BOCA RATON – Rest will come to FAU football players one day earlier than they are accustomed to during game weeks.
Coach Lane Kiffin said the Owls will be among the growing number of football teams who hold their walk-through two days prior to the game followed by a limited full-speed practice the day before the game.
“It’s something that we’ve studied for a while,” Kiffin said. “This will be the first time that we’ve done it.”
Nationally, the trend is referred to as “Fast Friday” and was pioneered by coach Chip Kelly when he was at Oregon. Kiffin didn’t cite specific studies but said the coaches he’s talked with who’ve tried a similar scheduled have found their players to have fresher legs on game day.
In the past FAU has always held it’s walk-though the day before a game – usually a Friday, which coincides with travel day for road games – as have most college football teams.
“Studies will show you are more heavy legged that way than when you actually have the day off two days before and then run them full speed but not a whole lot the day before,” Kiffin said.
Not surprisingly, Kiffin isn’t concerned about bucking a minor college football tradition.
“We don’t run the same plays that we did 10 years ago,” Kiffin noted. “If there’s new information, new things that are better, why not look into them?”
Kiffin has demonstrated an eagerness to use sports science to give his teams an edge.
Assistant coach Eric Mathies was part of a South Florida staff that Kiffin said did something similar last year en route to an 11-2 record.
“I’ve kind of always wanted to do it,” Kiffin said. “(Steve Sarkisian) did it at Washington. The first year they did it they went six 600-yard games.”
Perhaps more importantly, Kiffin hasn’t found a coach who set a similar schedule only to find negative results.
“I haven’t talked to anybody that’s done it that’s gone back the other way,” Kiffin said.
Opening Game: FAU vs Navy, Friday, 8 p.m.