BOCA RATON – Faced with mounting defeats, FAU’s defensive players say that focusing on the past won’t help them improve as much as staying on top of their current mission.
“If something goes bad, don’t worry about that play,” safety Andrew Soroh said. “You’ve got to forget about that and worry about the next play that comes.”
It’s important for players to simultaneously keep a short memory, while also trying to remember what went well.
For linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair, that means forgetting past mistakes and building on what he’s doing well from game to game and even from practice to practice.
“Whether it’s a win or a loss, you have to move on regardless.” Al-Shaair says.
The Owls have plenty they’d like to forget from the way they’ve opened the season. Opponents are averaging 40.5 points per game, which ranks FAU No. 119 nationally out of 128 FBS teams.
FAU has surrendered at least 30 points in all four games thus far.
“Failure is the building blocks for success,” linebacker Nate Ozdemir said. “It gets you on the right track. You realize what mistakes you have and you move on.”
FAU suffered through many of the same problems last season – poor tackling, being out of position, improper angles of pursuit – but did manage to correct many of those issues at least temporarily, with a 31-17 victory over FIU at Howard Schnellenberger Field.
The Owls will be afforded that opportunity again on Saturday when they travel to Miami to face an 0-4 Panthers team that is only averaging 13.5 points per game – dead last at the FBS level.
“We just need to get better across the board,” FAU defensive coordinator Roc Bellantoni said. “It’s not a broken machine where you can just get a wrench and fix it. You’ve just got to continue to work.”