Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 22, 2007
BOCA RATON — The last time Florida Atlantic coach Howard Schnellenberger coached there he led Miami to a 31-30 victory against Nebraska to win its first national championship on Jan. 2 1984.
Although Schnellenberger coached in the stadium for years as the Hurricanes coach and a Dolphins assistant, he said he can't afford to get emotional about his final visit to the Orange Bowl, the site of Saturday's Shula Bowl game between FAU and FIU.
"It's going to be a very physical and a very important game for both us and we don't have time to be thinking about the Grand Old Lady during that struggle," Schnellenberger said.
"But at game's end, there will be plenty of time to think about the venue and give her a proper send-off."
Schnellenberger already has his post-game tribute planned.
"It's my inclination to drop down to both knees and say goodbye to the Grand Old Lady," Schnellenberger said. "But that will be after the slings of arrows of combat have ceased."
FAU players are looking forward to the opportunity to play at the Orange Bowl, which is scheduled to be razed next year.
"My high school never played there when I was there, but they did after I left," said FAU defensive back Tavoris Hill, who played at Miami Central. "I'm real excited to play in it since it's one of the last games there."
For some FAU players who grew up in Miami, playing in the Orange Bowl will be special.
"I'm going to finally make it there," said FAU junior offensive lineman Brandon Jackson, who grew up in the Liberty City section of Miami, just minutes away from the Orange Bowl. "I grew up wanting to get on the field and now I get the chance."