Aug. 7, 2015
BOCA RATON, Fla. - Florida Atlantic University's football team worked through two hours of practice with the two sides of the ball becoming more and more spirited in anticipation of wearing full pads on Saturday.
"We are only four days in so it is really hard to tell, but I'm cautiously optimistic," said Roc Bellantoni, FAU's Defensive Coordinator, about his young defense. "We are going to have some guys who can play, especially the young guys coming in. They are putting heat on the older guys to play. When they (newcomers) figure out what is going on, they will be a pretty good group. The older guys have stepped up and have gotten a lot better too. It will be pretty interesting to see the competition play out."
The team work session saw the defense shine on back-to-back plays with Andrew Matyk, a converted quarterback playing linebacker, received credit for a pass breakup. One play later, another linebacker broke up a play across the middle and Marquese Dudley-Gordon batted a third ball down.
Senior wide receiver Jenson Stoshak then made the defense pay during the third and long drills with two catches to move the chains. Senior receiver Derek Moise mirrored Stoshak's efforts with two as well. The running game was highlighted by Jay Warren runs and a big play from senior Jaquez Johnson who broke for a 44-yard touchdown run.
The Owls also saw the return of the fullback package, which was occasionally used a year ago. Newcomer Kal-El Williams, the only fullback listed on the roster, made the defense suffer both on the ground and through the air. As in every practice, the team continued to focus on competition. The defense captured the day and did so on the day's final play by defending a passing route.
FAU will open the 2015 season at Tulsa on Saturday, Sept. 5. The Owls will return home Friday, Sept. 11 when FAU plays host to Miami at 8 p.m. The game will air on Fox Sports 1. There are currently less than 1,700 tickets remaining for the FAU versus UM game. All games will air on ESPN West Palm 106.3 FM and on www.fausports.com.
Season tickets, as well as Miami single-game tickets, are on sale and can be purchased by calling 1-866-FAU-Owls or by visiting ticketmaster.com or www.fausports.com.