Preview: FAU goes on the road to face UTSA in their penultimate game of the season

Coming off of a bye week, FAU is looking for their sixth win in the conference.


Against UTSA, quarterback Chris Robison looks to get star tight end Harrison Bryant involved in the offense as he has 708 receiving yards and two touchdowns on the season. Photo by: Alex Liscio.

Brianna Rogers, Contributing Writer

Coming off of a bye week, the FAU Owls (7-3, 5-1 C-USA) will head to San Antonio, Texas to battle against the UTSA Roadrunners (4-6, 3-3 C-USA).


The Owls won their last four road games and look to keep the streak going, while UTSA has lost three of their last four home games. Currently, FAU is tied for first in Conference USA’s East Division, so they cannot afford to lose. 


“We are going on the road against a good team. We need to play really well. We need to do what we have been doing which is get turnovers, protect the ball, stop the run, and run the ball. We have to do it one more week and then get the next one,” said head coach Lane Kiffin during his press conference on Wednesday.


UTSA will be coming into this game determined after being defeated by Southern Miss, 36-17 just last week.


This is the first time in program history that FAU will be traveling to San Antonio, Texas.


Here’s what to watch for as the Owls take on the Roadrunners:


FAU’s High-Scoring Offense


The Owls are scoring 34 points per game on offense this season, while their defense has given up 24 PPG to opposing teams.


The Roadrunners are scoring only 19 PPG on offense while surrendering 33 PPG on defense. 


One of UTSA’s key problems is their inability to get the ball down the field. Roadrunners’ QB, Lowell Narcisse (1,140 yards, 6 TD, 4 INT) struggles making plays while under pressure. 


Narcisse’s availability against FAU is currently questionable due to a thumb injury.


It is clear that QB Chris Robison (2,637 yards, 18 TD, 4 INT), will be a major factor in FAU leaving San Antonio with a win.


Players to Watch

With UTSA allowing an average of 202 rushing yards per game, FAU’s running backs, Larry McCammon III and Malcolm Davidson should have plenty of success on the ground. 


Running back, BJ Emmons, who suffered a broken ankle during the first quarter in the Ohio State game is expected to return this week. Emmons transferred to FAU Feb. 2018, but previously he was the fifth-ranked running back in the ESPN 300 Class of 2016 rankings. 


He rushed for 173 yards on 35 attempts during his freshman season with the Crimson Tide, where Kiffin was his offensive coordinator.


UTSA allows an average of 210 passing yards per game, so Robison should be able to take advantage of this and consistently move the ball down the field.


Roadrunners’ wide receiver, Zakhari Franklin, is a player FAU should look out for as he was 3 yards shy of having his second straight 100-yard receiving game last week.


UTSA’s tight end, Carlos Strickland II, is another player the Owls should keep an eye on as he made a big play against Southern Miss last week, ending with a 51-yard touchdown. 


Roadrunners’ running back, Sincere McCormick, has rushed for 801 yards this season and leads his team.


Defense Needs to Continue Their Steady Play


On the season, FAU has 14 interceptions, 10 forced fumbles, and seven fumble recoveries and have forced a lot of turnovers.


The Roadrunners’ rushing attack is led by McCormick, who is averaging 80 yards per game on the season. 


The Owls will need their linebackers, Rashad Smith and Akileis Leroy to keep up their performance. They both have 76 tackles a piece and have combined for nine sacks this season. 


FAU needs to win their last two games coupled with a Marshall loss to secure a spot in the C-USA championship game.


Brianna Rogers is a contributing writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet her @UPBriannaRogers.