“It’s two physical teams going at each other,” FAU center Antonyo Woods said of Saturday’s Week 2 contest with the Badgers. “I respect Wisconsin, but I don’t think, honestly, that they are the most physical team in the nation. I think we are pretty physical as well. We’re going to shock a lot of people when we go up there.”
In a 59-10 season opening victory over Utah St., Wisconsin limited the Aggies to 85 rushing yards.
In Alec James, Olive Sagapolu and Conor Sheehy the Badgers feature a starting defensive line that averages 6-foot-3 and 304 pounds. Sagapolu, the nose tackle who will line up over Woods, is listed at 6-foot-2, 346 pounds.
“We’re going to be physical, too, so they’re going to be up for a fight,” Woods said,
For Woods, the physical portion of the game will need to take a backseat, at least initially, to his first charged task – snapping the ball.
In FAU’s season-opening loss to Navy Woods sent three snaps over the heads of Owls’ quarterbacks.
To help improve his accuracy, on Tuesday Woods practiced placing his palm at the top point of a ball standing on its end and draping his fingers down the ball rather than placing his hand on the side of a ball resting flat before dispatching the shotgun snap through his legs. The technique is referred to as the “dead snap,” and more teams are giving it a shot.
With the dead snap, the ball floats back to the quarterback, rather than rocketing to – or over – him.
It’s a technique that Woods tried during the spring when he first made the switch to center but ultimately scrapped because he felt more comfortable gripping the ball the more traditional way.
“I’m going to do whatever it takes to keep the offense moving, keep operating,” Woods said. “Whether that’s switching up my technique or just trying to get the same technique right, I’m going to do what I’ve got to do.”
FAU players had Saturday and Sunday off but Woods took the opportunity to do some extra snapping practice with the Owls’ quarterbacks.
The Owls are preparing starting left guard Roman Fernandez to play center should more snaps go awry against Wisconsin.
“Either (Woods) gets it fixed or we just swap those two guys,” FAU coach Lane Kiffin said.
Fernandez and Woods have been teammates dating back to their high school days at Loxahatchee-Seminole Ridge.
Woods and Fernandez have game experience at center and guard during their FAU careers.
“I think I’ve always been comfortable at center and I’ve always been comfortable at guard, so if I switch in I think it will be a smooth transition,” Fernandez.