Schellenberger Quotes on Clemson

Florida Atlantic head coach Howard Schnellenberger talks about Saturday's season opener against Clemson.

On Clemson
We look forward to getting our season started this week at Clemson. We have studied a lot of football teams in our time at FAU and Clemson is the best football team we have played and are fortunate enough to play Clemson.

Offensively
On the offensive side of the ball we have made the decision to go with a young quarterback. Rusty Smith, from Jacksonville, won the competition with Sean Clayton who was our starting quarterback the final two games of 2005. Rusty is in the mold of Bernie Kosar. He is tall and has a good arm, is highly intelligent and has a good demeanor that will provide an opportunity to lead our team.

Experience
We are going to be as young as we have ever been we have two seniors on offense and one senior on defense. We are going to as young as we have ever been class wies, but have more experience throughout.

Building FAU compared to Miami and Louisville.
It is so much different. It is like a father watching his son. For us to qualify for the play-off with a third year team. Go into the semi-final game ending with an 11-3 record and ranked no. 4 in the nation. It had a similar feel to winning the national championship at Miami or like beating Alabama in the Fiesta Bowl. Those were big events in our lives, but this was special. It was something we created and gave birth to.

Quarterback Selection
It was back-and-forth. It was similar to the situation we had at Miami when Jim Kelly graduated and we had Vinnie Testaverde and Bernie Kosar was redshirted. Most everyone thought the logical thing to do was to go with Vinnie. Those of us that were close to the situation felt that Bernie had more mental toughness and had a better handle on the offense and over the long haul he would be the best person for the long term plan. That is how we feel about Rusty. At Miami, we went out for our opening game at Florida against a very good team. They beat us 28-3, but that was part of the understanding that by making Kosar the leader that he could handle adversity better and that is our situation here. (Sean) Clayton has a little bit more experience but we think for the long haul that Rusty has the best chance of developing with our team. Four years from now with this team made up of primarily of freshmen and sophomores and a few juniors, he will be ready and we will be ready to take our rightful place with the best teams in the country.

Trips to Death Valley
Zero times. I have been to North Carolina State, I've been to South Carolina and to Virginia and Virginia Tech many times, but I've never been to Clemson. I know a lot of coaches who have and players who have and I understand the wonderful Saturday afternoon that there is there.

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