Who: vs. Florida Atlantic
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
TV; radio: CSS; 750, 95.5
About Florida Atlantic
Record: 1-1 (0-1 Sun Belt)
Last time played: First meeting
Offense: Florida Atlantic ranked 120th –- last — among FBS teams in total offense last season. FAU is averaging 12 points per game this season – a 7-3 win over FCS team Wagner followed by a 31-17 loss at Middle Tennessee. Quarterback Graham Wilbert, 6-foot-6 senior, completed 25 of 32 passes in the loss.
Defense: Linebacker David Hinds, the Owls’ most experienced defensive player, had 110 tackles last season and has 21 in the first two games this season. The Owls allowed 480 yards against Middle Tennessee last week (302 rushing).
Special teams: Running back Travis Jones had 51 kickoff-return yards and 112 all-purpose yards against Middle Tennessee.
What you should know: Florida Atlantic’s first football season was 2001. After starting in Division I-AA, the Owls moved to I-A (now called FBS) in 2005. They won the 2007 Sun Belt championship and became the youngest program to reach a bowl, beating Memphis in the New Orleans Bowl. The Owls have had three consecutive losing seasons since back-to-back winning records in 2007 and 2008. They had their worst season (1-11) last year. Georgia opened as a 44.5-point favorite. One week after playing in Athens, the Owls will play at Alabama. They opened a new 30,000-seat stadium on their Boca Raton campus last year.
Coach: Carl Pelini is in his first season at Florida Atlantic and in his first college head-coaching job. He replaced Howard Schnellenberger, who led FAU’s program from its inception until retiring from coaching after last season at age 77. (Schnellenberger was Mark Richt’s coach at Miami.) Pelini was defensive coordinator at Nebraska the past four seasons under his brother, Bo Pelini.
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