Sept. 11, 2012
The Florida Atlantic Owls football team faces an uphill battle when they travel to Athens, Georgia this Saturday, September 15, to take on the #7-ranked University of Georgia Bulldogs.
Coming off of a 31-17 loss last week at Middle Tennessee State, head coach Carl Pelini has no steps in place to change his gameplan despite the reputation of his opponent.
"If you change how you do things based on your opponent, then you're telling your guys, we didn't do it good enough any other weeks," he said. "I think no matter who your opponent is, you prepare as best you can, and you do it the way think is the best way to do it. We do the best job we can preparing our guys every week."
Mostly, Pelini believes the change starts with his own squad.
"We have 100 things we need to fix," he said. "I knew when I took this job that that would be the challenge, fixing everything. The way we practice, the way we prepare, the way we work out, the way we conduct our daily lives. All those things manifest themselves on the field. Those are the things I'm worried about. I can't worry about Georgia, Alabama, North Texas, or Louisiana-Monroe, I have to worry about us. Until we can get us fixed, it really doesn't matter who the opponent is."
There are positives to playing a school like Georgia though, the coach says.
"I want our players to share my vision, and I want my administration and school administration to share my vision," said Pelini. "To go up and play a team that is perennially a top-20 team, and see not just (what's) on the football field, but the organization itself. How they conduct game day and how their players act on the field, how their players prepare and how they execute, and how their athletic staff administration as a whole conducts the game experience. All those things are positive things for a school like FAU because that's what my vision for this program ultimately would be."
While Pelini has never coached against a Mark Richt-led squad, he respects the way he coaches.
"I've always been impressed by Mark Richt and his teams. They're physical, downhill, well-schooled. They do what they do, and they do it well. You're not gonna see a different Georgia team week-to-week. That's true in the SEC a lot, the athletes they have allow them to do that. I like coaches that have success through consistency. I look at schools like Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Virginia Tech, the teams who year in and year out, they have an identity that you don't see shifting all the time. Oregon, in a different way, they still have their identity. They believe in it, they stick with it, they play it out year in and year out. Those are the programs, there's a reason they're always good. They're not fly by night, they know what they want to do, and they just go out and execute it."
Click here to view the game notes for this Saturday's game with Georgia, with a kickoff at 7:30. Live audio streaming and statistics can be found on FAUSports.com.