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.


Huskers barrel through the Owls

Before the new college football year began, many preseason predictions heralded the Owls offense as the strength of the team while the defense would be the big question.

For at least the first half of the season opener at 24th-ranked Nebraska, the defense looked like the real deal while the offense struggled to get any momentum going.

But when the final whistle sounded, neither side had much to brag about after Nebraska opened the flood gates in route to a 49-3 victory.

“[Nebraska] put it into overdrive,” FAU Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger told reporters after the game. “I asked our guys to put it into overdrive, but they didn’t have enough juice.”

After holding the score to 21-3 at halftime, the Owls just could not stop the Nebraska running game in the second half. Nebraska running back Roy Helu Jr. had 16 carries for 152 yards and three touchdowns, two of which came in the third and fourth quarters to put the game out of reach.

“In my opinion, we didn’t come to play football today,” says senior fullback Willie Rose. “We have a lot of work to do.”

Quarterback Rusty Smith and the offense struggled to move the ball the entire game, going 15-31 with 164 yards and two interceptions. Backup quarterback Jeff Van Camp, who is the leading candidate to take over at QB for the Owls when Smith leaves after this season, saw action in the second quarter and finished the game 5-10 with 72 yards.

Van Camp led the Owls to their only points of the game on an 11-play, 56-yard drive which ended with a 21-yard field goal from Ross Gornall.

Although the Owls settled for three points, that drive was the closest FAU came to scoring a touchdown. Tight end Jason Harmon caught a jump ball in the back of the end zone, but the pass was ruled incomplete as Harmon lost control of the ball after he hit the turf.

At the end of the day, though, the Owls were just overmatched. Fans watching in Coyote Jack’s knew it as well, as people started trickling to the exit after Nebraska took a 35-3 lead midway through the third quarter. The Cornhuskers finished the game with 490 total yards of offense, 259 of which came from rushing the ball.

“We had high expectations and were confident we could make things work, knowing the experience we had coming back and the work we’ve had in practice the last few weeks,” says Rose. “But it didn’t turn out the way we had hoped.”

However, the Owls finished with 358 total yards, led by a solid performance from running back Alfred Morris, who had 18 carries for 85 yards in his first college start. Morris earned the starting tailback job after Jeff Blanchard and Willie Floyd went down with injuries earlier this year.

On the defensive side, cornerback Tarvoris Hill recorded the team’s first interception of the season when he picked off Nebraska quarterback Zac Lee near the end of the third quarter.

Despite the big loss, the Owls will eventually have to put this game behind them. On Sept. 19, they travel to Columbia, S.C., to take on the South Carolina Gamecocks and legendary Head Coach Steve Spurrier.

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