Former Florida Atlantic quarterback David Kooi was among those stunned at the fact the Owls nearly lost their season opener last week to FCS school Wagner, which led, 3-0, for most of the game before FAU scored late to win, 7-3, and avoid the school's worst upset in history.
WHO: Albany State (1-0) at Wingate (0-1).
WHAT: Rams’ first road game.
WHEN: 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
WHERE: Wingate, N.C..
RADIO: 98.1 FM.
ONLINE: For live scoring updates go to twitter.com/AlbHeraldSports.
ALBANY — David Kooi was miles away with his own season opener on his mind.
But when Florida Atlantic — Kooi’s former team he left this past offseason when he transferred to Albany State — was nearly upset by Wagner last Friday, the Rams’ newest quarterback couldn’t help but take notice.
“Oh yeah, I was watching,” Kooi said.
And what he watched was Florida Atlantic nearly suffering one of its worst losses in school history.
The Owls, a major Division I school in the Sun Belt Conference, needed a fourth quarter touchdown to come back to defeat Wagner College, a Division I FCS school, 7-3. Before Friday’s season opener in Boca Raton, Fla., Wagner had never even played a team from the FBS.
Kooi, who spent his first three seasons at FAU and was unable to secure the starting quarterback spot in that time before transferring late in the summer to Albany State, said at practice Tuesday that he was surprised at the near-upset.
“I thought some players might have been doing better, but every one has their jitters. We even came out shaky our first game,” said Kooi, who played well in Albany State’s 24-12 victory against North Greenville last Saturday in his Rams debut, completing 11 of his 20 passes for 110 yards.
Wagner took a 3-0 lead in the second quarter when David Lopez hit a 30-yard field goal. Stephen Curtis started the game at quarterback for FAU but was replaced at halftime by backup Graham Wilbert, who threw a 39-yard pass to Byron Hankerson to escape with the victory.
Kooi still keeps in touch with many of his FAU teammates, including Curtis, who ultimately won the starting QB job during the summer in a battle that included Kooi.
“Me and Curtis hung out a lot,” Kooi said. “I actually talked to him (Monday), and asked him about everything. So yeah, we keep in touch. I keep in touch with Hankerson and the other receivers and running backs. I have real good friends over there.”
FAU will play again Saturday against Middle Tennessee State — which has former Seminole County star Chris Brown and former Miller County star T.T. Barber on its roster — while ASU is on the road Saturday against Wingate (N.C.).