FAU Football: The Owls gear up to play their first road game of the season against No. 22 Marshall

Last season’s matchup ended in a 36-31 loss for FAU at home.


FAU had trouble with Marshall RB Brenden Knox last season as he ran for 220 yards with two touchdowns. Photo by Alex Liscio.

Richard Pereira, Staff Writer

The FAU Owls (1-0, 1-0 C-USA) are looking to win their second game of the season as they face No. 22 Marshall Thundering Herd (4-0, 2-0 C-USA) this Saturday on the road.

The last time they faced each other, Marshall defeated FAU 36-31 in 2019 at FAU Stadium.

Three weeks after their first win of the season at home, the Owls will have enough players ready to play against Marshall after suffering a setback with their matchup against Southern Miss being postponed due to having 27 positive COVID-19 cases on the team.

Marshall enters this game coming off a 35-17 victory over Louisiana Tech on the road as they look to extend their winning streak to five against the Owls.

Getting past Marshall’s defense will be crucial for the Owls, as head coach Willie Taggart notes how they played a lot of coverage the past few games.

“They’re not gonna beat themselves; they’ll allow you to beat yourself and they’ve shown that all season,” Taggart said.

Having a balanced offense will help the Owls be successful against Marshall, according to Taggart.

“You can’t be stagnant with what you’re doing [on offense],” Taggart said. “[You] got to be creative, but more importantly, got to be efficient in whatever play we’re running.”

Limiting Marshall’s offensive game will likely be the deciding factor in FAU’s chances of winning, especially when it comes to running back Brenden Knox, who lit up FAU’s defense last season putting up 220 running yards with two touchdowns in that decisive victory. 

“He’s [Knox] got good explosion, this guy is one of the better backs I’ve seen in a long time,” FAU defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt said. “Then they’ve [Marshall] got a big offensive line with seniors; they’re big and strong and they play together well and then he finds those creases and it’s a challenge.”

Tackling could be a concern due to the three-week lay-off between FAU’s victory over Charlotte and Saturday’s game against Marshall, with the goal of stopping Knox’s running game from flourishing.

“You’re going to need to get a number of people to him and you’re gonna have to try to keep him from hitting creases because he has some small creases and then he exploited it because he gets through it so fast,” Leavitt said. “We only played one game and we want to play games to get better so it’s always concerning.”

FAU is 1-6 all-time against Marshall as they look for their first win in Huntington, West Virginia, and their first-ever win against a ranked opponent.

The game will kick off Saturday, Oct. 24 at 2:30 p.m. It will be broadcast on Stadium.

Richard Pereira is a staff writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @Rich26Pereira.