Staff Predictions: FAU kicks off its season at home against Charlotte

After multiple postponements, the Owls are set to play their first game Saturday.

Not+only+will+the+Owls+will+play+their+first+game+Saturday%2C+the+team+will+also+open+conference+play+against+the+49ers.+Photo+by+Alex+Liscio.

Not only will the Owls will play their first game Saturday, the team will also open conference play against the 49ers. Photo by Alex Liscio.

University Press Sports Staff

The Owls are looking to win their season opener for the first time since the 2016 season against the Charlotte 49ers. 

With the football season here, the University Press sports staff will have a weekly prediction article for each game this season. Included will be a guest picker which will be rotated every week. We will also be keeping track of each staff member’s record, as well as the guest picker’s, throughout the season to see who does best. 

Here are the predictions from the University Press:  

Jensen Jennings | Sports Editor 

Charlotte will provide FAU with a tough matchup to open the season. The 49ers are led by their dynamic quarterback Chris Reynolds who threw for 2,564 yards, 22 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions last season. He added 791 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns.

Nick Tronti will be starting his first game under center for the Owls. Tronti appeared in 11 games last season, but he wasn’t asked to make many plays with his arm. It will be interesting to watch his connection with all of his new receiving weapons. Look for FAU to lean heavily on its running game to make things easier for Tronti.

FAU hasn’t played a game since Dec. 21, 2019. They have a new coaching staff, a new starting quarterback, and nine new starters on the defensive side of the ball. Look for the Owls to lean heavily on their running game, especially with the potential for wet conditions on Saturday.

The Owls will be able to score enough on offense to win this one and will slow down the Charlotte rushing attack just enough to get the win and start the season 1-0. 

Prediction: FAU 24, Charlotte 17

Trey Avant | Contributing Writer 

Stopping Reynolds is key for FAU, as he was one of the best quarterbacks in C-USA last season. Reynolds accounted for 28 total touchdowns in the 2019 season. 

Charlotte loves to run the ball so a quarterback with that type of versatility could present problems for a defense with many new faces.

The 49ers gave up 35 points in their week one loss to Appalachian State, so expect them to make the necessary adjustments in an attempt to slow down FAU’s explosive offense. 

FAU will start Tronti at quarterback and will likely ease him into the offense, so expect the Owls to roll out a relatively conservative gameplan with high usage from running backs Malcolm Davidson, BJ Emmons, and Larry McCammon III.

In the end, FAU’s offense has the potential to break open a game at the snap of a finger, and Charlotte’s defense is questionable at best. 

Prediction: FAU 28, Charlotte 14

Bryce Totz | Contributing Writer

It is tough to compare them to a team that has a game under its belt already. Charlotte lost to Appalachian State 35-20 to open its season but did open up the scoring in that game with a touchdown. Charlotte quickly lost momentum as they only scored two touchdowns throughout the game. The 49ers will be looking to bounce back against a team that hasn’t played a game this season. Reynolds threw two interceptions last game, which might shake his confidence.

Florida Atlantic will need time to get accustomed to its new head coach and quarterback, so the scoring won’t be as efficient to start as it was last season. Even though they scored an average of 36.3 points per game last season, it will be difficult to achieve that with a lot of newcomers to the team. Once the team gets in a rhythm, they should keep a lead. 

Although Tronti will make his debut as the starting quarterback, the Owls may have an advantage. The postponements of games have allowed Tronti and his offense to build chemistry and understand each other. This goes for new head coach Willie Taggart too. This team will be hungry to open their season with a win.

Prediction: FAU 30, Charlotte 20

Guest Picker Colby Guy | Features Editor

Florida Atlantic will start off fairly slow, starting with a mainly running-based offense, with Tronti taking some time to get accustomed to his new role at starting quarterback. But it won’t be enough to handcuff the Owls.

The passing game could show up eventually, with transfer receivers TJ Chase and Aaron Young each playing a huge role in the offense.

With rain likely in the forecast, the Owls will grind this game down with their effective rushing game, running a read option style offense with Tronti, Emmons, Davidson and McCammon III. 

The Owls will be down 14-7 at the half, with the defense taking a while to get set. FAU will be able to use its running game to its advantage and slow the game down as they claw back into it by the end of the game.

Prediction: FAU 21, Charlotte 17

For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet the staff: Jensen Jennings (@Jensen_Jennings), Trey Avant (@TreyAvant3), Bryce Totz (@brycetotz), Colby Guy (@thatguycolbs).