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


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


FAU Football: FAU’s defense prepares for Saturday’s game against Ohio

Defensive Coordinator Roc Bellantoni and defensive linemen Evan Anderson and Marlon Bradley discuss their Week 1 win and expectations for Week 2
Gasner Delvarin, Jr.
The Owls defensive line (white) facing off against the offensive line (black), who are posing as the Bobcats, at practice ahead of Saturday’s home game. September 6, 2023.

Last Saturday, the Florida Atlantic Owls football team (1-0, 0-0 AAC) defeated the Monmouth University Hawks at home 42-20. With the first game of the season behind them, the Owls prepare to take on the Ohio University Bobcats (1-1, 0-0 MAC) this weekend, hoping to add another win to their record. 

The Owls’ defense was explosive during their first game of the season, totaling 68 tackles against the Hawks, with six of those causing a loss of yards. The FAU defense also came away with four deflected passes, and one lone sack by redshirt junior defensive end Marlon Bradley. 

“It was exciting, to say the least,” Bradley said. “But to do it with my teammates out there, with my guys, I honestly just felt like it was the best thing.”

The Owls’ defensive coordinator Roc Bellantoni, who previously worked with FAU football from 2014-2016, caught his first win since his homecoming to FAU for the 2023 season. 

“The biggest thing I was excited about with our defense was effort; we played really, really hard,” Bellantoni said. “If we play that hard every play all season long, we’re gonna be just fine.”

FAU’s All-AAC First-Team junior defensive tackle, Evan Anderson, debuted healthy in FAU’s first game this season, leaving with six total tackles and a pass deflection. This week, Anderson gets ready to take on Ohio, after missing last year’s game against them due to a meniscus tear. 

“We got to rush the passer and stop the run,” Anderson said. “Same as every game.”

In training for their game against the Hawks, the Florida Atlantic defense ran through plays during practice on Wednesday, with offensive players wearing black to pose as Ohio. Defensive players inside the box practiced breaking through the offensive line and applying pressure on the quarterback. Meanwhile, defensive backs took turns running out alongside a receiver to simulate tight man coverage; defenders also practiced collectively covering different receiver lineups.

“Our best is required on every play, whether they’re [Ohio] running the ball, throwing the ball, whatever it is,” Bellantoni said. “We’re gonna have to play really well on defense.” 

The Owls will welcome the Bobcats at the FAU Stadium this Saturday, September 9th, at 6 p.m. EST. The game will broadcast on ESPN+.

Kristan Reynolds is a Contributing Writer for the University Press. Email her at [email protected] or DM her via Instagram @kristanreynolds_.

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  • T

    Terry WennerSep 6, 2023 at 7:48 pm

    Great writer so interesting and factual

  • T

    Terry wennetSep 6, 2023 at 7:46 pm

    Great writer so interesting and factual👍👍👍👍👍