Owls can't run; that must change
By Ted Hutton
Posted September 21 2005
BOCA RATON -- Florida Atlantic's running game never got its legs in the
first three games.
FAU lost those games and goes into Thursday night's conference opener against
Louisiana-Monroe (0-3) knowing it has to grind out more yards.
"To be able to win games we first have to establish the running
game," said freshman running back Charles Pierre, who has been held to
"We have to show that we know how to run the ball," said DiIvory Edgecomb, another
freshman, who has shared carries with Pierre
and has 41 yards.
The Owls can succeed only if the opponent has to be concerned about the run.
That sets up the passing game and keeps defenses from blitzing.
Quarterback Danny Embick is FAU's
leading rusher with 81 yards, a statistic that resulted from Kansas, Oklahoma
State and Minnesota using blitzes to chase him from
the pocket and force him to run.
Embick has been sacked nine times for 62 yards in
losses, and FAU is averaging 79 yards rushing and 1.9 yards per rush.
"It's frustrating," Embick said.
"We really can't seem to get the run game solid. We can't move the ball
In its three games, FAU has had 40 drives, and only five have had seven or
more plays and just three that have lasted longer than four minutes.
While FAU lost 46-7 Saturday at Minnesota,
Embick said the line blocked well.
Coach Howard Schnellenberger agreed. "They
had their best game. They have come along here in the last several
FAU has not just had to battle two teams from the Big 12 and one from the
Big Ten to open; the Owls are also trying to overcome lack of experience.
Edgecomb and Pierre hadn't played in a college
game before opening the season at Kansas,
and Embick, a senior, is also a first-year
"Mistakes are killing us because we are so young," Pierre said.
"It's not that the other teams have been that much bigger or faster.
Experience makes a big difference."
Pierre and Edgecomb said they have learned a lot
in the first three games, even though the Owls didn't pull off an upset and
win one of them.
"Every play you pick up something new. Then you look at the film and
figure out what you did wrong and fix it," Edgecomb
"We are getting smarter," said Pierre. "We are going into this game
with the mindset that we will run the ball. We are confident that is going