Owls positive about season-opening loss



Published Monday, September 5, 2005

by Hannon Deutsch

It almost happened. Again.

Florida Atlantic University went from the most experienced team in the nation to the least, forcing redshirt freshmen and first-time starters to replace 28 seniors who laid a sturdy foundation based on grit and determination, and the Owls almost pulled off their third stunning upset on the road to start a season.

Kansas paid a fifth-year program $400,000 to come to Lawrence because they wanted an easy non-conference win. What they got was a downright scare.

The Owls took a 13-12 lead late in the third quarter when Danny Embick found running back DiIvory Edgecomb streaking down the sideline for a 66-yard touchdown. At that point there was much to celebrate before the wheels fell off in a 30-19 loss.

“I’m impressed with this Florida Atlantic team,” KU coach Mark Mangino said. “They are going to win their share of games. We knew it was going to be a tough game.”

Well, tough enough for the first three quarters.

Embick connected on 20 passes for 299 yards and three touchdowns proving he belonged at the helm against the top-ranked Big 12 defense of a year ago. Except for a couple of big plays the Owls’ offense couldn’t establish the very thing they needed to pull off the upset. With no running game to speak of, the defense spent the majority of the game on the field.

“We really just couldn’t run the football tonight,” said Embick, referring to the 70 yards FAU managed on the ground. “Without being able to pound the ball on offense, it makes it tough on everyone. I believe that’s why the defense gave up 28 points out of the 30 and started cramping up.”

The Owls came into the game as a 24-point underdog. They left knowing they were in position to silence the odds-makers and let it slip away. But there is no time to look back with Oklahoma State on the horizon.

“We thought we were going to be in a dog fight until the end,” Schnellenberger said. “We didn’t make that happen, but that’s football. The different between winning this game and losing this game is not very much.”

Next up: Pistol Pete
Oklahoma State might be coming off three straight bowl appearances but that doesn’t mean all is well in Stillwater.

The Cowboys squeaked past pesky I-AA Montana State 15-10 and looked bad doing it. OSU and new coach Mike Gundy will bring the no-huddle, spread offense to Dolphins Stadium Thursday night for a showdown with FAU.

The Owls should like their chances more then they did one week ago against Les Miles’s former team (now with LSU) since quarterback Donovan Woods and Co. have been struggling to learn the new offensive scheme.

Still, Schnellenberger will not base any opinions until he sees the tape of the game.
“I’ll have a better idea of what our situation is when I study the tape tonight,” he said.

Owls junior defensive end Josh Jenkins is listed as doubtful (ankle) for Thursday’s game ... Jared Allen — a four-year starter at quarterback for the Owls — was cut by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week ... FAU former linebacker Chris Laskowski is still on the Indianapolis Colts 53-man roster.