Charlie Partridge has been FAU’s head football coach for close to four months now, but on Wednesday, he’ll finally get to take control of his players.

After an inspired, post-Pelini 4-0 finish to the end the 2013 season at 6-6, FAU looks to be a contender for the Conference USA title in 2014. But the Owls are no shoo-in for a bowl game — there are questions that need to be answered in the spring — and those answers will will go a long way to success in the fall.

1. Who’s the new guy?

How will the FAU players, some of which are now on their fourth head coach in three years, respond to Partridge?

FAU’s new head coach has never filled such a role, so watching him put his mark on FAU football on and off the field will be a fascinating story to follow throughout the year, with the spring sessions representing a crash course for both him and those he’s looking to affect.

2. How will the defense change?

When Partridge hired his assistants, he adhered to the Bret Bielema method of staffing: get two coordinators who know the X’s and O’s and fill the rest of the staff with recruiters.

Those two coordinators, OC Brian Wright and DC Jovan Dewitt, were holdovers from Pelini’s staff. But one didn’t stick around.

Partridge raved about Dewitt before National Signing Day, championing the fact that Owls would maintain their successful defensive system from last year. But something went array, and Dewitt left last month to coach linebackers at Army.

Roc Bellantoni is now the defensive coordinator, and while it would seem difficult to believe that the pattern-matching, base-nickel formations FAU played under Pelini and Rekstis (and then Dewitt) could survive a second coaching change, that’s what Partridge says is going to happen.

“Schematically, things are going to be very similar to how they finished the year — it’s going to be based out of the same concepts,” Partridge said Tuesday. “There will be some verbiage changes…we’re going to try to marry the verbiage that he uses with the verbiage that the players are comfortable with.”

3. Are there enough players?

Partridge takes over a swiss-cheese roster this spring, especially on the defensive side of the ball.

FAU, which wasn’t deep last season, didn’t add any ready-to-play junior college players this offseason, either. In all, it appears the attrition rate of injuries and graduation is significantly higher than the talent FAU has added to the mix.

Partridge said he views the lack of depth as an opportunity:

“I’ve been in this situation before, where young guys will actually get more reps,” Partridge said. “You’re creating depth that you might not have been able to create.”

4. Is the quarterback rotation back?

Jaquez Johnson was Conference USA’s newcomer of the year, but Greg Hankerson is a year older, significantly stronger and plenty wiser.

In maintaining Wright as FAU’s OC, Partridge also inherited last season’s quarterback battle, where Johnson and the Wright-backed Hankerson erroneously rotated for the first four weeks of the season.

Does Johnson have the QB1 spot locked down, or is Hankerson in the running to start against Nebraska on Aug. 30? Partridge said Tuesday that everything is “wide open,” including the quarterback position. How long does that last?