Analysis: FAU takes on Marshall to kick off Homecoming weekend

The Owls aim to extend their four-game win streak on the back end of a two-game home stand.


Linebacker Akileis Leroy will not be suiting up for the Owls this fall. Photo by: Alex Liscio.

Trey Avant, Contributing Writer

FAU will host Conference USA powerhouse Marshall Friday night at FAU Stadium in a critical contest in the Eastern division race.


The Owls continue their home stand after a hard-fought 28-13 win against Middle Tennessee last week. Running back Malcolm Davidson had a breakout game, carrying the ball 21 times for 149 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Chris Robison completed 15 passes on 30 attempts for 145 yards and a touchdown.


Defense was the real star of the show, though, as defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer and company led a strong second half for the Owls which held MTSU scoreless. In total, FAU forced three interceptions, with defensive back Meiko Dotson leading the team with two and linebacker Rashad Smith recording the other. 


Linebacker Akileis Leroy joined the turnover party by blocking an extra point attempt and returning it all the way for a tone-setting touchdown.


FAU is on a four-game win streak and is undefeated in conference play. Marshall enters the game at 1-1 in C-USA play, with their lone loss coming to MTSU, who the Owls recently defeated.


FAU’s offensive line, though solid these past few weeks, have been one of the weaker units of the team thus far. They have yet another test this week with Marshall’s pass rush being the strength of its defense this season. Led by defensive end Darius Hodge, the Thundering Herd have 18 sacks in six games, second-most in the C-USA. 


The Thundering Herd’s rush defense, on the other hand, has struggled tremendously, allowing over 147 yards per game and surrendering nine touchdowns. The Owls finally got their running game going, rolling to 439 yards in their past two games, led by a backfield of Davidson, Larry McCammon and rest.


Marshall will look to attack FAU’s defense with running back Brenden Knox, who has rushed for nearly 500 yards and averages more than five yards per carry on the season. The Owls rank just 12th out of 14 teams in the C-USA in total defense, but they are tied for No. 12 nationally with 13 forced turnovers so they’ve done a good job of bending without breaking. 


The keys for an FAU victory include keeping Robison upright and winning the turnover battle against a Marshall squad who has had trouble putting up points in recent weeks. 


Trey Avant is a contributing writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @treyavant3.