First For FAU

By Adam Caparell - December 21, 2007

There's a first time for everything. And for FAU, tonight is their first bowl game as the Owls, led by Howard Schnellenberger, take on Memphis in the New Orleans Bowl, the second of our 32 postseason games. But just how magical will the Owls first taste of the postseason be?

It will depend largely on how well they take care of the ball. One of the best in the nation about not turning it over, the Florida Atlantic attack will be dictated in large part by quarterback Rusty Smith. The Sun Belt Player of the Year has been efficient with the ball, throwing for 27 touchdowns this season to only eight interceptions. He's accurate and usually throws for a bunch of yards.

Memphis on the other hand, has Martin Hankins to rely on, who has played very well for the Tigers since a mid-season hip injury. This game also is a homecoming of sorts, considering he's from Southeastern Louisiana. He's also got a pretty talented receiving corps, led by Carlos Singleton and Duke Calhoun. Can FAU D up the two tall wide outs? Chances are they can't.

But for a team that finds itself in a bowl game for the first time - and after only seven years of existence - Friday night is special. Win, lose or draw, it's a big one for FAU.

"This has major ramifications," Schnellenberger said.

The Line: -3.5 FAU
O/U: 67

If I Were A Betting Man: Memphis and the over. Both teams like to score, but Memphis has been to a bowl game four of the last five years so they know the drill by now, plus the New Orleans crowd is expected to be heavily in their favor.

Bowl Season: 0-1. Had the Poinsettia Bowl pegged perfectly until Navy scored that late touchdown.

Posted by Adam Caparell at 02:56 PM on December 21, 2007

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