Florida Atlantic now has a coaching vacancy, according to a report Sunday morning. After three seasons, Charlie Partridge has reportedly been let go by the FAU program. The news was first reported by ESPN West Palm, via Twitter.
Partridge was unable to show any signs of progress with the program. The Owls went 3-9 in each of his three seasons as the head coach. The latest 3-9 season came with an embarrassing 77-56 loss on the road against Middle Tennessee on Saturday. The lack of on-field progress was too much to overcome other improvements in academics with the program under his watch, and the program may actually be in a better position in many areas than when Partridge took over the program. That seems silly to think about considering back-to-back-to-back 3-9 seasons, but there is room to continue growing the FAU program for whoever takes over the program next.
Partridge was hired to be the head coach at FAU in 2014 after serving one year as an assistant under Bret Bielema at Wisconsin and Arkansas from 2008 through 2013.
The Wake Forest quarterback pool is rather shallow in depth. Tyler Cameron, who was second on the Demon Deacons in passing last season, has left the program and is joining the Florida Atlantic Owls. He does so as a graduate transfer, which seems to be a rather trendy option this offseason. That will make him eligible to play at FAU this season.
“Tyler is intelligent and made use of his athletic ability to earn a degree from Wake Forest in just three years,” FAU coach Charlie Partridge said in a released statement (via Palm Beach Post). “It is that same drive that affords him the opportunity to return home and work toward a post-graduate degree. He will certainly add experience and depth in the quarterback meeting room.”
Cameron actually has two years of eligibility remaining at FAU, thanks to graduating from Wake Forest in just three years. FAU is returning three-year starter Jaquez Johnson, but Cameron will fill out some depth at the position and have time to get adjusted to his new surroundings.
The loss of Cameron also leaves Wake Forest pretty thin at quarterback. At this moment, the official team roster available on the team’s website lists just three quarterbacks; John Wolford, Kyle Driscoll, and Kendall Hinton. Wolford was Wake Forest’s leading passer last season, as a freshman. Wolford passed for 2,037 yards and 12 touchdowns, but was intercepted 14 times. He is the quarterback Dave Clawson will continue to mold his program around in 2015.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban continues to weigh his options at quarterback after two straight wins to open the season. Maybe it is time to wrap up the quarterback competition and give Blake Sims the starting job in an official capacity.
Through two weeks Sims has been a much more efficient quarterback for the Crimson Tide than Jake Coker. Sims has completed 76.1 percent of his passes for 464 yards and an average of 10.1 yards per attempt. Coker received some playing time in week two against FAU to prove what he can do and ended the weekend having completed 62.5 percent of his passes for 202 yards. The end of the first half for Alabama on Saturday, led by Coker, was a mess of a drive as time wound down. Coker did play better in the second half though, which Saban made note of following Saturday’s win over FAU.
“We wanted to give both quarterbacks an opportunity to play and I thought Jake played just as well in the second half as he did in the first half,” Saban said Saturday. “He played a little better as time went on. I’m sure nobody feels worse than him for missing the guy in the flats in the redzone wide open. He’ll definitely get better because of it.”
Florida Atlantic head coach Charlie Partridge shared his take on the Alabama quarterbacks after the game as well.
“My first reaction to it is that one is a little bit more dangerous with his feet than the other,” Partridge said, referring to Sims. “Sims made us pay with his feet early in the game.”
Saban has allowed a quarterback competition to linger for a few early games before, but it is likely a decision will be made soon for the best interests of Alabama’s 2014 season. Given what has been seen in the first two weeks of the year, Sims appears to be the leader on the field. It is a small sample size early on, but the frustrations with the offense displayed by Saban and offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin have been witnessed when Coker is on the field. Maybe it would be best if Saban and Kiffin realized it may be best to continue forward with Sims under center.