Coach salutes running backs
By Ted Hutton
Staff Writer
Posted August 17 2005

 

BOCA RATON Florida Atlantic's running backs had such a good scrimmage Tuesday that it prompted coach Howard Schnellenberger to break tradition.

"I usually don't do this, but I was really pleased. They may be as productive as running backs as we have had along the way," said Schnellenberger, who rarely praises individuals this early in preseason.

"They squirted through some pretty small holes and arms, things that good, tough backs do," Schnellenberger said about redshirt freshmen Charlies Pierre and DiIvory Edgecomb and sophomore B.J. Manley.

Schnellenberger had plenty of chances to watch the running game, as FAU ran 74 times while throwing 36 passes in its first scrimmage.

Pierre had 31 carries for 80 yards, Edgecomb eight for 38 and Manley 16 for 52.

"Everyone went out there and did their assignments," said Edgecomb, who said he felt he was only average. "In the next scrimmage hopefully I will come out and look a lot better."

Quarterback Danny Embick also had a good performance, completing 12 of 16 passes with one touchdown.

"It was awesome for us," Embick said. "The offensive line took care of business.

"The [running] backs were soldiers out there."

Embick showed his scrambling skills, as did backup McKinson Soverain, who rushed for two short touchdowns and was 6 of 12 passing for 56 yards with one interception.

The leading receiver was freshman Jason Harmon, who had four catches for 41 yards.

Manley had three catches for 28 yards coming out of the backfield.

"The defense should have been better," Schnellenberger said.

Junior defensive back Troy Pindell agreed.

"We have some experience, but the guys are pretty young. We just have to learn to work together as a team," said Pindell, a starting safety who had a fumble recovery in the scrimmage.

Defensive coordinator Kirk Hoza said things should change Saturday when FAU holds its second scrimmage.

"It was pretty vanilla today. I think we'll add a few wrinkles the next time," Hoza said.

Ted Hutton can be reached at thutton@sun-sentinel.com.