FAU Roundup 8/25/04

Florida Atlantic holds its final scrimmage of the preseason today, and quarterback Jared Allen said the offense needs a good outing.

"This one needs to be crisp," said Allen, who has led the offense to two mediocre performances in FAU's other scrimmages.

Neither the Owls' running nor passing game has been able to do much damage against the defense.

Saturday, Allen was uncharacteristically wild, tossing two interceptions and missing the target on several other passes.

"We turned the ball over way too much and [Allen] didn't have a good day," quarterbacks coach Gary Nord said. "The decisions he made weren't horrible, but some were iffy."

"It's never as bad as you think and never as good as you think," Allen said of watching video of the scrimmage. "We obviously still have work to do, but we're in good shape."

Nord, like Allen, is not overly concerned about the lack of offense in the scrimmages, or with Allen's struggles.

"He's proven that he's a guy who can take care of the football for you," Nord said. "I think he is on track to have a great season."

Allen, a senior and four-year starter, had his best season last year, his first with a reliable offensive line in front of him.

Allen passed for 3,003 yards and 24 touchdowns while throwing nine interceptions, while FAU went 11-3 and made it to the Division I-AA semifinals.

Allen said he does not set individual goals, but said matching those numbers would be a good way to end his college career, especially with FAU's upgraded schedule that includes games against six I-A teams.

"I don't try to get specific about it. As long as the chains are moving and I'm protecting the ball, we'll do well," Allen said.

- FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger said Tuesday that defensive lineman Ramon Rickards was back on the team, a week after the fifth-year senior had quit after being demoted to second team.

"When he came back and was visibly remorseful and asked for an opportunity to redeem himself I thought it was better for him," Schnellenberger said. "It gives him a chance to finish out his term here and gives him a chance to graduate."

Rickards' quitting had shocked the team, and many of his teammates said they had been trying to talk him into returning.

Rickards, a three-year starter at end, will pay a price for his decision to walk away from the team.

Schnellenberger said Rickards will be relegated to the scout team and will not travel to Honolulu for the season opener at Hawaii.

"When we get back [from Hawaii] we'll put him back on the varsity and behind the other two guys at that position," Schnellenberger said.

Rickards was not at practice Tuesday but is expected to rejoin the team today.

- Tight end Anthony Crissinger-Hill was back at practice Tuesday after being out for a week with a shoulder injury.

Offensive lineman Kevin Fischer and Nello Faulk, who both suffered sprained ankles in Saturday's scrimmage, were dressed but did not participate in drills. They are listed as day-to-day.

By Ted Hutton
Aug 25, 2004
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