The 2013 season is finally upon us, Canes fans. Two more teeny, little days to wait, to be exact. As such, I caught up with Andrew Ivins, who covers all things FAU football-related over at the Owl's Nest, and he was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about our first opponent.
1. Pelini has said he may play 3 QBs Against Miami. Just a case of examination under fire to see who responds best, or is there some method to that madness?
Coach Pelini has been hesitant to name a starting quarterback, because he's still looking for that slim element of surprise. While it sounds silly, FAU has kept things quiet on all ends. There is no question that all three quarterbacks will play, but expect one player to be the main guy leading the offense. The other two will be used in situational packages in an effort to create confusion for the defense. All three quarterbacks are athletic, and can make plays with their feet.
2. Duke Johnson, Dorsett, and a whole lotta speed. I'd ask you how you slow it down, but the only answer is to keep the football out of their hands. UM was GASHED last year defensively. Can FAU use a ball-control offense to keep this somewhat close?
FAU is committed to the run game this year and will use a trio of running backs on Friday night. The offensive line loses three starters from last season, but appears to have found replacements in two underclassmen and a junior college transfer. Controlling the clock will be a tall task, especially when facing a defensive front as athletic as the Hurricanes.
3. Who are key players for FAU that we don't know about, but can make a name for themselves Friday?
A player to keep your eye on is tight end Nexon Dorvilus. The top returning target from last season is wide receiver William Dukes, but Dorvilus is crucial to the passing game especially with inexperienced quarterbacks. He is an all-conference talent that can spread the field. On the defensive side of the ball, look for linebacker Andre Kirk to make a difference. Kirk is a product of Miami Central and has a knack for meeting the ball carrier in the hole.
4. The 1983 Miami National Championship team will be honored Friday at the game. Howard Schnellenberger was the founder of the feast for UM's rise to dominance. We also know the immense impact he's had upon the FAU program. What are your thoughts on Schnelly, and is this game maybe a two-sided celebration of the man with the pipe?
For the FAU community, Howard Schnellenberger is that father figure -- and he always will be. The fact that he will be representing both programs on Friday night should bode well for both parties. I'm sure Howard will be slightly pulling for the underdog, but in the end his heart bleeds orange, blue, green and red.