Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Anxious Owls Ready for Game Day

If the Owls are nervous about playing in the Superdome on a national stage in front of an ESPN2 television audience, they sure aren’t showing it.

From center Nick Paris’ infamous Backstreet Boys routine at the Rock ‘N Bowl on Monday to the antics of virtually the entire team on Bourbon Street, the Owls have been loose since arriving in New Orleans.

“Definitely no nerves,” said leading receiver Cortez Gent. “We are just going to go out and make plays and treat it like it’s any old game.”

The Owls played well on the big stage in the latter half of the season. After being blown out by Oklahoma State and Kentucky early in the season, FAU recovered to put a scare into a ranked South Florida Bulls team and put on quite a show against the University of Florida Gators in the Swamp. After a disappointing triple overtime homecoming loss to Louisiana-Monroe, the Owls rebounded to defeat Arkansas State, Florida International University and Troy to win the Sun Belt.

The Owls went through a light practice sans shoulder pads on Wednesday in final preparation for New Orleans Bowl opponent Memphis.

“We are antsy, very emotional and very hyped,” said linebacker Cergile Sincere.

The Tigers bring a high powered offense, but FAU Coach Howard Schnellenberger believes the Owls can keep up if they stick to the game plan implemented in recent practices.

“If our offense comes out and does what it is capable of doing we can score enough points to win,” Schnellenberger said. “This team set a goal of winning the conference championship and the have spent 365 days reaching it.”

Fans ArriveThe FAU faithful have begun to appear in the Big Easy. With three bowl games scheduled within a month, the souvenir shops around town are stocking up on team gear.

Already on shelves are goods for fans of Sugar Bowl participants Hawaii and Georgia and BCS Championship schools Ohio State and Louisiana State.

In much smaller demand are commemorative shirts, hats and novelties for Memphis and FAU fans in town for the R and L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. Being a first-timer in a bowl game, many of the shops around town didn’t know what to expect from FAU fans, so Memphis gear can be found in far greater numbers.

Last time the Tigers were in the New Orleans Bowl they drew about 10,000 fans that made the six-hour drive. This time, with the No. 2 ranked men’s basketball team playing a home game against Georgetown on Saturday, far less Memphis fans are expected. Still the Tigers, playing in their fourth bowl game in five years, are expected to out draw the Owls’ small but rapidly expanding fan base.

Three buses of students left South Florida late Wednesday night and just arrived in New Orleans late Thursday afternoon.

Read more New Orleans Bowl Game coverage.

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