BOCA RATON – Lane Kiffin wants to get the Owls back to Boca Raton as soon as possible.
When that will happen, however, remains unknown.
“We would leave as soon as we could so we could get back to our normal place and kids could get back to their places,” Kiffin said.
FAU played at Wisconsin on Saturday, traveling north knowing full well that, with Hurricane Irma approaching South Florida, they were likely facing an extended stay.
Wisconsin is paying for FAU’s hotel stay and the Owls practiced on Monday at the Badgers’ facility. They are holding position meetings and watching video at the hotel.
The earliest FAU will return to Boca Raton is likely to be Wednesday.
“We’re just trying to make the most of it,” Kiffin said. “Obviously, it’s very different. We’re in a hotel. Wisconsin’s been awesome to us by letting us practice over there. They fed us over there. That’s obviously helped, but it’s obviously strange. It’s been a strange, whatever it’s been, four days.
Strange circumstances seem to follow Kiffin around, but few could have foreseen the start to his first season at FAU. The nationally-televised Friday night season-opener against Navy was delayed by lightning and didn’t conclude until 1:46 in the morning.
On Wednesday FAU coaches weren’t even expecting to play Wisconsin, a game the Owls ultimately lost 31-14.
The Owls now find themselves on a road trip akin to what FAU’s basketball and baseball teams experience.
“This has obviously been very abnormal – six-hour game and then at one point we think we’re not playing this game,” Kiffin said. “A lot of our kids were very concerned and obviously didn’t want to leave their families when what at the time was supposed to be the worst hurricane ever to hit the United States. But then we were told that we’re going so we came and we’re still here.”
FAU closed its campus on Friday and is scheduled to open it on Wednesday to students returning to the dorms. Classes are cancelled for the remainder of the week. Staff members are to return to work on Thursday.
FPL is using one of the parking lots near Howard Schnellenberger Field as a staging area for repair trucks.
Sources tell OwlAccess.com that Irma knocked down multiple trees but as of Monday afternoon FAU had electrical power on campus.
Florida Atlantic’s Saturday game against Bethune-Cookman is still scheduled to be played.
“As far as I know, yeah,” Kiffin said.