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FAU Spring Update


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Given coach Carl Pelini's defensive background, it's somewhat ironic to consider the fact that Florida Atlantic's future as a contender in its new league, Conference USA, hinges almost entirely on offensive coordinator Brian Wright.

Wright was brought in by Pelini last fall from Montana State, where he spent the previous three seasons in the same position, and was handed the task of rebuilding one of the nation's worst offenses. How bad was the Owls' offense in 2011? The group ranked last in the Sun Belt almost across the board, scoring roughly 10 fewer points per game than its next-closest competitor.

Wright made an impact in 2012, leading an offense that scored an additional eight points per game while greatly improving FAU's quarterback play. It was a good first step. At the same time, Pelini's first defense showed its own improvement, leading to the idea that FAU could soon – perhaps as soon as this season – have the sort of offensive-defensive balance it needs to compete for bowl eligibility.

Spring dates: Florida Atlantic opened spring practice on Mar. 18 and plays its spring game on Apr. 20.

2012 record: 3-9 (2-6).

Returning starters: 15 (7 offense, 8 defense).

Five players to watch: QB Melvin German III, C Mustafa Johnson, DE Cory Henry, LB Randell Johnson, CB D'Joun Smith.

Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2013/03/27/2013-ncaa-spring-football-florida-atlantic/2024697/

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