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FAU playing not for a bowl, but for the future
A common question following Saturday's colossal Florida Atlantic loss to UAB was: What does FAU have left to play for?

Plenty.

Though the Owls still could theoretically reach a bowl, it's a waste of brain function to try to figure out how. FAU, instead, needs to look toward next season and, frankly, next season began yesterday.

With the injured Rusty Smith sidelined for the remainder of the season, Jeff Van Camp made his
first start and provided reason for optimism. A few other young players also saw an increased role. Redshirt freshman Brentley Harstad recorded five tackles from his secondary position. True freshman linebacker David Hinds made a tackle and fellow linebacker Yourhighness Morgan - well he got laid out by a block, but that's beside the point.

Those guys all saw time relatively early. Now, those defensive substitutions may have stemmed from defensive coordinator Kirk Hoza becoming fed up with the players on the field and trying find anyone who could make a tackle. (Didn't work).

That doesn't matter. Forget about this team. These players, along with the regulars, need to show in the coming weeks that they can move the Program forward. FAU is in a precarious position right now. Consecutive bowl victories have failed to provide an appreciable improvement in attendance, and play like the Owls exhibited on Saturday certainly won't help.

South Florida fans like winners. Even the University of Miami saw its attendance drop significantly during their losing spells. If a power like the Canes can have such issues, you can bet the Owls will, too.

FAU needs to win to increase its base, otherwise the most inviting new stadium in gated Boca Raton won't make a bit of difference.

Howard Schnellenberger consistently talks about moving the program forward. The play of FAU's youngsters in these next for games will go a long way toward preventing stagnation.

Owl Links:

At FAUOwlAccess.com, we provided our game story, a post-game notebook and some audio of the post-game press conference. Our premium members also received a full length, quality, video highlight package from the game. Non-members can see a preview of the professionally-produced video here.

The Palm Beach Post and the Sun-Sentinel offered their accounts of the program's "worst loss"

The Birmingham News reports that UAB players are already looking forward to next week

Owl Cal:

TBA, Oxley Center: Football practice and Toilet Bowl.

PHOTO COURTESY RALPH NOTARO

chuck
November 08, 2009

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