By Brian Rowitz
The Owls open up the 2012 season tonight at home against FCS opponent Wagner. Let’s take a look at 7 things in 60 words or less that Owl fans should be watching for tonight.
QB – the big question of the week is who will take that 1st snap of the season for the Owls. Coach Pelini has kept his hand close to his chest on who will start. Graham Wilbert has the experience at playing FBS football but Stephen Curtis has the edge because he ran the spread in High School.
Attitude – last year was rough on everybody associated with FAU football and it took its toll on the mental makeup of some guys. This year everybody from the players to the coaches will be learning on the fly. There might be some early learning curves, so how everybody responds to some bumps in the road will determine a lot.
Local kids – most people in the area have probably never heard of Wagner before seeing them show up on the Owls’ schedule. That isn’t true for local High School coaches though. The Seahawks have 19 players on their roster from the state of Florida including 4 from Jupiter Christian.
Filling the shoes of Alfred Morris – Alfred Morris has been a staple of FAU football for the last few years and because of that it won’t be easy replacing him. Morris left FAU as the career leader in rushing yards and in order to replace him FAU will rotate 4 or 5 backs throughout the game.
End result – as cliché as it sounds, a win tonight can mean a lot for the players and fans of FAU football. A win would match last season’s entire total and would help players get in the right mental state heading into next week’s Sun Belt opener with Middle Tennessee St.
Depth – if FAU has one distinct advantage tonight it comes in the form of depth. Because of the fact that they are a FCS team, Wagner will not have as many scholarship players as the Owls. If FAU can keep it close they might be able to have more left in the tank come the end of the game.
Positivity – last year sucked, no other way to put it. That being said, tonight is the start of a new season and a new era in FAU football. Some results will be seen immediately while others might take some time. Thorough it all though, Owl fans must continue to remain positive and stay behind the team.
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There are no games scheduled for today.