BOCA RATON – The question came late in FAU coach Charlie Partridge’s weekly 15-minute conversation with the media.
The answer was as pointed as the query.
“Do you feel like your job’s secure?” a reporter asked.
“Yes,” Partridge replied.
Partridge is under contract through the 2018 season. Buying him out would cost the cash-strapped athletic department more than $1 million. The Owls’ current seven-game losing streak has many FAU fans hoping Partridge is misjudging the situation.
Following Saturday’s 52-3 loss to Western Kentucky – a game in which the Owls looked inept on offense, defense and special teams – fans took to social media calling for Partridge’s removal.
“I don’t look at Twitter at all,” Partridge said. “I have no Twitter response.”
When pressed on the question, Partridge steered his answer to Saturday’s upcoming game.
“I’m focused on Rice, getting our team ready for Rice,” he said.
Focusing on Rice provides a more satisfying alternative to focusing on the current state of the Owls’ program.
In his third year as FAU’s coach, Partridge holds a 7-25 career record. FAU ranks No. 120 out of 128 FBS teams in total defense. Rice is No. 128. FAU ranks No. 119 in total offense. Rice is only 18 spots better.
Every week Partridge says the Owls re-evaluate starters on both sides of the ball.
In recent weeks Partridge started inserting backup quarterback Daniel Parr, a redshirt freshman who many believe is the Owls’ quarterback of the future, into the game for the third series, and then again in the second half.
Two days after starting quarterback Jason Driskel threw for 52 yards (Parr threw for 25), Partridge appeared more open than in previous weeks to giving Parr more playing time.
“That position, we’ll evaluate through the course of this week like we do all of our others and decide toward the end of the week if we’re going to make a change – whether it’s playing time or whatever it may be,” he said.
Whichever quarterback starts, he will do so behind a battered offensive line that can’t seem to catch a break. Starting its eighth offensive line in eight games, the Owls lost first-time starting guard Jack Breshears to injury against WKU. Partridge labeled Breshars “questionable” for Saturday.
As for starting senior right tackle Kelly Parfitt, who missed the better part of four games, then re-injured his knee two games ago in a loss to Marshall, the outlook appears even more bleak.
“I think he’s probably questionable for the rest of the year,” Partridge said. “We’ll see how he progresses.”