BOCA RATON, Fla. - The Florida Atlantic University football team continued preparations for the 2014 season, balancing classes and practice for the first time this fall.
"It's an adjustment now that they have to go to class," Roc Bellantoni, FAU's Defensive Coordinator, said. "You change the stimulus of their bodies a little, but I thought [practice] was good."
The passing game stole the spotlight on both sides of the ball during the team drills, starting with a shoestring catch by Lucky Whitehead from Greg Hankerson. Soon after, freshman Henry Bussey caught a dump pass from fellow freshman Jason Driskel in the backfield and took it roughly 70 yards to the end zone.
Martese Jackson continued to impress in the running game, breaking off a long finesse run in which he broke several tackles up the middle.
The defense stepped it up midway through the session, beginning with a Cre'von LeBlanc pass breakup. Sharrod Neasman earned the biggest reaction from his teammates on the day as he climbed the ladder to intercept a pass that appeared to be out of reach. He followed up the pick with a pass breakup on the very next attempt.
In two-minute drills at the end of practice, Driskel scrambled for a first down then connected with Kalib Woods for 15 yards. Those efforts setup a practice-ending field goal by freshman Landon Scheer.
FAU football will open the 2014 season on Saturday, Aug. 30 at the University of Nebraska, with the game broadcast on the Big Ten Network. The Owls home season will kick-off on Saturday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. versus Tulsa at FAU Stadium, which will be televised by Fox College Sports.
All FAU games will be carried on ESPN West Palm 106.3, which has an APP for the Smart Phone platform, and on www.fausports.com.