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Head Coach: Howard Schnellenberger (Z8-30,5 years; 128-107-3 overall, 21 years) 2005 Record: 2-9,2-5/T7th Sun Belt
Location: Boca Raton, FL Turf: Grass Capacity: 20,500 Seating Chart:
Florida Atlantic did not decide it would start playing football until 1997 and hired one of the best head coaches around in Howard Schnellenberger. He began to hire his coaches in 1999 and this team played its first "true" football game in 2001. Following a 2-9 season in 2002, Schnellenberger coached a remarkable 11 -3 2003 season. They were picked to finish sixth among the Independents in IAA in 2003. They beat #32 Youngstown St, #23 Illinois St, and SBC member Middle Tenn St all on the road. They finished the year #4 in Div IAA ball and were the youngest start-up program ever to make the IAA playoffs. In 2004 Schnellenberger had a veteran squad with 9 starters back on offense and 10 on defense and pulled 3 consecutive road upsets (Hawaii, N Texas and MTSt), two of which went to bowl games. They started the season 5-0 (all on the road) and finished the year 9-3. They were a +4 net wins (see pg 299). Last year they had to replace 29 lettermen, the most in the league and I called for FAU to finish 7th in the SBC, despite the fact that they were coming off a 9-3 season. FAU actually led Kansas 13-12 in the 3Q and were only outgained by 9 yards by the eventual Fort Worth Bowl winner. They also played much better than the final score would indicate vs Oklahoma St. A 42 yd fumble return set up ULM for a late TD in a 28-21 loss. They also missed a 44 yd FG at the end of regulation and tost to Ark St in OT, 3-0. After knocking off NT, they had an amazing 4 int's returned for TD's vs FIU and finished, as I expected, at just 2-9 and 7th in the league. FAU was -7 in turnovers. In their first year of IA ball, with 9 offensive starters back, the Owls offense avg'd 24.9 ppg. Last year with just 2 starters back, the number dropped as expected to 13.5 ppg. This year with 7 offensive starters returning, they should be much more potent. With just 4 starters returning on defense last year, I thought the Owls would have a weak D and they went from allowing 17.3 ppg to 30.8. However, watching the unit, they had more team speed than I thought they would and faced powerhouse offenses in Minnesota and Louisville (46 & 61 points). They also had an aberration vs Fla Int'l with 4 defensive TD's allowed. Taking away those three games and the 3 points Ark St scored in OT, FAU allowed a respectable 22.1 ppg in regulation in the other eight. This year they have 8 starters back (5 of the top 8 tacklers) and should be much stingier ppg allowed category.
Florida Atlantic Owls Football 2006 Schedule
at Kansas State
at Oklahoma State
at South Carolina
at Middle Tennessee
at North Texas
FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL @Pro Player Stadium - Miami, FL
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