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Posts from October 2010

Sunday's Daily Briefing: Schnellenberger shares special moment with students

FORT LAUDERDALE - These few weeks haven't been easy around the Oxley Center, which probably made Saturday's victory over FIU a little sweeter.

FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger took a little extra time to savor the win. He was one of the last people to leave the field at Lockhart Stadium following the Owls' 21-9 win. The video shows Schnellenberger stopping on the way to the locker room to thank the students for their support. The students responded with unadulterated support for their coach.

As he walked to the locker room, the students serenaded Schnellenberger with chants of “We Love Howard.”

This season hasn't gone anywhere near the way Schnellenberger would have liked. In some ways, he's a victim of his success. He spoiled Owl fans with a couple of early bowl victories. Now the Owls have hit a tough spot and some of the very fans who basked in the glow of those bowl games have turned on him – calling for Schnellenberger to be fired.

Shame on those fans. And congratulations to the student body for having the good sense to embrace the coach who made all this happen.

Schnellenberger has developed a unique bond with the FAU student body. You usually hear about young coaches being able to relate to the players and students. Schnellenberger probably had that skill 50 years ago and he certainly hasn't lost it.

At other universities it wouldn't matter how much the student body likes a coach. In big time college football it's the boosters who control the fate of coaches. That's not the case at FAU, however, where Schnellenberger has built the program largely without the help of the athletic program securing big-dollar boosters.

In fact, after donating $1 million to the stadium fund the biggest booster over the last couple of years has probably been the student body itself.

It was only right to see the students and Schnellenberger celebrating together. Those two pillars  provide the stability of the FAU football program

> Owl Links:  Articles of interest to FAU fans.

We know you wanted the most complete coverage of the Shula Bowl, so on our coverage included video and photos to go along with our recap and analysis. See it all here.

Other linkage:

Here's are some other game stories: Palm Beach Post / Sun-Sentinel / Miami Herald

FAU continues Shula Bowl dominance with 21-9 victory over FIU

They can change the location of the Shula Bowl and they can even change the time of season the game is played.

The result is still the same. FAU owns FIU and as a result owns the Shula Trophy for another season.
It’s high time we retire the rivalry talk when it comes to the Owls and the Golden Panthers.
What has FIU done to warrant being FAU’s rival?
The Owls own a slight 8-1 series lead vs. FIU and the lone FIU victory was wiped out due to NCAA sanctions.
This is some serious domination we are talking here – and it continues for at least another year.
Saturday’s Daily Briefing: Shula Trophy belongs at FAU's Oxley Center

I admit I was a slow convert to grasping the “Shula Bowl” and the winner of the game getting the Don Shula Trophy.

It started the first time the school’s played each other in 2002 and because FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger coached under Don Shula and then-FIU coach Don Strock played under Shula.
I thought it was too contrived, since it was created essentially the week before the game.
But over time, I have gotten used to it. Maybe because I see that trophy in the Oxley Center Founder’s Lounge a few times a week. Heck, during football season I see it more than I see my family.
And, I have to say, it’s a cool trophy with half of an FAU helmet on one side and half of an FIU helmet on the other. But for every year but one, it’s the FAU side everyone has seen as it sits against a wall. I literally think there is a slight difference in the brightness of the wood because the Golden Panthers side of the trophy spends so much time shoved up against a wall.
Today might be the day the sun-bleached wood on the FAU side gets a break and will be shoved up against a wall at the FIU football building. We’ll have to wait and see, but one thing is for sure. The prospects of possibly losing the trophy had made FAU coaches, players want to keep in its usual home more than what I have seen in the past.
I wonder if the prospects of losing the trophy will fire up the Owls enough to win the game?
> Owl Links: Articles of interest to FAU fans
At we posted our preview and keys to the game. Also check out our video breakdown of the game. You can see it all by clicking here.
Other linkage…
Friday’s Daily Briefing: FIU getting plenty of respect in the Sun Belt Conference

I saw this late last week, but it still holds water today primarily because it shows the respect FIU is getting around the Sun Belt Conference.

In a poll of eight of the newspaper beat writers for a Sun Belt Conference midseason report, six of them said FIU was the biggest surprise of the season and three predicted the Golden Panthers would make it to a bowl for the first time in school history.
I’m impressed with the improvement of FIU, but since when did defeating Western Kentucky and North Texas call for a bowl reservations?
Mario Cristobal also landed three votes for Coach of the Year. Again, I have no problem with that, but I think I’ll just wait and see how FIU does after it faces the Mean Green and the Hilltoppers.
Here is the complete report from the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal.
Owl Links: Articles of interest to FAU fans
At we posted this week’s edition of Owl Talk with Brian Rowitz and also had a story about Owls WR Avery Holley, who has a brother on the FIU football team,
Other linkage…
Thursday’s Daily Briefing: Lamont’s radio rant goes viral on the Internet

I received a few texts on Saturday after FAU’s 37-16 loss to Arkansas State that Dave Lamont, FAU’s play-by-play announcer for the game, was a tad uh, … enthusiastic about a call late in the game.

Because I was at the game covering it for, I didn’t hear it on the radio. Also when it happened, I was down on the field so I was not in the press box to hear it through the paper-thin walls of ASU’s press box.

But I heard the clip on after the game was archived – as every game is – on FAU’s official web site,, the next day.

OK, so he thought there should have been a flag. Probably should have been.

But after hearing it I had a feeling if it got out, it would be one of those viral sensations on the internet.

On Wednesday, that’s exactly what happened after the college football humor site Every Day Should be Saturday got their hands on the clip – likely from FAU’s own web site – and put it with Norman Beale’s famous “I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it any more” scene from the movie Network.

The clip was linked to by such national sites as
Yahoo Sports!
NBC Sports  and countless others…

Within hours, it spread through the internet like wildfire. Less than 24 hours after the clip was put on You Tube, it had been viewed 37,000 times. And counting.

That's not quite as many as our "Rain Delay Theater" but still impressive.

> Owl Links: Articles of interest to FAU fans
The Owls went through their Wednesday practice and we were the only media outlet there. Check out our story on how FAU is preparing for FIU’s defense and get the latest update on tight end Rob Housler who was held out of most of the workout

Other linkage…


Wednesday's Daily Briefing: Schnellenberger’s coaching plate not as full in 2011

FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger won’t be coaching as much in 2011.

That’s right, apparently Schnellenberger won’t be coaching in the Texas vs. The Nation game in 2011. Jerry Glanville will lead the Nation team.
Schnellenberger coached The Nation the last two games.
That news is not all bad.
The game is undergoing some restructuring and is moving to San Antonio this year and is under different ownership, apparently changing the name of the game. It will simply be known as "The Game." How clever.
And recently, Schnellenberger announced a Florida vs. the Nation game will be played in the Owls’ new on-campus stadium when it is completed.
> Owl Links: Articles of interest to FAU fans had the most recent edition of The Howard Schnellenberger Show available for our Owl Access Pass holders and those who sign up for a Free Trial of
We also covered Tuesday’s practice and had a update on the progress of true freshman defensive end Cory Henry.
Other linkage…
Tuesday's Daily Briefing: FAU hoops picked to finish 2nd in Sun Belt East

Another sign that hoops season is around the corner is that the Sun Belt Conference is holding its Media Days beginning today and concluding Wednesday.

To tip-off the festivities the Sun Belt released its All-Sun Belt teams and pre-season coaches polls.
In a sign of the progress of this program under coach Mike Jarvis the Owls were picked second in the Sun Belt Conference East Division behind only Western Kentucky, even landing one first-place vote.
FAU guards Ray Taylor (pictured) and Greg Gantt landed on the All-Sun Belt second team. Forward Brett Royster was named to the third team.
Here is the complete release from the Sun Belt...
2010-11 Preseason All-Sun Belt Team   
First Team
George Odufuwa (North Texas, Sr., F)
Josh White (North Texas, Sr., G)
Tim Williams (South Alabama, Sr., G)
Sergio Kerusch (WKU, Sr., F)
Steffphon Pettigrew (WKU, Sr., F)
Second Team
Martavius Adams (Arkansas State, Jr., F/C)
Donald Boone (Arkansas State, Sr., G)
Greg Gantt (Florida Atlantic, So., G)
Raymond Taylor (Florida Atlantic, So., G)

Tristan Thompson (North Texas, Sr., G)
Third Team
Solomon Bozeman (UALR, Sr., G)
Brett Royster (Florida Atlantic, Sr., F)
Marvin Roberts (FIU, Sr., G/F)
Randell Daigle (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., G)
James Washington (Middle Tennessee, Sr., G)
Preseason Player of the Year: Sergio Kerusch (WKU, Sr., F)
Preseason Sun Belt Conference Men's Basketball Poll
West Division Points
1. North Texas 72 (12)
2. Arkansas State 55
3. Denver 51
4. Louisiana-Lafayette 36
5. UALR 26
6. Louisiana-Monroe 12
East Division Points
1. WKU 71 (11) 
2. Florida Atlantic 53 (1)
3. South Alabama 47
4. Middle Tennessee 42
5. FIU 22
6. Troy 17
As voted on by the Sun Belt's 12 Head Coaches
First Place Votes in Parenthesis
> Owl Links: Articles of interest to FAU fans
We posted out 1st and 10 look at FIU and also had our grades for each position after the Arkansas State game.
Other linkage...
Monday's Daily Briefing: FIU students get in free to FAU's home game
It looks like FAU fans may not have the stadium to themselves on Saturday as has been the case in past Shula Bowls.
There may be a few Florida International fans in the house at Lockhart Stadium.
FIU is aggressively getting the word out that its students can attend the Shula Bowl for free and the rest of its fans can use FAU's Pepsi can promotion to get in for $1.
That’s right. It’s an FAU home game so of course FAU students don’t have to pay, but apparently FIU students can go gratis as well.
I’ve never heard of anything like this for a rivalry game, and I don’t remember FAU students going for free to Shula Bowl games when it was FIU’s home game - although it always seems that FAU had a strong contingent.
I guess it will be good to see some FIU fans. To be honest, judging by the pitiful numbers of fans in blue and gold at previous Shula Bowls, I didn’t know they had any. But a surprising 2-0 start in the Sun Belt with victories over North Texas and Western Kentucky must seem like a dynasty to the football fans on Calle Ocho.
Yes, FIU students have finally realized they have a football program so if FAU fans don’t want their stadium overrun by Golden Panthers supporters, they better get to the game on Saturday.
> Owl Links: Articles of interest to FAU fans was the only media outlet at Sunday’s practice, and filed this report as the Owls tried to put the Arkansas State game in the past.
Other linkage…
  • Struggling Owls face surging FIU in Shula Bowl, the Sun-Sentinel writes
  • Owls’ season essentially over after conference loss to ASU, according to the University Press
Sunday’s Daily Briefing: FAU's fourth-quarter follies started in third

During the fourth quarter of FAU’s 37-16 loss at Arkansas State on Saturday, the Owls committed three turnovers that turned a close game into a laugher.

We should have seen it coming.
After all, the comedy of errors actually started late in the third quarter when the Owls faced a 3rd and goal from the 4 and threatened to take a 20-9 lead.
Instead, the Owls committed back-to-back false start penalties and a flag for illegal procedure negating a touchdown catch by Rob Housler and a run by Jeff Van Camp where he was ruled down at the 1-yard line.
Van Camp was asked about how deflating that sequence was for the team.
“We could have been up by two touchdowns,” Van Camp said. “I don’t know how they call those, but you just play it and have to roll with the punches.”
The Owls did get a field goal out of the drive, taking a 16-9 lead on the first play of the fourth quarter on Ross Gornall’s 36-yard kick, but it was the last points of the game for FAU.
Arkansas State, as we know now, had 28 more and it was Game Over.
Owl Links:  Articles of interest to FAU fans had our team coverage from Jonesboro, Ark. complete with recap, video highlights and our breakdown of the game.
'Total collapse' in fourth quarter dooms Owls in loss to Arkansas State

JONESBORO, Ark. -  FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger referred to the myriad of mistakes late in the Owls’ 37-16 loss to Arkansas State on Saturday as a “total collapse" in the post-game interview session.

No argument here.
That’s a perfect way to describe what transpired here in the span of about five minutes in the fourth quarter when the Red Wolves reeled off 28 consecutive points thanks mostly to offensive mistakes that put the Owls defense in a bind and on the field for most of the final quarter.
Regardless of what the scoreboard said at the end, FAU didn’t play that badly for most of the game.
But in the fourth quarter just about everything that could have gone wrong did, starting with a fluke interception on a tipped ball that Willie Floyd almost caught. Instead ASU’s Adrian Hills returned for it a TD and the floodgates opened.
By now we know the drill, FAU will begin correcting the mistakes that were made on Sunday. After what I saw in the fourth quarter, there will be plenty to work on.
Saturday’s Daily Briefing: FAU will have another new center for today’s game vs. Arkansas State
Redshirt freshman wide receiver DeAndre Richardson isn’t the only player on offense who will be making his first career start today vs. Arkansas State.
Senior Ryan Houston is expected to start for the first time on Saturday at center in place of Mike Nweze, who started in the Owls’ loss at ULM.
Houston will be the third player to start at center this season for FAU. The Owls’ regular center this season, Jimmie Colley, received a head injury in FAU’s loss to USF and practiced sparingly this week.
Houston, a transfer from Division III powerhouse Mt. Union, took the majority of snaps at center this week in practice.
Nweze is expected to play, however.
Richardson will be making his first start ahead of senior receiver Avery Holley who is serving a one-game academic suspension. 
Owl Links: Articles of interest to FAU fans rolled out our game previews along with a video breakdown of the Owls’ receiving situation. Click here for the complete package.
Friday’s Daily Briefing: Austin Jensen’s story getting attention on Capitol Hill

BOCA RATON - It was no surprise FAU defensive back Austin Jensen was at Thursday’s practice.

These days Jensen is at the Oxley a few days a week.
But the news he had was a little out of the ordinary.
After his workout was over he came over and talked a little about the game vs. Arkansas State, but he also mentioned a letter he received.
Congressman Alcee Hastings, who represents Florida’s 23rd District (including part Palm Beach County) in the U.S. House of Representatives sent Jensen a signed picture and a letter of encouragement as he works to overcome the injuries he received in his February car accident,
“It was pretty cool,” Jensen said. “I wasn’t expecting anything like that. At first I thought it was a joke.”
In the letter Hastings told Jensen, “Your courage and determination are very impressive and an inspiration to anyone whose sports career has been delayed by an injury. You are an excellent role model for us all, especially America’s young people.  ”
Jensen said he didn’t have any idea how Hastings learned of his story, but speculated it may have come from some of the media coverage of the event as, The Bradenton Herald, The Palm Beach Post and WPTV-Ch. 5 (NBC)  have all covered Jensen’s recovery extensively.
“I have no idea how he heard, but somehow he did,” Jensen said. “I definitely wasn’t expecting anything like that.”
> Owl Links: Articles of interest to FAU fans broke the news that starting wide receiver Avery Holley will be suspended for Saturday’s game at Arkansas State.
We also posted this week’s edition of Owl Talk with Brian Rowitz, our weekly podcast.
Other linkage…
  • The Sun-Sentinel says FAU QB Jeff Van Camp needs better protection from the offensive line
  • Is revenge a factor for ASU QB Ryan Aplin, a Florida native not recruited by FAU? The Jonesboro Sun looks into it.
Thursday's Daily Briefing: FAU baseball players strut their stuff for MLB scouts

If it looked like there were a few extra people with clipboards, notebooks and stopwatches on campus Wednesday, there was a reason. FAU held its annual Scout Day for baseball, allowing more than 20 major league baseball scouts to get a look the Owls' talent.

When the spring season rolls around, FAU, the reigning Sun Belt regular season champions, will field a veteran team. The Owls will have 22 players eligible to be drafted in 2011. Remember in baseball, players are eligible to be drafted following their junior year.

“I thought our guys showed their wares well and we got some positive feedback from the scouts,” FAU coach John McCormack said.

Hitting with a wooden bat, Dan Scheffler (lower photo) sent a few balls into the palm trees beyond the outfield fence.    The scouts noticed. They also asked plenty of questions about right fielder/pitcher Andy Mee and pitcher Cody Barnes. A transfer from Daytona Beach State College, Barnes' fastball hit the upper 80s and his 79 mph slider had scouts paying attention.

“We set it up and this is their day to show the professional guys here, and then the rest of the year they have to be FAU baseball players,” McCormack said.

The Owls will be back on the diamond today for an exhibition game against an 18-U team from Canada.

Owl Links: Articles of interest to FAU fans
Don't worry, we still have football on the brain at We were the only media outlet to attend Wednesday's practice and told our readers why they should expect to see more of Willie Floyd on Saturday at Arkansas State.


Other linkage...


Hoops' season-ticket push is officially underway

This just in from FAU that the season-ticket push for basketball is officially underway.

And also, a reminder that, yes, those Owl Card scanners will be in operation this season so bad news for the freeloaders. I’m sure the athletic department in general and the basketball program and particular appreciate the financial support of their endeavors.
Here’s theofficial release from
Wednesday’s Daily Briefing: Dodge-ball deflated as UNT fires coach

North Texas coach Todd Dodge may have been able to beat FAU this season, but that wasn’t enough to keep his job.

Reports are surfacing that Dodge has been fired at North Texas and a press conference has been scheduled for later today.
Dodge was 6-37 in his fourth season at UNT and the Mean Green was 1-6 this season, with the lone victory this season coming against the Owls.
Offensive coordinator Mike Canales becomes the interim coach for the Mean Green.
OwlLinks: Articles of interest to FAU fans had the latest installment of The Howard Schnellenberger Show and a report on FAU’s offense and yet another player under center for the Owls at Tuesday’s practice.
Other linkage…
Housler, Jean, Lockley named to Phil Steele's midseason All-Sun Belt team

Yes, I know FAU has played five games and has seven remaining, but it is the seventh week of the season coming up, so this is the time many are giving out their mid-term grades.

One of the most knowledgeable of the so-called “experts” is Phil Steele, who actually spends time analyzing the Sun Belt Conference and today released his mid-term All-Sun Belt team.

Steele singled out TE Rob Housler, WR Lester Jean and LB Michael Lockley for his mid-season All-Sun Belt team.
On the second team were RB Alfred Morris, DE Cory Henry, LB Malik Eugene, S Marcus Bartels and P Mickey Groody.
On Steele’s third-team was DT Jarvis Givens.
To check out all three of Steele’s teams, click here.
I think Bartels could make a case for being on the first team, but I love the fact that Henry is getting noticed in his limited playing time.
What do you think of these teams?
Tuesday’s Daily Briefing: FAU Day at Dolphins event downtown short on FAU participation

Since it was labeled as FAU Day at the Super Sundays event in partnership with the Miami Dolphins held in downtown Boca Raton, I decided to check out the festivities at Mizner Park during the Miami-Green Bay game.

I saw some loyal FAU  fans decked out in the blue and red and talked to some of those I recognized.
They all had the same question?
“Where is anyone from the university?”
It took a while of searching before I finally could give an answer.
Owl Radio and Owl TV  (pictured) were there. That’s right, for “FAU Day” the only group I could find was the student radio  and TV station. Again, the students come through. Somebody give them a job!
But that was it that I saw - and that should be unacceptable. I’m not sure who dropped the ball here, but there was an obvious disconnect between event organizers and FAU.
That’s really a shame. There were more than 1,000 football fans congregating on the streets in downtown Boca Raton for more than four hours on Sunday. Call me crazy, but that would seem like a good time to be pushing some tickets, suites or even just educating sports fans about what FAU’s new stadium will be like. I mean, aren’t football fans THE target audience for FAU to grow its fan base.
An FAU official I talked to said the only place they heard about the event was on a blog I wrote about it last week, so I have no idea where the ball was dropped.
After Friday’s ground-breaking ceremony many thought things were going to be different around Boca Raton in terms of FAU’s visibility, but on Sunday it was the same as usual.
I really hope the city officials and FAU can work together in the future and have better results, because Sunday had no winners.
> Owl Links: Articles of interest to FAU fans


Monday’s Daily Briefing: Former FAU QB Rusty Smith returns to hometown tonight

Spent a few minutes talking to Russell Smith, the father of former FAU QB Rusty Smith, last week and needless to say, today is a big day to the entire Smith family.

The Titans are in Jacksonville tonight to face Jacksonville on Monday Night Football and there will be plenty of people there to root on Rusty. Rusty has been listed as the third QB each week this season for the Titans since he made the opening day roster, the first FAU player to accomplish that.
As many of you know Rusty is a Jacksonville native.
That's why he is shown here in a Jags' T-Shirt before FAU's Pro Day in March. Don't worry coach Fisher, this is way before he was drafted by the Titans 
Also, his family owns a restaurant in the shadow of EverBank Field and Rusty used to park cars in the lot on game days when he was younger.
Now fans will be cramming the lot to see his team play.
And don’t forget, Rusty and the Titans will be making a South Florida appearance on Nov. 14 when the Dolphins play host to Tennessee.
> Owl Links: Articles of interest to Owl fans
The Owls held practice Sunday and gives our Owl Access Pass members a report including the latest on a FAU defensive starter who didn’t participate in the workout,
Other linkage…
The Jonesboro Sun looks at Arkansas State's loss at Indiana
Sunday’s Daily Briefing: Last week off comes at a good time for FAU

The schedule says this is supposed to be an “off” week for Florida Atlantic.

I can attest it has been anything but, after Friday’s busy day of the ground-breaking ceremony complete with a practice following. And on Saturday there was another practice (pictured) with the Owls also hitting the practice field today.
The off-week workouts haven’t been the most intense and some regulars are seeing limited action, but that’s probably what the Owls need as they prepare for the final seven weeks of the season. It looks like some regulars are healing and that’s a good thing.
The next seven weeks aren’t going to be easy, but maybe this off week is just what the Owls need as they prepare to try and salvage this season with an important game each week.
> Owl Links: Articles of interest to FAU fans was the only media outlet at Saturday's practice and had this report, giving our Owl Access Pass members an update on some offensive linemen who could be back for Saturday’s game.
Saturday’s Daily Briefing: Now the real work begins to fill FAU’s stadium

FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger had the right gameplan for Friday.

A.      Attend ground-breaking

B.      Revel in accomplishment 13 years in the making for five minutes

C.      Get back to work by holding practice


Friday’s ground-breaking ceremony for the 30,000-seat stadium was a grand event, but as much as the FAU big-wigs would like to spend the next few days patting themselves on the back, there isn’t time for that.

Like Schnellenberger saw, it’s time to get to work.

And not only on the construction of the $70 million future home of the Owls, but there needs to be effort quickly to make sure each and every one of those nice red and blue seats is full a year from now.

It may seem like a long way away, but believe me, Oct. 15 2011 will be here before you know it.

Will FAU be ready? We’ll see.

> Owl Links: Articles of interest to FAU fans? began the day with a look at the impact the new stadium will have on the university before heading out to the ground-breaking ceremony, posting this video and photo gallery. We finally finished our day at the night football practice, posting this report.

Other linkage…

Ground-breaking complete, 365 days and counting until Football in Paradise

BOCA RATON - Unlike so many days in this almost 13 year journey to build an on-campus home for Florida Atlantic’s football team, there were no delays and nothing was sent back to a committee for more study.

Instead, decision-makers spoke about how great it was to be associated with FAU and then stuck shovels in the ground and turned dirt. If enough of it is turned in the coming months, the Owls will be playing at home exactly one year from today.
We’ll have more to come on this day, but I thought I should share the latest renderings from FAU after the historic moment when FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger’s plan to have Football in Paradise was put in motion.












Friday's Daily Briefing: Revel in the Madness

First the bonfire, then the home-opener pep rally and now Midnight Madness – if FAU isn't careful this place is really going to start feeling like a traditional college campus.

Thursday's Midnight Madness basketball pep rally actually started a few minutes later than scheduled because there were still people lined-up outside waiting to enter The Burrow.

Once inside, students students met their basketball teams – men's and women's – while being entertained by OwlRadio. OwlTV provided the content for the video screen. In fact, students put together almost the entire evening, which likely explains why they had such a good time.

The basketball players obviously enjoyed watching their fellow students compete in skills competitions. The students who weren't chosen to take part cheered loudly for those who made it to the court. And the highlight of the event – the student slam dunk contest – exceeded its billing.

The whole night is captured in the above video and the photo gallery.

Now it's time to prepare for the football stadium's groundbreaking, which will occur at 4 p.m. today.

It's probably too late to let the students plan that shin dig. Afterward, I'm sure there will be gatherings for boosters and potential donors, but you won't find me there. I'll be hanging with the students. They've figured this stuff out.

Owl Links: Stories of interest to FAU fans
Yesterday was Thursday, so that meant OwlTalk. Brian Rowitz talked with FAU Vice President for Facilities Tom Donaudy who goes over some of the amineties of the stadium, FAU basketball coach Mike Jarvis and also women's basketball coach Chancellor Dugan.

We were also the lone media outlet at Thursday's football practice. This story tells you what happened.

Sunday is FAU Day in downtown Boca

There was a pretty big event in downtown Boca Raton in August, when residents were urged to come support the local football team. Problem was, that team was the Miami Dolphins, a professional team that plays its games in Miami Gardens.

Well, someone has looked at a map and saw that FAU, which pumps millions into the local economy, also has a football team and next year will play in a stadium showcasing Boca Raton and all that it has to offer.
This Sunday, residents are urged to support the Dolphins and FAU at a party in downtown Boca Raton. And it's being billed as "FAU Day."
When I saw the event in August, I had to just roll my eyes. However, it’s good to see some are taking action to prepare for Saturday’s in the Fall, when there will be nearly 30,000 fans in the city, transforming Boca Raton into a college town.
It sounds like a good event and I hope FAU fans will take advantage of it. If Owl fans don't respond, perhaps it will be undestandable if Boca Raton doesn't seem to excited about FAU football in the future.
Thursday's Daily Briefing: FAU student section moves to sidelines

Florida Atlantic students are about to get a better view of their football team.

The student section at Lockart Stadium is moving from the west end zone to behind the visitor's sideline. The change should happen in time for the FIU game on Oct. 30.

The band is moving from the end zone, too. It will be seated in Section 118, which is in the corner where the Owls emerge from the locker room to take the field. The students will fill the section next to the band (119), putting them closer to the 50-yard line. Should that section fill, the overflow would move to the other side of the band, potentially giving the students the entire corner of the stadium.

The photo is taken from the top of Section 117.

The athletic department is working on alerting the 30 or so season ticket holders who will be affected by the move, but with more than two weeks to pull that off, there should be ample time.

“The goal is not only to have the stadium look packed, it is also to give the students a better vantage point for the game,” FAU student body president Ayden Maher said.

This move should be applauded. The students turned out in force for the home opener against North Texas. The shear number of rowdy fans had FAU Athletic Director Craig Angelos thinking about getting the students closer to the action. It was a shame to have them so far away on the final drive.

Maher, who realizes that athletics are a good way to build a sense of community within a university, has done an impressive job of making football more accessible to students. He's also played a role in  creating tonight's Midnight Madness basketball pep rally. And don't forget the student's gift of $1 million that helped make Friday's football stadium ground breaking possible.

In recent weeks Howard Schnellenberger has praised the students for their support on the The Howard Schnellenberger Show, ESPN 760's FAU Sportspage radio show, and in post game interviews.

Without a deluge of private donors, the program will continue to grow only through the support of the students. Rewarding them by moving the students closer to the action is another step in the right direction.  

Owl LinksArticles of interest to FAU fans
It may be the middle of football season, but isn't about to neglect the other sports. That's why we posted this story about the unlikelihood of the baseball stadium upgrades happening prior to the start of the season. We also delivered our basketball pre-season camp breakdown, which included a video featuring year's leading scorer, Greg Gantt.

Other linkage -
The Sun-Sentinel  offered this look at Troy.

Wednesday’s Daily Briefing: Schnellenberger says to ‘keep the faith’

After holding on for a narrow victory against a team late in the 2003 season, FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger was asked about the Owls’ playoff chances.

His answer ended with the phrase “The dream lives on.”
He must have liked the way that sounded because he turned it into the theme for FAU’s playoff run, complete with a slick video that has been re-done a few time since then, including this version in 2007.
After Saturday’s loss to ULM, Schnellenberger uttered the phrase “keep the faith” more than once and doing so may have stumbled on an appropriate theme for the rest of this season.
There probably won’t be any music videos to accompany this one. It’s about survival and to maintain the belief that there are better days ahead.
Those days might be this season, or maybe next, but Schnellenbereger knows how detrimental it would be to the program if supporters lost hope.
And a couple of painful losses shouldn’t be enough to give up on the program with brighter days ahead including a slew of young players waiting in the wings and the new on-campus stadium up ahead.
FAU fans have been a little spoiled by success early as the program moved to I-A, and it’s not surprising to see some question which way the program is headed.
The season is going to be a rough one, but it seems like there will be better days ahead. To me at least, there are plenty of reasons to “keep the Faith.”
Owl Links: Articles of interest to FAU fans
It’s a slow off-week, but is still working hard to provide coverage of the Owls, including this week’s edition of The Howard Schnellenberger Show.
Other linkage…
The Sun-Sentinel says FAU’s defense is improving
Tuesday’s Daily Briefing: Details on Friday's groundbreaking for stadium
Looks like FAU is going all out for the groundbreaking ceremony for its new football stadium.
I just got a note from FAU on some details on Friday’s stadium groundbreaking.
The ceremony will be at 4 p.m. with a speaker list that includes…
Ayden Maher, president of FAU’s Student Government
Howard Schnellenberger, head coach of the FAU football team
Boca Raton Mayor Susan Whelchel
Nancy Blosser, chair of FAU’s Board of Trustees
FAU President Mary Jane Saunders
Chancellor of the State University System of Florida Frank T. Brogan and
Craig Angelos, FAU athletic director
After the speakers are through, and judging by the speaker list, I estimate it shouldn’t be any later than midnight, there will be a football tailgate party in the plaza directly across from the site, between the Recreation and Fitness Center and the Marleen & Harold Forkas Alumni Center.
Will you be on hand for the first tailgate party at the football stadium?
Owl Links: Articles of interest to FAU fans
At, we posted our unit-by-unit grades and gave out our gameballs for Saturday's 20-17 loss at ULM. Be sure to check back later for The Howard Schnellenberger Show.
Other linkage...
Monday’s Daily Briefing: Basketball season, rest of football season is around the corner

With the football team struggling, I have seen plenty of people reference basketball season.

The message is clear from these fair-weather fans: Time are tough for football, so I will not support the program unless it is winning and now will follow basketball.
In my opinion, FAU doesn’t need people who turn tail and jump off the bandwagon at the first sign of trouble.
I’m just saying this because with the football team on a bye week and Midnight Madness on tap for Thursday, we will bring you some basketball features soon. We too are excited about the upcoming basketball season, but that doesn’t mean we are turning our backs on football.
So, let’s start this football off week with a hoops item.
A while back FAU released its schedule without the times listed as the powers-that-be discussed appropriate times for the game, including possibly playing men’s games before women’s games.
As you probably can guess, any outside-the-box idea that was thrown around seems to have been rejected and the final schedule is out.
Home games will be at 7 p.m. except for rare occasions - a 1 p.m. start for Nov. 20 game vs. American and 8 p.m. for USF game on Dec. 5.
The biggest change is to the women’s schedule where it looks like its games will be at 3 p.m. on days when the men’s team also plays at home.
I’m a little disappointed there. I thought it was pretty cool when the FAU-FIU women’s game went long and into overtime as a large crowd – mostly made up of people there for the men’s game – wildly cheered for the women’s team.
> Owl Links: Articles of interest to FAU fans was the only one covering Sunday’s practice and Toilet Bowl. Read our report here.
Other linkage…
  • The Sun-Sentinel has a look ahead and a look back in a capsule form.
Sunday's Daily Briefing: FAU needs to turn around season before it's too late

MONROE, La. - After losing to North Texas at home and Louisiana-Monroe on the road (two teams who are hardly expected to compete for the Sun Belt title this season) it's clear the Owls don’t belong in the discussion of conference championship contenders.

In fact, after lackluster performances against Sun Belt bottom feeders, what is the outlook for the rest of the season?

Simply put, it's bleak at best.

FAU is in a free fall and things might get worse before it gets better.

However, if the Owls could find a way to beat Western Kentucky and FIU, perhaps the bleeding can be stopped.

But hoping to be beat WKU and FIU doesn't even seem like a sure thing.

When you are worried about righting the ship so you can beat the Hilltoppers and the Golden Panthers, it’s pretty scary stuff.

That said, there were enough signs of progress to believe the Owls will win a few more games this season, but they are going to have to work to improve.

While many want to believe there is hope, the pessimists (and there seem to be more who fit this category each game) will say the Owls are actually about a couple of inches away from being winless.

So far I have to agree, as Michael Lockley's blocked FG against UAB keeps looking bigger and bigger.

There is plenty of time remaining in the season, but another loss or two and it will be time to start getting ready for 2011.


> Owl Links: Articles of interest to FAU fans

The team was on hand in Monroe, La. for the game between the Warhawks and Owls. Here’s our full coverage.

Other linkage…

More game coverage: Sun-Sentinel / Monroe News-Star


Saturday’s Daily Briefing: Beating ULM might help FAU deal with problems

Want to get three clichéd keys for the majority of college football games played today?

Win the battle at the line of scrimmage, establish the run and limit turnovers.
Well, the Owls are going to have problems with two of those.
The Owls haven’t run the ball with any authority and their offensive line has struggled with no immediate improvement expected.
Even though I see the Owls struggling at two of the basic pects of the game, I still see FAU beating ULM today.
The Warhawks are young and have struggled this season. FAU’s defense is coming around and may be able to disrupt their redshirt freshman quarterback Kolton Browning.
That’s why my prediction is…FAU 21, ULM 17
What;s yours?
Owl Links: Articles of interest to FAU fans
At we posted our preview and video breakdown of the game. Check it out here.
Other linkage...
Friday’s Daily Briefing: FAU already pushing the suite life at stadium

It’s hard to believe, but we could be 24 hours from writing off the 2010 football season and begin looking to the future.

It’s not that one loss or even two losses in the Sun Belt Conference would mean the conference title race is over or that making a bowl would be impossible.
But realistically, a loss to a struggling ULM team on Saturday after losing to North Texas would probably mean it’s time to start looking ahead to 2011.
In a completely unrelated item, it looks like FAU is pushing the suites and club level seats at the soon-to-come stadium hard even in advance of next week's ground-breaking for the stadium.
The campaign includes these flyers at Lockhart Stadium at the North Texas game.
All these slick cards needed was apicture of Tavious Polo taking RSVPs and promising there would be no cover for ladies.
From everything I heard these suites will be very nice. Maybe FAU can get some celebrities to pony up and bring some buzz to FAU Stadium. I can envision seeing Carrot Top cheering on the Owls or just imagine what goes on in a suite leased by Mary Carey. Ok, scratch that last one, but you get the idea.
Anyway it’s a good thing that FAU has already begun the push for the big-money types to get on board.
> Owl Links: Articles of interest to FAU fans
Thursdays are always busy days at We put up the latest edition of Owl Talk with Brian Rowitz and followed that with a report from Thursday’s practice featuring a positive spin from players and coaches on the offensive line. We also looked at some interesting lineup choices  made by the Owls. Here's the report.
Other linkage...
The Sun-Sentinel says the offense has regressed this season
Thursday’s Daily Briefing: Could FAU play a “home” game…at FIU?

FAU isn’t taking any chances with the projected completing date of the on-campus football stadium creeping closer to the middle of the 2011 season.

If the stadium is ready to play host to a football game on Oct. 15 next season, as contractor Balfour Beatty has indicated, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem for the Owls to schedule their five home games in Boca Raton after that date.
If there are any delays, even as much as one week, FAU could have to find a place to play a home game - even more than one if the delay is longer.
Two possible choices are obvious: in Lockhart Stadium, where the Owls currently play, and Sun Life Stadium, where FAU has played home games before.
However, with Lockhart’s future often in doubt and the University of Miami playing at Sun Life on a few Saturdays these days, a third option has emerged, according to FAU Athletic Director Craig Angelos,
Angelos said FIU Athletic Director Pete Garcia has offered the services of FIU Stadium should FAU need it.
"Worst case scenario we'd have to play at Lockhart, we have (Sun Life) Stadium there and Pete's even said we could play at FIU if we had to," Angelos said.
Obviously, this would be a last resort, but you never know what the future holds, so FAU should keep that option open.
I wonder how FAU fans would feel about playing a “home” game in the stadium that is apparently nicknamed “The Cage?”
> Owl Links: Articles of interest to FAU fans
At we took a look at what the defense did right vs. USF and the chances the momentum can keep going this week.
Plus, in case you missed it, we reported on FAU landing a basketball commitment for 2012.
Other linkage...
Notre Dame Prep's Shaq Jones commits to FAU hoops

Florida Atlantic has landed a member of the 2012 basketball recruiting class as swingman Shaquille Jones verbally committed to the Owls, a source said Wednesday night.

The 6-foot-5 Jones, pictured from the New England Recruiting Report, plays for Notre Dame Prep in Richfield, Mass. where he is a junior

Here's what's college basketball recruiting service says about Jones.


A very talented swingman who is just beginning to realize his talent, Jones has a high upside if he can put all of his tools together. He has good size for the wing at six-foot-five, a long wingspan, and very good athleticism. He can make open shots from the three-point line when in rhythm as well as make some plays with the ball in his hands in the open floor. Defensively, his length makes him very effective at the top of the press while he has all the physical tools to eventually blossom into a lock down half-court defender.

Jones is incredibly raw right now and essentially getting by on talent alone. He has a very limited feel for the game and doesn't appear to have been coached yet. Everything he does is on pure instinct as he shows few signs of fundamentals with his footwork, shot preparation, or passing and catching skills in the half court. He doesn't have the handle to create his own shot against a set defender and lacks much of a feel for the game so is consequently much less effective in a half court game.

Bottom Line:
Jones has undeniable tools, both in terms of his natural basketball skills and physical gifts, and as he continues to learn the game, develop his fundamental skills, and gain more experience competing against a high level of competition he has the potential to blossom into a very good player.


Wednesday’s Daily Briefing: Stadium opening on Oct. 15, 2011 will lead to quirky schedule for FAU

FAU Athletic Director Craig Angelos found out Tuesday the on-campus football stadium may not be ready by Sept. 17, 2011 but the construction firm could have it finished by Oct. 15.

So Angelos has to call an audible when it comes to next year’s schedule – including finding an opponent that can play in the first game at the new stadium.
By a look at the calendar, Oct. 15 is the seventh week of the 2011 season. That means the Owls may have to look at playing four games on the road and having two open weeks before opening the stadium against…drumroll please – a team from the Sun Belt Conference.
As you might remember, FAU was in discussions with South Florida about the Bulls providing the opposition for the first game due to their open week on Sept. 17, but that plan is kaput.
“I called University of South Florida and let them know we were going to miss that opportunity and that it wasn't going to happen, unfortunately,” Angelos said.
Angelos said he got in contact quickly with Sun Belt Commissioner Wright Waters about the likely dilemma for the Owls next season.
“I talked to him and he said he would do what he could and I’m sure everyone will work in good faith,” Angelos said.
Would the Bulls be a better opponent than say, anyone in the Sun Belt (past, present or future)? Of course.
But that’s the timetable given by Balfour Beatty officials – and FAU has to live with it.
“The October time frame, even that is an aggressive one, but we are going to get that guaranteed from the contractor,” FAU Senior Vice President for Strategic Relations and General Counsel David Kian told’s Chuck King on Tuesday afternoon. “You are going to see steel coming out of the ground very quickly."
And, Angelos said, it’s possible, the stadium will be ready even before the Oct. 15 date, but FAU can’t take a chance on scheduling a game to open the stadium and then have to play it at Lockhart Stadium or Sun Life Stadium.
After this project has slogged along at a snail’s pace for more than a decade, what’s a couple more weeks?
Oct. 15 it is, for now.
Construction projects are always completed on time, right?
> Owl Links: Articles of interest to FAU fans is the Official Home of The Howard Schnellenberger Show and posted the latest edition of the show. We also brought you the latest on the tweaks FAU may make in the gameplan after losing two offensive linemen in the loss to USF.
Other linkage...
Tuesday's Daily Briefing: Sun Belt game of the year on tonight when Troy faces Middle Tennessee
Have to go slightly off topic for today’s edition, but it’s for a good reason and there is an angle that might interest FAU fans.
Tonight, the Sun Belt Conference takes center stage with a nationally televised game between its top two contenders for the league title – Middle Tennessee and Troy.
Kickoff from Murfreesboro, Tenn. is 8 p.m. on ESPN2.
The game should feature the season debut of Blue Raiders quarterback and Pre-season Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Year Dwight Dasher, assuming “Double Down” Dasher doesn’t stop at any last-minute poker games before the game.
And who wouldn’t want to miss Troy continuing the “Drive for Five” as the Trojans are billing their quest for yet another Sun Belt championship this season?
I’m guessing “Drive for Four out of Five since we tied with FAU in 2007 but lost to FAU and had to watch the Owls win the New Orleans Bowl while we didn’t go to a bowl at all” was dropped by the Troy marketing department because it wouldn’t fit on a T-Shirt.
At any rate, it will be fun to watch. Just difficult for FAU fans to decide who to root for.
Troy has defeated MTSU four consecutive times. My pick is the Trojans to do it again tonight and pull off a legitimate “Drive for Five”
> Owl Links: Articles of interest to FAU fans
At we started with our 1st and 10 look at ULM, giving you the 10 things to know about the Warhawks. We also gave Owl Access Pass holders our grades for each unit after the loss to USF.
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Monday’s Daily Briefing: Polo, Joseph may be late to the party

As FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger said last week, the suspension to senior cornerback Polo and defensive end Daniel Joseph and two other players was for one game after they were involved in a post-game party following the Owls’ loss to North Texas.

Heck, after the way the defense responded against USF, it’s almost disappointing the players didn’t throw another party after the loss to the Bulls.
At this point do the Owls even need Polo, the party promoter, and “Wicks” the two players who were taking RSVPs for their off-the-hook throwdown when they should have been studying the gameplan vs. the Mean Green?
Let’s look at how their replacements fared vs. USF.
Polo was replaced by redshirt freshman Keith Reaser, who had four solo tackles and one assist and by all accounts played well in his most action to date.
Then there was true freshman Cory Henry, who picked up another sack in his first career start and leads the team with two sacks this season.
Not bad for a couple of back-ups.
If I was a player and my backup had as much – or more – talent than me, I think I would stay away from the party circuit for a while.
> Owl Links: Articles of interest to FAU fans had this report the day after FAU’s 31-3 loss to USF with some updates on the injury front. Check it out here.
Other linkage…
The Sun-Sentinel has a capsule look at what's up next
The Monroe News-Star looks at Warhawks WR Tavarese Maye
Sunday's Daily Briefing: FAU can't afford any more injuries to offensive linemen

After Owls QB Jeff Van Camp started racking up the sacks during Saturday’s 31-3 loss to USF, it was time to go to the record book to see if any FAU quarterback was sacked as much as the seven times Van Camp was brought down.

There were a couple of times - including seven vs. these same USF Bulls in 2002 and eight times later that season vs. Youngstown State.
The common denominator between 2002 and this season, was that offensive line was also hit hard by injuries. And the offensive line – and the offense in general - took a long time to recover.
This season, the Owls have already had costly injuries up front and with Max Karrick (knee) and Jimmie Colley (head) leaving the game on Saturday, they could be looking for more replacements.
That will be something to watch this week, but something tells me the Owls, who haven’t had the same starters on the line in any two games this year, will trot out yet another combination next week at ULM.
> Owl Links: Articles of interst to FAU fans had our team in Tampa for the game. Here’s our report featuring the video highlights.
Other linkage..
Saturday’s Daily Briefing: FAU still trailing USF

It’s hard to believe that South Florida’s football program started just four years before FAU’s did.

When you look at the two programs, the Bulls are light-years ahead.

USF, which started in 1997,  has a sizable season-ticket base and is growing in revelance in the fickle Tampa area sports market.

FAU, which began in 2001, is still treading water. But that could change as soon as next season when the Owls play their first season at their on-campus stadium.

That’s what made the quest for the stadium so frustrating. As year after year ticked away, the higher-ups did study after study to see if the stadium would be a good idea.

At the same time USF was crashing the party to big-time football, including rising all the way to No. 2 in the nation - making it even harder to believe that the Bulls’ head start was just four years.

> Owl Links:Articles of interest to FAU fans

At we had our game preview and a video preview. Check it out here.

Other game previews: Palm Beach Post / Sun SentinelTampa Tribune / St. Petersburg Times

Friday’s Daily Briefing: FAU coaches plan recruiting blitz of Tampa area tonight

Florida Atlantic is doing more than playing a football game in Tampa on Saturday. Owls coaches are taking their recruiting efforts to the road Friday night and hitting the west coast of Florida hard with visits to plenty of high schools the day before FAU faces South Florida.

FAU defensive backs coach Dick Hopkins recruits the fertile Tampa area, but will have plenty of help this weekend as the Owls blanket the area with every available coach hitting the road.
The west coast of Florida has always been productive for FAU with plenty of players signing with the Owls out of Bradenton, Polk and Hillsborough counties through the years. The Owls want to make sure it gets even better.
Speaking of recruiting, FAU had about 40 high school players on unofficial visits last week including Orlando-Freedom offensive lineman Josue Joseph, who has verbally committed to the Owls, and Centennial running back Javaris Giles, who has been offered a scholarship by FAU.
We’ve updated our recruiting list with the players who came in. Owl Access Pass holders can check it out here.
> Owl Links: Articles of interest to FAU fans was the only media outlet at Thursday’s practice and filed this report on the progress of the offensive line and who did what at practice.
Other linkage…

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Go watch college football in Boca. It's that simple. Support your local team and go have a good time!

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Nicely done Jake. Great addition to Owl Access.

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