Sometimes, players need to take matters into their own hands.
Case in point: Florida Atlantic. In its first season under former Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, FAU began the year a disappointing 1-3. The last of the three losses came at Buffalo Sept. 23, a defeat that could’ve led to the season spiraling out of control.
Instead, following what linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair described as a “real intense” players-only meeting, the Owls have since ripped off five straight wins and grabbed hold of the lead in its division.
“I think everything happens for a reason,” Kiffin said according to Shandel Richardson of the Sun-Sentinel. “Maybe if we would have got by there and scored on that last drive or stopped them and won the game, maybe we wouldn’t have the same kind of an angry mentality the next week and keep rolling from there. I think that they came together and realized all the little things we need to do to be a good team.”
Entering Week 11, FAU sits atop Conference USA’s East division at 5-0, a full game ahead of second-place Florida International with three games remaining. FAU will square off at home with FIU (4-1) Nov. 18, with conference games against Louisiana Tech (2-3) and Charlotte (1-4) sandwiched around the rivalry matchup that will likely decide the division’s representative in the conference championship game.
The resurgence since that loss to Buffalo has pushed an FAU team that had won three games in each of the past three seasons to bowl eligibility for the first time since 2008.