Football: Preview versus Old Dominion

The Owls look to win the second straight conference game versus Old Dominion.


Owlsley leads the Florida Atlantic football team out of the tunnel in Saturday’s Conference USA opener against Middle Tennessee. Alexander Rodriguez | Photo Editor

Zach Evans, Contributing Writer

After nine straight losses to the Blue Raiders, the Owls won their game last Saturday 38-20 against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders. The win put FAU at 2-3 and second place in the division behind rival Florida International University, who has played the most conference games so far and has two conference wins.

Trying to continue the momentum, the Owls will travel to face Old Dominion in Norfolk, Virginia on Saturday. In their last game, they tumbled to No. 13 Virginia Tech 38-0, for a second straight loss to an ACC opponent.

Head football coach Lane Kiffin feels that coming into the game, the team has to measure their response to the last win versus Middle Tennessee and focus on this week.

“Just a continual goal of getting our guys how to understand how to handle success,” Kiffin said this past Tuesday about the game coming up. “Focusing on the last game and focusing on how people tell them how good they did and get ready to it again.”

One of FAU’s main problems has been the passing game. While the run game has been there, it hasn’t been as much for passing the ball, as they have thrown for only 945 yards by all quarterbacks while rushing for 1,099 total yards.

Kiffin said that certain throws were causing the most trouble for his team, including those targeting recievers way down the field.

“It’s the middle to downfield throws, you know either protection is not there, or we didn’t run the route right or we miss a throw,” he said. “Those are three bad things that happen and we gotta get it fixed because games are going to get tougher. People are going to start playing more people in the box and force you to throw the ball.”

If the Owls want to ride the wave of success, sophomore Devin Singletary has certainly provided a way to win. Singletary had seven rushing touchdowns in the past two games and has absolutely destroyed defenses.

Senior Greg Howell spoke highly of his teammate during the press conference.

“I expect it from him, I expect him to be better I’ve got high expectation from him,” Howell said. “He’s going to keep working to do even more. The record books going to get started, he’s got the opportunity to do whatever he wants. He’s going to keep working hard keep pushing each other.”

Over the last couple of weeks there have been multiple quarterback changes, as redshirt sophomore Daniel Parr has been replaced by redshirt junior Jason Driskel as the starter for now.

Driskel was 22-of-29 for 187 yards last game versus Middle Tennessee, focusing more on running the offense to let his running backs have success. Driskel also passed for a touchdown and had a 75.9 passer rating.

Howell had plenty of praise for Driskel, including his sense for running the up-tempo Owls offense.

“[He’s a] field general, field general a guy that just reads the defense knows the offense inside and out and makes plays,” Howell said. “He got out there to take one for the team, he’s out there trying to block running the ball very physical.”

Howell had also seen a bit of a change in Driskel’s emotion in the past week through practice.

“Just enjoy the game, he’s smiling, not too much talking just go out there and have fun,” he said.

“Very smart guy he’s going to give his all and try his best to do what’s right for the offense. While he’s on the field he’s going to take charge and do what he’s got to do.”

Zach Evans is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him at @zachevanstweets.