Owls Will Try For Fifth Win in a Row

After a 1-5 start to the season, including two losses to open their conference slate, the Owls are suddenly looking at a situation very similar to last season.

FAU is 5-5, the same record they had after 10 games a year ago.

“If we win the next two games, the difference between this year and last year will be one Hail Mary,” says head coach Howard Schnellenberger, referring to Middle Tennessee State’s last-second victory over the Owls on Sept. 30.

Another difference is when the Owls collected their wins. In 2007, FAU never dropped below the .500 mark. This season, FAU lost five of its first six games before storming back to win four in a row.

The bottom line is FAU can win its last two games and finish with an identical 7-5 record as last season, albeit with one more conference loss.

To accomplish that, the Owls will have to get through Arkansas State, a team that started the season strong with an upset of Texas A&M but has faltered of late. ASU will have a similar look to the Louisiana-Lafayette team the Owls beat 40-29 in their last game.

“I see a similarity between everybody we play in the league – they all use the same offense,” Schnellenberger says. “There are similarities to these two because they both like to run the ball.”

Just as ULL featured a dual threat quarterback in Michael Desormeaux and solid running back in Tyrell Fenroy, ASU offers the same with QB Corey Leonard and RB Reggie Arnold. Leonard is third in the Sun Belt with 230.6 yards per game of total offense, and Arnold is fourth in the Sun Belt, averaging 82.2 rushing yards per game.

“I think they are going to come to run the football … but I think if we come to play as a defense like we did last week, and we have been with intensity, we’ll be just fine. I think they like to pass the ball a little more, so we’ll have to get ready for that, get a pass rush going” says defensive tackle Josh Savidge. “I think last week helped us prepare for this week.”

FAU’s defense, with a banged up line, will look to contain the Sun Belt’s third best offense, averaging 28.2 points per game.

“It’s been different losing [Jermaine] Council and [Robert] St. Clair,” Savidge says. “When a man goes down, you’ve got to keep going and do your best.”

The Owls’ hopes for a bowl game will come closer to a reality with a win over the Red Wolves. NCAA rules stipulate that teams must have six wins to be bowl eligible. However, the Owls will probably have to win seven games in order to make it to a bowl.

“We’ve got a lot at stake here,” says Owls senior running back Charles Pierre, who has four 100 yard games this season. “I think I can speak for the seniors by saying that we definitely have a sense of urgency. We don’t want to leave on a bad note. You can’t have a good year last year and not complement it with another bowl year this year. We’re leaders of this team and everybody is looking up to us, and we just want to take everybody to the next level.”