know otherwise.

    Between the defense's players-only meeting and Jervonte Jackson's signing with Detroit, things were happening so quickly that it almost didn't register when Chuck King told me that FAU tight end Jamari Grant, who earlier was said to be out for a month or more, could be ready to play by Saturday's game at North Texas.

    I remember thinking that us following Grant's situation was similar to the round-the-clock fascination with Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and the "will he play?" media coverage leading up to Saturday's game at LSU after his concussion.

    I guess that's when I had one of those "light turned on" moments.

    Indeed, to Grant, Rusty Smith and Michael Lockley - or any FAU player for that matter - are just as important to us and FAU fans as Tebow is to Gator Nation, so yes, we should give FAU players the "Tebow-treatment."

    Forgive me for the self-indulgence, but we are proud of what we have done here at since our January launch. All the positive response we've received has assured us FAU fans want to know what's going on with their program.

    In the next few days you'll notice that some stories and features will only be available only to paying members.

    So, why should you pay for content on when you can get it other places for free?

    That's just it: You can't get the in-depth stories, the up-to-the-minute breaking news and video features, including the Howard Schnellenberger Show, anywhere else.

    Some of you pay for a print edition of a newspaper. You pay for cable TV. This is no different. None of which provide more than a cursory look at FAU. At, we're on campus every day the Owls are, bringing news that other sources simply don't have the space to cover. Or the desire.

    And this type of coverage doesn't end when the football season does. Compare last season's basketball, women's basketball and baseball coverage on our site with any other outlet. I'd bet we produced more stories than the others combined.

    For true fans, the quality and volume of coverage we provide is worth the price - a month of breaking news, videos, features and Howard Schnellenberger Shows is about the same as one trip to Starbucks or McDonald's.

    UF fans support at least five pay content sites. Miami and FSU fans pay for just as many. In fact fans support pay sites at nearly every Division I school in the nation. As FAU rapidly grows into one of the largest athletic programs in the country, we believe that as the fan base continues to grow, FAU fans will need – in fact, crave - a site like

    I hope we aren't proven wrong and we can keep bringing you the news, features and video for years to come.

    For more information on joining the FAUOwlAccess community and for a special offer, click here and you can always email me with questions or comments at

    Owl links
  • At, we posted The Howard Schnellenberger Show and also had an update on running back Jeff Blanchard.
  • The Palm Beach Post reports on another round of the flu at the Oxley Center
  • The Sun-Sentinel looks at the North Texas resurgent running attack
  • The Denton Record Chronicle says the Mean Green is looking for a home victory
  • Switching to hoops, check out this by's Andy Katz on FAU hoops coach Mike Jarvis

    Today's Owl Cal
    Noon FAU Sports Hour on Owl Radio
    2 p.m. FAU football weekly press conference, Tom Oxley Center
    3:30-6 p.m. FAU football practice, Tom Oxley Practice Fields (Twitter updates on

  • FAU strikes the pose
    This hasn't exactly been picture-perfect start to the season for FAU - at least until Saturday that is.

    The Owls took their team photo before Saturday's practice. On this page you'll see some random shots of the event. Getting everyone associated with the Owls football program together for one shot was no easy task.

    With coach Howard Schnellenberger supervising, the mostly younger Owls pulled together two bleachers for everyone to sit on and even that wasn't enough. Members of the staff had to scrunch in on the sides.

    The next shot was of the travel squad, which will contain faces most Owl fans will recognize. They ended by breaking up into units. The bottom shot features the defensive tackles, along with coach Rod Payne, mugging for the camera.

    The event went relatively smoothly, taking a little over an hour. Less than 30 minutes later, the Owls were on the practice field getting ready for this weekend's tilt at North Texas.

    How big a win: During this week's Howard Schnellenberger Show, which will be upon the main site at noon, we profiled Miami's 1979 win at Penn State. When we first started compiling the list, I wasn't sure this game belonged. Had we left it out, I would have been wrong.

    Schnellenberger considers it to be the "pivotal" game in Miami's development. He also has an interesting reason for wanting to face Penn St. coach Joe Paterno again - but you'll have to watch the show to hear it.

    Action Jackson: Congrats to Jervonte Jackson who, as expected, signed with the Detroit Lions practice squad on Monday. If there is a team where a player can showcase his talent and potentially make a quick rise up the depth chart, it would be Detroit.

    Owl Links
    Owl Cal
    Practice 3:30 p.m. Live Twitter updates on

    Another toilet bowl on tap when FAU plays North Texas

    Each Sunday, FAU players who didn't play a significant amount of time in the previous game go at it in a scrimmage affectionately dubbed the "Toilet Bowl."

    The Sun Belt Conference has its own Toilet Bowl this weekend when FAU and North Texas face each other with a combined record of 1-8.

    Actually this game may be more appealing than last week's game between FIU and Western Kentucky, where both teams were looking for their first victory of the season. Congrats to FIU for the 37-20 win. That must have been some party on Calle Ocho on Saturday.

    It wasn't that long ago when North Texas facing FAU would have been the marquee game on the schedule, but this Saturday, the Mean Green and the Owls will simply be battling to stay out of the Sun Belt basement.

    The winner will avoid being winless in Sun Belt play, while the loser is in deep trouble.

    Hey, with so much on the line maybe this game will be interesting after all.
    FAU feeling many different sources of heat.

    The heat had been on at FAU practices this week - and it wasn't all coming from the record South Florida heat.

    Florida Atlantic coach Howard Schnellenberger turned up the broiler during the past three practices, focusing much of the flame on the defense. The above video shows Schnellenberger getting after the defensive line.

    He walked over to the defensive ends and made them stop what they were doing, instead having them run through the punishing Circle Drill. You can hear Schnellenberger's voice in the background for much of the video and sound of the hitting is evident.

    In response to the 0-4 start, Schnellenberger has been pushing physical play all week. That may change a bit on Saturday. The Owls are slated to begin preparations for North Texas.

    The League is watching: FAU's practice fields and tape rooms were inundated by NFL scouts this week. Cleveland, Seattle and Philadelphia were represented on Friday. In all, 19 teams visited the Oxley Center in the past few days. The reason for the uptick may not be what FAU fans want to hear.

    Seems the University of Miami held open workouts this week. Most scouts figured that since they were in the area anyway, may as well stop by Boca Raton.

    Hey, it doesn't matter how a player gets noticed, all that matters is getting noticed.

    Owl Cal:
    Oct. 17 - FAU at North Texas

    FAU coach Schnellenberger says Bowden deserves better
    Florida Atlantic coach Howard Schnellenberger thinks fellow septuagenarian head coach Bobby Bowden is getting a raw deal from Florida State.

    "He deserves a whole lot better than what he is getting up there," Schnellenberger said during the FAU Sportspage with Howard Schnellenberger radio show Thursday night on ESPN Radio 760. "He's been a devoted servant. He has worked as hard as anybody could possibly have worked. His family has had to take second fiddle to the football team, to his job. There should have been a completely different way of handling it than the way it was handled."

    The soon-to-be 80-year-old Bowden, who is in his 35th year at the helm of the Seminoles, has some under criticism from FSU fans and boosters after a 2-3 start to the season which featured a losses to in-state rivals Miami and South Florida.

    Bowden, however, is the second-winningest coach in the history of NCAA football. He built the program from an also-ran into a two-time national champion. After a couple of sub-par (compared to the 1990s) seasons, FSU named offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher its head coach in waiting. Fisher is slated to take over the job no later than 2011 - which is a deal Bowden agreed to.

    Schnellenberger believes FSU created it's own monster when it chose, "to have an exit strategy for the greatest coach that may have ever been in this state at the college level."

    At 75, Schnellenberger is the third-oldest active coach, trailing Bowden and Penn State's Joe Paterno. Schnellenberger thinks it will likely be Bowden who emerges from the situation looking the best.

    "I know Bobby is going to handle this well," Schnellenberger said. "He will be a gentleman. He will be a statesman coach. And he will come out of it on top."

    Owl links:

    Defensive tackle Jarvis Givens talked with the media for the first time since his injury against Wyoming. has the story.

    The Palm Beach Post and Sun-Sentinel also focused on Givens.

    Owl cal:
    FSU travels to North Texas for an 8 p.m. kickoff on Oct. 17.
    Don't worry FAU fans, changes on the Schnellenberger Show aren't permanent

    Those of you who have watched this week's edition of the Howard Schnellenberger Show noticed a bit of a difference. Marcus Nelson was called away on Sunday, so I hosted the show.

    Reviews have been mixed. People either thought I did a great job (my mom rules!), or thought I really should have cut my hair first (OK, that was mom, too).

    In any event, you can see the show on the main site now, and hopefully it is just as informative and entertaining as you've come to expect.

    The real reason for this post, though, is to offer a sincere thank you to Katrina McCormick for ruining her Sunday to make sure this week's version of the show exists at all. Way above and beyond the call of duty, Katrina. Very much appreciated.

    Dino rocks: A couple of viewers have asked if Dino Cox really is any good at Guitar Hero. He appears to be. Cox was featured playing the game as part of a story that aired in the Howard Schnellenberger Show. At the top of this page there are some clips of him playing Ozzy Osbourne's Mr. Crowley that didn't make the original package, so you can further judge for yourself.

    One interesting non-football related realization I took from producing that story is that that video game is bringing the music I grew up with and still enjoy to a whole new audience. Cox said he never listened to Ozzy or the hair bands whose music is featured in the game before becoming a Guitar Hero. Now he is a closet metal head. Maybe there is hope for the younger generation...

    Owl links:
    Owl Cal:
    Oct. 17, 8 p.m.: FAU at North Texas

    FAU hoops will start without Davis

    With Florida Atlantic's football team off to an 0-4 start, some fans may be ready for basketball season to start today.

    Well, it's actually a few weeks until the first game, but the Owls will begin their normal practice schedule next week - a sure sign the season is just around the corner.

    We'll have some basketball coverage we think you'll like coming soon, but there is some news before training camp begins.

    FAU will begin the season without the services of center Justin Davis, who likely would have been starting at center for the Owls, due to a blood clot.

    Owls coach Mike Jarvis said he hopes Davis will be able to return by the beginning of conference play, but his loss is a big one.

    "He may not be able to play for a couple of months, but he will play ," Jarvis said. "He was in the hospital for a while, but he's fine now and will be back soon."

    The 6-foot-10, 250-pound Davis was a transfer from Mercer and had to sit out last season due to NCAA transfer rules, but would have been eligible to play this season as a sophomore.

    After Chris Wastson's knee injury in the off-season, the Owls will be starting the season down two players.
    FAU's loss to Wyoming still puzzling

    With no game this week, FAU's 30-28 loss to Wyoming has a bit longer shelf life than usual.

    And perhaps it should, because it really is one of the most puzzling losses I've seen in a long time - at least since last week.

    Sitting through blowouts at the hands of some of college football's traditional is nothing compared to watching the Owls not be able to match up with the ULM's and the Wyoming's of the world.

    With the game on the line with his team trailing it was Wyoming true freshman quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels who led his team to the go-ahead touchdown. A few moments later, it was FAU's offense, led by fifth-year senior quarterback Rusty Smith, which looked like it had never been in the situation before.

    Also I expected to see a team wilt and cramp up in the Florida heat and humidity. I just didn't expect to see that from the home team. The Cowboys looked fresher in the fourth quarter but when the Owls reached deep for something that would get them through the game's final stages, they came up empty-handed.
    On offense, defense and in the kicking game FAU is simply not a good team
    Time to face the facts. FAU is not a very good team right now. Sure, the Owls have some good players. Rusty Smith has the talent to play at the next level. Jason Harmon has the potential to do something amazing every time he catches the ball. Alfred Morris runs hard. Marcus Bartels could be part of a missile defense system.

    But as a team, these guys don't function well together. You can't really point to one aspect of their performance as being the reason they are losing. Smith hasn't played as well as most would have hoped, but he's done enough in the last two games that the Owls could have won.

    The defense is playing better - except when it really counts. The special teams? Well, at least they managed to stay onside against Wyoming.

    The Owls were overmatched against Nebraska and South Carolina. Against Louisiana-Monroe and Wyoming, they simply beat themselves. When was the last time a team got flagged for intentional grounding on a screen pass - let alone doing it on consecutive weeks?

    Heck, on Saturday they couldn't even line up onside.

    This bye week is coming at the right time. Individually, the talent is there to turn the season around. But if the Owls are going to get out of this hole they've dug, they need to improve every aspect of their play.

    And that's not just their play once the ball is snapped. It includes what goes on inside their helmets, too.

    Owl Links:

    Owl Cal:
    FAU travels to North Texas on Oct. 17

    FAU may battle field conditions, too

    Here's a quick morning briefing before we load up the mobile unit for the trek down to Lockhart Stadium.

  • Can't wait to see the field conditions after there were not one, but two high school games at Lockhart Stadium on Friday. Many saw St. Thomas Aquinas play Byrnes (S.C.) on TV, but that was the second game game of a doubleheader after Deerfield Beach played St. Cloud at 4 p.m.

  • Who did I see at last night's high school football game between Pope John Paul and Village Academy? Fresh off his appearance at No. 9 on our list on the top 100 FAU players was former Owls running back Doug Parker, who said he will be a volunteer assistant coach for Village Academy.

  • Are you ready for some futbal? At 7 p.m. FAU will play host to Akron, the No. 1 college soccer team in the nation. I can't think of any other No. 1 team in any sport who has played at FAU.

    Owl links:
  • previews today's game
  • The Palm Beach Post takes a look at the first 100 games at FAU, complete with a photo gallery and the game story from the first game. I wonder what ever happened to the guy that wrote it.
  • Sun-Sentinel: FAU out to snap losing skid / At a glance / Scouting the Cowboys
  • Casper Star-Tribune: Gipson brothers star for Cowboys / Owls have trouble finishing / Tale of the tape / Keys to the game
  • Wyoming Tribune Eagle: Schnellenberger develops quarterbacks
  • Laramie Daily Boomerang: Wyoming has been in this situation before / Notes

    Owl Cal
    4 p.m.
    Wyoming at FAU, Lockhart Stadium (updates of all the action on
  • Choosing best 100 FAU players was a blast

    To celebrate the 100th game in school history, we did our best to select the top 100 FAU players in the program's history so far.

    We chose Rusty Smith as our top player as he led the Owls to two bowl victories owns nearly every passing record already with most of his senior season still left.

    While we believe Smith is the top player, really LB Chris Laskowski, QB Jared Allen and LB Frantz Joseph are all pretty close when it comes to talent and impact on the program.

    If you agree or disagree with our selections, let us know in the message boards. Just talking with people this week about the list has stirred lots of memories of what has transpired since Sept. 1, 2001.

    May the next 100 games be just as memorable.

    This morning's links
  • Gent's return helps passing game, the Palm Beach Post writes
  • Harmon back in a big way, according to the Sun-Sentinel
  • FAU's offense in examined by the Casper Star-Tribune

    Owl Cal
    4 p.m.
    FAU vs. Wyoming
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