Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Cursory Preview of Florida Atlantic

This image is the thing you need to remember most about Florida Atlantic this Saturday:

The finger - stands for the number of national titles Schnellenberger has won, and represents that FAU is important enough to be worthy of merchandising. Somehow.

That picture is of college coaching great Howard Schnellenberger. He won a title with Miami in 1983. In 1993, his Louisville Cardinals waxed MSU in the Liberty Bowl. The man is a good coach, and looks like he'd give you a butterscotch candy if you sat still through church. Here are 10 things that have stuck out in my mind for Saturday's game (Noon start, ESPN2).
  1. Expect the Owls to have a pass bias. In their two games so far, FAU has passed a total of 74 times, compared to 48 rushes. That means a little more than 60% of their plays are passes. This is done because...
  2. They know their run game is lamer than FDR's legs. FAU QB/D-List porn star Rusty Smith admits as much, admitting that he didn't think FAU would have much luck on the ground. Even though they had success against UAB (7.8 yards per carry), against Texas the YPC was 1.6. Expect MSU to hold FAU to somewhere near Texas' number.
  3. I cannot, by law, call what FAU has their DL, LBs and secondary do on the field "defense". They gave up 52 points and 503 yards to Texas, and followed that failure up by allowing 34 points and 482 yards to UAB, of all teams. This typically means that FAU has to go the CMU route to win games by putting up 40 points on their opponents, which is typical for them in the Sun Belt.
  4. Rusty Smith is a bonafide quarterback. Here are his stats from 2007: 58.6% completion percentage, 3,688 passing yards, and 32 TD to 9 INTs. I don't care who you play, that's impressive. Good competition doesn't seem to faze him either, he was 15 for 31 with 253 yards and a TD versus Texas.
  5. Schnellenberger likes to hoot. He had this to say about Texas: "Texas always has a very polished team that has great talent, but they aren't tough; they aren't a physically tough team." Texas then proceeded to wuss their way to 52 points while holding FAU to 10. Schnellenberger later admitted that the comment was "something I sure as hell didn’t want to get to Texas." In his defense, he did make sure all the Western Union Telegraph deliverymen were booted from the room before making said comment.
  6. The players have beaks, as well. In the words of Jeff Blanchard, FAU kick returner: "We will score a lot against them, trust me." Well Jeff, the way MSU's secondary has looked this season, you may have a point. However, the way your defense has looked, I'm expecting Ringer to teleport like Nightcrawler right to your secondary.
  7. Injuries won't be a huge factor. One of FAU's starting defensive linemen and their center are out for this game, and that's about it. With the way MSU's pass rush and run blocking has been lately, they could use a little help.
  8. Their mascot is named Owsley. Here he is, in all his glory:
  9. MSU will cover the spread. The spread right now has MSU giving 17 points. The secondary hasn't looked great, but they'll make enough stops for Ringer and Hoyer to pierce the end zone with impunity.
  10. Final Score: MSU 49, FAU 24.
Later today or early tomorrow, I'll have the Big 10 picks for this week.

1 comment:

witless chum said...

" The man is a good coach, and looks like he'd give you a butterscotch candy if you sat still through church."


The rain forecast for Saturday sounds nice. Put the mud tires on Ringer and plan for another 30 carries against a dline that's supposed to be undersized. And couldn't stop UAB. Hopefully this doesn't turn into a track meet a la the Northwestern game last year. That's the only way I'd see the Spartans losing.