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.


Defense shows signs of progress in 35-25 loss

A record crowd of 2,011 spectators watched the FAU football offense beat an impressive defense by a final score of 35-25 in the 2009 spring game at the Tom Oxley Athletic Center on the Boca campus on April 18.

After being thoroughly outplayed by the offense in earlier spring scrimmages, the defense showed signs of improvement in the spring game. On the third play of the scrimmage, redshirt junior defensive back Erick McIntosh intercepted a pass to come up with the first turnover of the scrimmage. On the next play, when the ball was returned to the offense, the defense forced and recovered a fumble to take a 6-0 lead thanks to a special scoring system designed for the scrimmage.

The defense scored 25 points on the day by forcing a third turnover and stopping the offense 16 times for one point each time, but it was not enough to topple them. Regardless, head coach Howard was satisfied with the defensive display.

“I was proud of the defense for going out and doing what I asked them to do, and that was forget about making errors and forget about anything except going and trying to kill the guy with the ball,” said Schnellenberger.

The running game also shone on the sunny afternoon, which was led by another strong performance from running back Alfred Morris. The redshirt freshman finished the scrimmage with 18 carries for 131 yards and a 3-yard touchdown run.

“I just stepped up. I knew I had an extra weight on my back due to injuries. I had to take more reps than usual, but I just overcame and, hey, just had fun,” said Morris of his performance.

Senior quarterback Rusty Smith, who will try to lead the Owls to their third consecutive bowl game win in the 2009 season, saw limited action but made the most of it. Smith completed eight out of 10 passes for 114 yards and two touchdowns.

One of those touchdowns was a 37-yard pass in the end zone to redshirt junior Jamari Grant. The tight end was shaken up on the play after colliding with another receiver but still managed to make an amazing catch.

“That was a miraculous catch. I call that one of those ‘act of God’ things. It also shook him up, but did not hurt him,” said Schnellenberger.

Smith’s other touchdown pass was completed to redshirt junior tight end, Jason Harmon who is returning to action after missing the entire 2008 season with a leg injury.

Three other quarterbacks played in the game with redshirt sophomore Jeff VanCamp getting most of the repetitions by completing eight of his 18 pass attempts for 87 yards and a touchdown.

Freshman quarterbacks David Kooi and Graham Wilbert also saw limited action during the game.

“[Smith] was pretty good. [Van Camp] was probably better. [Kooi and Wilbert] are struggling,g but I saw little bit more out of Kooi than I have seen to this point,” said Schnellenberger.

The Owls open up their 2009 season at Nebraska on September 5.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

Do you have something to say? Submit your comments below
All UNIVERSITY PRESS Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *