Confidence grows, despite Kansas loss

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Monday, September 05, 2005

It didn't take long for Florida Atlantic to find out it would be able to hold its own vs. Kansas on Saturday.

The Owls moved the ball early against the Jayhawks and, despite losing 30-19, FAU wasn't pushed around by its more established opponent

Instead the Owls were competitive, even taking a 13-12 lead late in the third quarter. FAU didn't win, but it did learn it can compete against teams that are in BCS conferences.

"The offense did OK against a solid defense," said FAU senior quarterback Danny Embick, who threw for 299 yards and three touchdowns. "There is a gain of confidence."

The Owls (0-1) are hoping for a similar scenario Thursday when they host Oklahoma State (1-0) at Dolphins Stadium.

"(Saturday's) game will give us some confidence," said FAU sophomore running back DiIvory Edgecomb, who played in his first collegiate game against Kansas. "We know what we need to work on to get better for OSU.."

After reviewing video of FAU's loss to the Jayhawks, coach Howard Schnellenberger saw many things to build on.

"It was a great first outing for us," he said. "So many players for us had not played at the NCAA level and this was a great opportunity for them to get a first hand outlook on how they measured up. By and large I thought they measured up extremely well."

There were areas of concern, however.

FAU was penalized 10 times for 66 yards, many of them illegal formations and false starts on offense, and had only 70 yards rushing on 37 attempts.

"We have to do much better than that," Schnellenberger said. "We need to average 3.5 to 4 yards per carry. If we can't do that it will be a long stretch for us. But I think we can."

Oklahoma State is better than the Jayhawks, but the Owls may be catching OSU at the right time.

The Cowboys (1-0) had their hands full against Division I-AA Montana State on Saturday. Utilizing a new spread offense under first-year OSU coach Mike Gundy, the Cowboys held on for a 15-10 victory.

"We'll be getting the tape tonight and be studying them," coach Howard Schnellenberger said.

Noteworthy: The only serious injury is to starting defensive lineman Josh Jenkins, who is doubtful for Thursday's game with a sprained ankle.