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Posts Tagged ‘Marvin Sanders’

No. 116: Florida Atlantic

Recent Sun Belt coaching moves have gone in the opposite direction. Over the last two years, Arkansas State has hired Hugh Freeze and Gus Malzahn. In 2010, Western Kentucky hired former Stanford running backs coach Willie Taggart. Louisiana-Lafayette tabbed Mark Hudspeth last winter; Louisiana-Monroe hired Todd Berry prior to the 2010 season. The conference as a whole has shifted towards an offense-first mentality, to often exciting, he-who-has-the-ball-last-wins results. When Howard Schnellenberger announced his intent to retire at the end of last season, the belief was that Florida Atlantic would follow the rest of the Sun Belt’s lead, perhaps nabbing a Freeze-like up-and-coming assistant. The Owls did nothing of the sort. In Carl Pelini, the university hired the sort of nail-chewing, fire-spewing defensive coach who thinks of offense the same way defensive linemen think of their offensive counterparts: with disdain. And in Pelini, the Owls might have hired the orneriest son-of-a-gun in college football. Don’t think for a second that being ornery is a bad thing.

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    F.A.U. Eyes the Wright Stuff on Offense

    Brian Wright is familiar to fans in the hinterlands of college football, those in the Montana-Idaho-Dakotas region, but his name has never crossed the lips of football fans in the Sunshine State. Or hadn’t, before Carl Pelini named Wright, the former offensive coordinator at Montana State, to the same position at Florida Atlantic, where Pelini is preparing for his first season as Howard Schnellenberger’s successor. Now Wright has become a name to watch, perhaps the most important member of the new F.A.U. staff outside of Pelini himself, thanks to the Owls’ inability to achieve the most basic of offensive achievements in 2011 — you know, like first downs, field goals, touchdowns and the like.

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      The Countdown

      A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.