2013 Florida Atlantic Spring Analysis
2013 Florida Atlantic Owls ...
Head Coach: Carl Pelini
Why To Get Excited … of the nine players to catch at least 10 passes last year, just one was a senior. The Owls are loaded with good hands and fleet feet, led by Second Team All-Sun Belt pick William Dukes, who caught 63 balls for 979 yards and four touchdowns as a budding sophomore.
8/31 at Miami
9/7 at East Carolina
9/14 at South Florida
9/21 Middle Tennessee
9/28 at Rice
10/5 at UAB
10/19 OPEN DATE
10/26 at Auburn
11/9 OPEN DATE
11/16 at Southern Miss
11/23 New Mexico State
Why To Be Grouchy … who’ll get the ball to all of those experienced wideouts? With the graduation of underrated QB Graham Wilbert, second-year head coach Carl Pelini is staring at a five-man battle to become the new starter. None of those contenders has ever thrown a touchdown pass at this level.
The Number One Thing To Work On Is … improving the efficiency of the running game. Pelini wants the identity of his offense to hinge on a power running game that can control the clock and the tempo of the game. However, a year ago, Florida Atlantic ranked 107th nationally on the ground, while averaging only 3.3 yards per carry.
Non-Conference Games: at Miami, at USF, at Auburn, New Mexico State
Games Against the West: at Rice, Tulane
Realistic Best Case Record: 5-7
Worst Case Record: 1-11
Likely Finish: 2-10
Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: New Mexico State, FIU
Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: at Miami, at East Carolina, at USF, Middle Tennessee, at Rice, at UAB, Marshall, at Auburn, Tulane, at Southern Miss
Schedule Analysis: Get used to life on the road – again. The Owls are used to being everyone’s guests, and this season isn’t any different starting out with five road games in the first six with only a home game against Middle Tennessee to break up the run. If that wasn’t bad enough, going to Auburn and Southern Miss means seven of the first ten games are on the road, but there’s a break in the end staying home to face New Mexico State before closing out with rival, FIU. From the West, having to face Rice on the road isn’t going to be a plus this season, while the Tulane game will be a must win to have any hope of coming up with a strong finishing kick.
Team Concerns For 2013: The Owls have to find ways to score against the stronger defenses. The pass rush was miserable with a mere 12 sacks on the season, and the special teams were abysmal, but the defense will come around under Carl Pelini. FAU has to start putting points on the board and it has to start with a better ground game. The O started to work over the second half of the season, but it needs to keep the chains moving.
The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Players from outside of Florida. Carl Pelini is starting to settle in a bit, but he's not exactly putting a fence around the State of Miami. JUCO transfer Jacquez Johnson is a smallish quarterback from Mississippi who'll try to get the woeful offense going, while guard Austin Bland and JUCO transfer Braden Lyons will get a long look for the O line. Defensive tackles Lance Burlingame from Massachusetts and Derek Butcher from North Dakota are JUCO transfers brought in to fight for time in the interior. The best players in the class, though, are at linebacker with Robert Relf and Andrew Curtis both coming in from Brophy College Prep in
2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking:
111. That Class Was Heavy On ... It’s Carl Pelini taking over the head coaching job, so the defense is going to be a primary focus with the secondary a major need and outside linebacker needing to be addressed. However, the offense was miserable last year and needs an upgrade in talent level. The quarterbacks came in a few years ago, with Stephan Curtis soon to be a factor, but playmakers across the offensive board will be used.
2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 120. That Class Was
Heavy On ... Outside linebacker. This is yet another soft recruiting class as Howard Schnellenberger didn’t load up on too many strong prospects from around the area. As always, everyone is local, but the only player of note is undersized linebacker Damian Parms, who isn’t big, but can stick. The receiving corps gets a little help with William Dukes and Hakeem Ishmar two big, promising targets.
2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 119. That Class Was
Heavy On ... Quarterbacks. It
wasn't exactly the old Howard Schnellenberger wall
around Miami to get the top talent from the area. A
class that lacked star power also lacked any one
area of beefing up, but there were two decent
quarterback prospects to build on for the next few
years with 6-3, 210-pound Nick Bracewell and
strong-armed Stephen Curtis to battle it out to be
the future of the program. Bracewell is the better
of the two.
2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 101. That Class Was
Heavy On ... Cornerback. By far the best prospects of this year’s class are in the secondary where De’Andre Richardson and Keith Reaser are two really fast, really good corners who should be fixtures in the FAU defensive backfield for years. Winfred Strickland and Treon Howard aren’t as fast or as good, but they should provide decent depth down the road.