Players, however, say that wasn’t the case on Tuesday.
“We had a, I wouldn’t say a great practice, we had an OK practice,” wide receiver Jovon Durante said. “We’ve got to come out tomorrow with a way-better energy and go from there.”
In preparation for Saturday’s game at Middle Tennessee, FAU spent extra time in pre-practice meetings before hitting the practice field on Tuesday.
The Owls didn’t emerge from those meetings crisp.
“A lot of sluggish movements today,” Durante said. “We weren’t really running through the ball, getting our full depth on routes and what not. It’s just, it’s practice. You’ve got a whole ‘nother day to go out there and get better.”
Some of that sluggishness can be attributed to the normal aches and pains football players feel four games into the season.
“Your body, it’s not going to get better, it’s going to get worse,” redshirt senior tackle Reggie Bain said. “You just try and slow that process down with recovery.”
FAU coach Lane Kiffin immediately noticed the lack of responsiveness.
Normally reserved during practices, Kiffin chastised receivers for running imprecise routes and looking over the wrong shoulder for passes – among other things.
“He was vocal today – let’s just say that,” tight end Harrison Bryant said.
FAU takes a 2-2 record to Murfreesboro, Tenn., one win more than what the Owls owned heading into the fifth game last season – also against MTSU. FAU defeated the Blue Raiders in that game and didn’t lose against the rest of the season.
The Owls are coming off a disappointing 56-36 loss at No. 16 UCF where they struggled at times on both sides of the ball and at times appeared pensive – especially on defense.
Players do believe the start of conference play brings its own energy and, at times, helped offset the malaise of Tuesday’s practice.
“I felt like with this being the first conference game there’s a little bit more excitement in practice,” wide receiver Pico Harrison said. “We want to perfect everything that we’re doing. I think the conference play really has a big role in practice this week.”