Oct. 10, 2012
With two weeks since their last game, the FAU football team returns to the field this Saturday, October 13, at Malone Stadium in Monroe, La., against the ULM Warhawks.
Coming off of their first bye week, Owls head coach Carl Pelini spoke about that time, between the 20-14 loss to North Texas all the way back on September 29 and Saturday’s game.
“They needed time off, so we gave them three days off,” said Pelini. “At the same time, we needed to go out and recruit and I think we got a lot done on the road. Thursday and Friday, we were primarily back to camp full-speed, and after a few days off, it’s good to knock the cobwebs off. And it’s also good to visit some of the things that you think you haven’t been doing well: tackling, more physical offensive line play, those types of things.”
The 3-2 Warhawks made national headlines in their non-conference schedule. They upset then-No. 8 Arkansas, 34-31, before narrowly falling to Auburn (31-28 in overtime) and Baylor (47-42). Pelini talked about what their performances meant to the Sun Belt.
“A lot, it made people take notice,” he said. “Monroe is a great story, they did a lot for our conference, but ultimately, that needs to keep happening year in and year out. That means schools like FAU and the rest of us have to carry our weight, and we’ve got to start winning some of those games.”
Pelini went on to say that there’s more to ULM that what meets the eye.
“Everybody sees what happening on the field, but you look at their guys, there’s player development happening,” said Pelini. “They’re big, they’re physical, they can move, (but) there’s a lot of offseason, behind-the-scenes work going on at Monroe. Their quarterback is great, their offense is great, but they’re a physical football team that could physically match up with those SEC teams they played. There wasn’t a big contrast between the strength of their players and the speed of their players, versus those SEC teams they were playing. It goes beyond recruiting; it goes into investing in player development.”
And according to the Owls’ head coach, the success of the Warhawks can very much be a blueprint for FAU.
“That’s a good lesson for everybody here at this school: patience, sticking to a plan and not panicking, not changing things week to week,” said Pelini. “They kinda do what they do, and you look at them last year, they were doing the same things. They’re just getting more comfortable in that system and executing it better. They’ve got a new player or two, but really it’s pretty much the same team that they fielded a year ago.”
Game time on Saturday between the Owls (0-2 in the SBC) and the Warhawks (1-0 after last week’s 31-17 win over Middle Tennessee) is 8 p.m. eastern, and can be heard on FAUSports.com or seen on CSS.