Owls

Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition - - SPORTS - By Matthew DeFranks Staff writer mde­franks@sun-sen­tinel.com

For­mer FAU DC Roc Bel­lan­toni is join­ing the coach­ing staff at Buf­falo.

For­mer Florida At­lantic de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Roc Bel­lan­toni will see the Owls again this year — on the op­pos­ing side­line.

Bel­lan­toni will join Buf­falo’s coach­ing staff this sea­son in an off-field role, a source con­firmed, mean­ing he’ll match up with FAU dur­ing the sea­son’s fourth week. The Owls play at Buf­falo on Sept. 23.

Bel­lan­toni was the de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor for for­mer coach Char­lie Par­tridge at FAU, guid­ing the unit for each of Par­tridge’s three sea­sons. Par­tridge was fired last Novem­ber af­ter the Owls went 3-9 for the third straight sea­son.

Last sea­son, the Owls’ de­fense ranked 123rd in scor­ing de­fense (39.8 points per game) and 124th in to­tal de­fense (513.8 yards per game). In the sea­son’s fi­nal game, Mid­dle Ten­nessee scored 77 points and rolled up 757 to­tal yards against FAU.

Pre­vi­ously, Bel­lan­toni coached at Vil­lanova (spe­cial teams and de­fen­sive line) and Eastern Illi­nois (10 years as a de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor).

Bel­lan­toni is the lat­est for­mer Owls coach to find a new job in foot­ball. Travis Trick­ett (of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor) joined Ge­or­gia State in the same role. Chris Hurd (tight ends and spe­cial teams) is at Chat­tanooga coach­ing run­ning backs.

Ter­rance Jami­son (de­fen­sive line) and Corey Bell (cor­ner­backs) each moved on to Power 5 jobs at Texas Tech and Florida, re­spec­tively. Par­tridge re­turned to coach­ing the de­fen­sive line at Pitts­burgh.

Garin Jus­tice (of­fen­sive line) was the only as­sis­tant coach re­tained as part of first-year coach Lane Kif­fin’s staff.

No pre­sea­son hon­ors

FAU was one of three Con­fer­ence USA schools (Char­lotte and UAB) that did not place a player on the pre­sea­son Con­fer­ence USA team.

The Owls’ most likely can­di­date ap­peared to be run­ning back Devin “Mo­tor” Sin­gle­tary, who rushed for 1,021 and 12 touch­downs last year as a fresh­man. He was beaten out by Old Do­min­ion’s Ray Lawry and South­ern Miss’ Ito Smith.

West­ern Ken­tucky quar­ter­back and Univer­sity School grad­u­ate Mike White was named the Pre­sea­son Of­fen­sive Player of the Year.

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