ADVERTISEMENT

Owls must get over loss to Canes, prepare for Kansas State

September 13, 2016 GMT

Florida Atlantic coach Charlie Partridge expects his team to overcome the loss to Miami.

The Owls better - they have a tough game at Big 12 member Kansas State on Saturday.

“Our kids were appropriately disappointed,” Partridge said Monday.

Partridge saw some good things offensively and defensively in the 38-10 loss to the 25th-ranked Hurricanes, but he knows there’s significant room for improvement after splitting their first two games.

“It’s a work in progress. We’re not there yet,” he said. “We are calling plays to win, not just to compete.

“Defensively, there was lot to be proud of for a large percentage of the game. We just were not consistent enough on all three levels. It was impressive from a fundamental, assignment and making plays standpoint. With talent being equal, you have to perform more consistently. … We didn’t finish the game where we wanted.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Partridge lauded the effort of the defense, making key stops before the half to limit Miami to two scores. He singled out defensive backs Andrew Soroh and Raekwon Williams for playing “really well.”

The Owls’ up-tempo offense, though, could only muster a field goal in the first half and a third-quarter TD against the 25-point favored Hurricanes.

“We made some plays here and there but we need to protect the quarterback,” he said. “Give Miami credit, Their D-line did a great job. We will get those things cleaned up as we continue to grow. I believe our offense will start executing those fourth-down moments.”

Running back Buddy Howell has emerged as a big-game back. The junior rushed for 75 yards on 19 carries, including a 38-yard TD run.

“Having a runner like him wears defenses down,” Partridge said.

Back-to-back games against Miami and Kansas State has prepared FAU to compete on the big stage.

“We have a lot of players going through this big-time experience for the first time,” Partridge said. “The more you get into those environments, the less of a big deal it gets.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity for us to compete against a Big 12 opponent and what would be a huge win for us.”