In new head coach Carl Pelini and his coaching staff’s spring debut, the Owls played a fast paced, up-tempo style — a steep departure from Howard Schnellenberger’s traditional look. The annual Spring Game pitted FAU’s entire roster split into two, in a showcase to fans. The White Team beat the Blue Team 27-3 at FAU Stadium. Both squads played offense and defense, and Pelini even switched some players across teams at one point.
Junior running back Johnathan Wallace scored the first points of the game with a 7-yard touchdown run just before the end of the first quarter. The scoring drive, led by redshirt freshman Stephen Curtis, featured the patented zone-read play out of the newly installed spread offense to move the ball down the field.
After the Blue Team failed to answer the score, the White Team scored again, this time on Wallace’s second touchdown run from a yard out, to bring the score to 14-0 before halftime.
Wallace’s stellar play continued in the third quarter as he eluded tacklers and used his breakaway speed for a 69-yard touchdown run. It was the second play of an early third quarter drive, making the score 21-0. Wallace, a junior college transfer from Iowa, finished the game with 104 yards and three touchdowns on just eight carries.
Wallace credited his offensive line for his great play.“O-line did a great job opening holes from the start,” he said. “We had at least a four-yard cushion.”
The Blue Team was able to tack on a 21 yard field goal from Marcelo Bonani early in the fourth quarter, bringing the score to 21-3, but was not able to sustain a comeback. The White Team scored again late in the fourth quarter with a 7-yard pass from Graham Wilbert to redshirt sophomore tight end Nexon Dorvilus.
The running game compiled 380 yards on the ground through both squads. The passing game, however, racked up just 192 yards in the air.
The Blue Team’s offense ran the ball effectively, yet the team was 2 for 12 on third-down conversions.
In his first Spring Game, Carl Pelini was very pleased with how his quarterbacks performed.
“I thought the quarterbacks managed the game effectively,” Pelini said.
The FAU Spring Game featured 10 Seniors and was played with a different set of rules than a traditional football game, as some players swapped teams throughout the game. The game did not contain any kickoffs, and no punts were allowed to be returned. Each offense, after every scoring drive, started at the 35-yard line.