BOCA RATON – When FAU’s defense struggled in recent years the Owls elected to simplify their scheme and the overall defense improved.
That’s not an approach that will help FAU’s surprisingly ineffective offense this season.
“We really haven’t been that complex,” FAU coach Charlie Partridge said. “We’ve simplified it quite a bit because of the [offensive line] shuffling. There is a point where you can only simplify it that much. So, really, we have simplified it about as much as we can, we just need to continue to get better at the execution and the fundamental piece.”
FAU played without three starting offensive linemen in Saturday’s 63-7 loss to Kansas St. – the worst defeat in program history. Left tackle Reggie Bain is out for the year following a motor scooter accident that occurred near the end of fall camp. Right tackle Kelly Parfitt suffered a knee injury in the season’s second game, while guard/center Roman Fernandez incurred an undisclosed injury in that same contest.
Partridge said he hopes both are ready for Saturday’s game but also added that there will be no changes to depth chart for Saturday, which a spokesman clarified to mean that the Owls will proceed under the belief that Dillon DeBoer will remain at center, Bryan Beck will get his second start at left tackle and Antonyo Woods will start in place of Parfitt.
True freshman Brandon Walton, who along with Beck and Matt Weiner, shuffled through the left tackle position at Kansas St., will continue to receive playing time.
The constant realignment along the Owls’ offensive line is the major factor behind one of the worst offenses in the nation.
The 18.3 points per game FAU is averaging during the Owls’ first three games ranks No. 114 out of the 128 FBS schools. Only seven schools are averaging fewer than the Owls’ 292.3 yard per game.
Partridge accepted the blame for the Owls’ issues.
“If someone is not performing at their highest level of fundamentals and something goes against how you want it to go, everyone needs to take a look at themselves,” he said. “If a player isn’t executing what we’ve drilled or we’ve coached, what we’ve shown on film, the player has to ask himself, Why? The assistant coach has to ask himself, What’s not being communicated? And I have to ask myself, Am I demanding out of that assistant coach what I expect to get that done? When things aren’t going well everybody needs to take a look at themselves.”