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October 15, 2007

Question from Greg
Hey Coach! Thanks for the great game against USF! I hope you have the guys fired up to play against UF! That needs to be a close game for the prestige of our program.

Now that USF is trying to drop UCF like a bad habit. Can we pick up an annual game with UCF? It makes the most sense out of all the Florida schools.


Response from Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger
You are absolutely right about it. We are in the same developmental quadrant with UCF. Wouldnít it be wonderful to have a home-and-home series after our stadium is in place? In as much as ours is going to be very similar to the stadium UCF has in place now.

Question from Steve
Coach, Great season! I have two questions.
1) When you recruited Jason Harmon, did you ever see him do his Harmon Hop in High School or is this something new?

2) When you recruit QBs what are you looking for? You seem to always produce good quarterbacks.

Go Owls!!

Response from Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger
Jason didnít play that much wide receiver. He was a deep free safety. We got a glimpse of him in a high school combine. The first time he recollects doing the hop was in the preseason scrimmage where he caught a ball, turned up and made a hurdling move over a would be tackler and then came down on his feet running. This move is not something that will be used as a primary weapon for the tight end. The tight end catches the ball with the defender at his back so much of the time that when you whirl you drop your shoulder and start up field immediately like a fullback. It will only be periodically that there will be enough advance warning of a would be tackler in his path that he would be able to make that adjustment and do the hop. It is quite a third dimension of a runners escape path, right Ė leftóover the top.

Certainly we look for height, strong arm, leadership, intelligence, coach ability and an inner drive that will force him to improve each of those characteristics as he learns to play football in our system. Perhaps the most important ingredient is that football is his driving force. A force that rises to the level of his educational desires because he has to be a leader whenever the team is together and coaches are not allowed to be there. I liken Rusty to Bernie Kosar in height and delivery and analytical mind that allows him pick up the basics of quarterbacking reasonably.

Question from Alejandro
First, let me tell you how grateful I am for all that you do at FAU. You have given me a new passion. I was born and raised in Colombia where we play soccer. I ended up graduating from FAU in 2006 where I was introduced to football and I can say that nowadays I probably enjoy more football than soccer. I always believed in you, the team and the athletics department at FAU. I talk to people about the football program as much as I can because I love my school and the football program. That being said, I will always support the team 100%.

Thank you Coach.

Thank you very much for your e-mail that strengthens me and will my team when I post it on the bulletin board. It is people like you that make the job of a coach developing a program rewarding. Hang with us. The joy ride is just beginning.

Question from Matthew
I canít express in words just how proud I was of our team after the game Saturday (Oct. 6) against USF. We could have easily folded once we went down 21-14 and then 28-17, but both the offense and defense showed great HEART and perseverance in refusing to give up. The defense came up with key stops, especially on a big 4th and 2 in the second half, to keep us in the game and give our explosive offense opportunities to keep things close on the scoreboard. Cerge was all over the field (13 tackles I think I read?) and Iím sure played a vital part in leading our defense in not letting the 6th ranked team in the country intimidate us. After playing their hearts out and coming off the field physically and emotionally drained, Tavious Polo still took the time to sign autographs for some kids and Cerge came over to shake my hand as I applauded our guys. Not only did our team give a great effort, but also they conducted themselves with class and dignity the entire time, surly a reflection of: great coaching as well as our team leaders. I have never been more proud of any team I have supported through my years of football (playing and watching), and I just hope the team realizes how proud the university is of our team, and how excited we are for the future.

Thanks Coach, lets get that Sun Belt!!!

Response from Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger
Thank you very much for your wonderful e-mail. Itís e-mails like yours that have caused me to change policy that Iíve had in the past, selected e-mails like yours will be posted on the bulletin board. It is important for me to let our team to know how you and others feel about their courageous efforts.

Question from Jennifer
Hey Coach,
I know this may be difficult question but Iím wondering why our team was able to hold the #6 team in the country down to the very last minutes at home but we falter when we played teams like Oklahoma state on the road.

Why is there this huge gap between how we play at Lockhart and how we play at other teamís stadiums and when will we be able to close it?

Iíd like to think that weíd be a top-75 team this year. To-50 team next year, and hopefully To-25 by the end of the 2010 season.

But I donít imagine that happening without significant success (upsets) on the road, since raising our star means beating big teams like Texas and Michigan State in front of their fans.

You have more experience in this respect than the fans do, of course, so what is it going to take so that the Owls can walk into a place like the Big House and take the w despite 100K people trying to get them to do otherwise?

Response from Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger
I must tell you that up until this year, playing at home as very difficult for our team. Our on-the-road record outshined far outshined our home record. I am pleased that this year we got our first two home wins, one in the Sun Belt Conference. I think this may start a trend. You have to understand this is a start-up program and there is very little statistics that bear out your statement. Appalachian has been playing football for nearly 100 years and has played BCS Division I football teams for years and have about the same success as others have that have been playing that long. I like you look forward to the dramatic improvement as years go by. We canít take anything for granite, playing each game one at a time through the years. We will take the route of playing as hard and as dedicated as we can.

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