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FAU DC Hoza tries to explain defensive woes
Florida Atlantic defensive coordinator Kirk Hoza fielded questions from the media following Tuesday's practice and attempted to explain why the defense allowed more than 600 yards of total offense twice in its last three games.

Hoza spoke for about eight minutes in total. The real meat of the conversation about the defensive woes is contained in the four-minute video snippet below.



Did Hoza explain the cause of the defensive problems to your satisfaction? He chose to frequently lean on the crutch of inexperienced players, but the numbers don't seem intent on backing up that argument. FAU allowed a comparably paltry 490 total yards to Nebraska and 516 to South Carolina in the first two games.

In contrast, UAB raced through the Owls for 622 yards three weeks ago, then on Saturday took a 651-yard Sunday drive over FAU on Saturday. If anything, experience seems to make this defense perform worse.

Hoza also indicated that defensive grades handed out in the Alabama debacles and the Owls' most recent win against Arkansas St. were similar, which would suggest, among other things, the need for a new grading system.

Most telling, though, was that Hoza looked like he either couldn't pinpoint the cause of the problem, didn't want to say it was the players, or didn't want to admit it might be the defensive scheme.

Giving Hoza some benefit of the doubt, he is the type of coach who doesn't call out individual players in the media, so maybe he's trying to spare them embarrassment. But the problem lies with the players, doesn't that suggest the scheme needs to be adjusted to better suit the guys on the field?

Admitting there is a problem isn't enough. Before the issue can be solved, the cause of the problem needs to be diagnosed. Watching the video, did you get the feeling Hoza is sure of the cause, let alone the solution?

Yell "fire" in an empty auditorium: Those who read yesterday's women's basketball story learned of the fire that struck The Burrow. Care for a few more details? To begin with, that is a photo of the damage to the right, which should tell you that the fire itself was more birthday cake than conflagration.

It started at about 11:30 a. m. when the facilities crew was setting up for the night's game. A couple of wires were pinched together, starting an electrical fire in a cement dugout beneath the floor. Administrators Melissa Dawson and Hunter Davis doused the blaze with a fire extinguisher long before the fire truck arrived. They should be lauded as heroes and have the floor they saved named after them - or at least get Thursday off.

Aside from the singed boards, the only other damage kept the electrical outlets at press row from working, so most fans in attendance never even knew there was a problem.

Electricians are coming to gym on Wednesday to fix any lingering comlications. The damage to the floorboards is so minor that FAU could easily get away without doing anything, but it so happens that the floor is already slated to undergo a face lift (a floor lift?) in the second week of December. Problem solved.

Now, if we can cross a few wires at Lockhart...

Owl Links:
At FAUOwlAccess.com, we covered the aforementioned women's game - a loss to Kent State. We also aired the latest episode of The Howard Schnellenberger Show, which offered a retrospective on Rusty Smith's career and a pretty cool look at Schnellenberger's coaching influences. There is also a story detailing the latest defensive youth movement.

The Palm Beach Post notes that linebacker Edward Bradwell has learned from his on-field mistakes.

Owl Cal:
3:30 Practice on the Oxley Center practice fields

chuck
November 25, 2009

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