While most appreciate the day off, Fast Fridays seem to be an overall success.
“I think it’s pretty beneficial,” senior center Antonyo Woods said. “Personally I like the walk through Thursday/fast Friday thing. It’s also good mentally for us to keep us on our toes – really, mentally benefits us a lot. It’s something I wish I could have experienced a couple years ago, but I’m glad I’m experiencing it now because this is some next level things and next level is good to have right now.”
In years past FAU practiced at full speed on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of game weeks, and used Friday as a walk through day.
This year coach Lane Kiffin elected to move the walk through to Thursday, holding the final full-speed practice on Friday.
Prior to the start of the season Kiffin referred to studies that concluded players perform better on Saturdays if they have some full speed action on Fridays.
This is the first time he’s used such a schedule as a coach.
“I do like it,” Kiffin said. “Our coaches really like it. The Thursday walk through is more advanced walk through – we do get a ton of plays. I wish we could go indoors. It’s supposed to be a no-sweat Thursday which is impossible here to not sweat. But I like it.”
Under the new schedule players practice in shorts and a helmet on Fridays. The practice lasts only about 40 minutes, rehearsing about 40 plays. Prior to road games the Owls hold their practice before heading to the airport to catch their flight.
“I think from talking to the players they feel the best on game day they’ve ever felt, so hopefully it’s working,” Kiffin said.
The Owls entered their current bye week having won consecutive games and three of their last four. At the midpoint of their season, the three wins matches their win total from each of the past three seasons.
“It just keeps us fresh,” FAU running back Buddy Howell said. “It keeps us fast. Mentally sound. That’s one of the things when you are going really, really fast, you want to be on your details, so in the game when you are going fast it slows down.”
Fast is good word to describe FAU’s rushing game of late. The Owls rushed for 453 yards and eight touchdowns in Saturday’s 58-28 win over Old Dominion.
With an average of 258.7 rushing yards per game, FAU ranks No. 15 nationally in rushing offense.
“It keeps us in good shape, it keeps us feeling well,” Howell said. “We’re not too beat up.
“We see it on game days that the defense is tired, they can’t really keep up, their wasted and we just keep going. That’s how we pop off big runs and score touchdowns.”
With a bye this week, Kiffin gave the Owls Friday, along with the weekend, off. North Texas comes to Boca Raton on Oct. 21 for the Owls’ homecoming game.