Staff Predictions: FAU will try to get back to its winning ways as they face UTSA

FAU lost to Marshall last week 20-9.


The Owls will look to bounce back after they only scored nine points in the loss against Marshall last week. Photo by Alex Liscio.

The Owls (1-1, 1-1 C-USA) will be back in the confines of FAU Stadium to take on the UTSA Roadrunners (4-3, 2-1 C-USA).

This will be the third-ever meeting between FAU and UTSA. The Owls lead the all-time series 2-0.

The University Press Sports Staff is back again with their predictions after going 4-0 in FAU’s week two loss against Marshall. No one was able to guess the correct score last week. This week, Editor in Chief Zachary Weinberger will be the guest picker.

Here are the predictions from the University Press: 

Jensen Jennings | Sports Editor (2-0)

FAU will face a tough UTSA team this week. The Roadrunners have played all seven of their games this season and know exactly what they want to do on both sides of the ball.

If the Owls are going to win, slowing down UTSA running back Sincere McCormick will be the way to do it. On the season, McCormack has 155 carries for 867 yards and seven touchdowns. He is averaging 123 yards per game and 5.6 yards per carry.

Last week against Marshall running back Brenden Knox, FAU was able to hold him to just 101 yards on 25 carries. The Owls defense will need another performance like that this week against McCormick.

FAU has struggled offensively this year scoring only 21 and 9 points in its first two games of the season. If the Owls are going to win, they will need to get more production from quarterback Nick Tronti and the offense. I think FAU is the better team and if the defense plays like they did against Marshall, the Owls should win this one.

Prediction: FAU 28, UTSA 17

Trey Avant | Staff Writer (2-0)

FAU’s need to acclimate to a new head coach and several new starters has been glaring. The solid performance by the defense has carried over to this season, but the offense has been inconsistent.

Tronti has struggled a bit this season, so expect FAU to rely on the run game to generate most of the offense. 

Last week, running back Malcolm Davidson ran for 62 yards and a touchdown on eight attempts against a strong Marshall defense so expect him to receive a majority of the touches, especially since fellow running back Larry McCammon III is out due to an ankle injury.

For FAU to win this game, they need to continue playing solid defense. That’s easier said than done though as UTSA has a very dangerous running back in McCormick. McCormick is the nation’s leading rusher this season at 867 rushing yards. 

McCormick has four 100-yard rushing games this season, including his latest outing where he ran for 165 yards and three touchdowns against Louisiana Tech.

While FAU’s defense has done a good job this season generating pressure on the quarterback, its run defense has been lackluster. Last week, the Owls gave up 101 rushing yards to Knox.

This game will come down to the running backs. The Owls need to stop McCormick from getting anything going on the ground and Davidson needs to have a strong performance against a suspect UTSA run defense.

Prediction: FAU 21, UTSA 20

Bryce Totz | Contributing Writer (2-0)

FAU cannot take UTSA lightly, they are tougher than they appear. Last week UTSA broke its three-game losing streak behind three touchdowns from McCormick. UTSA quarterback Frank Harris also had 18 completions for 189 yards.

UTSA also has more experience than FAU, as they have played all seven of their scheduled games. 

FAU will rely on its defense to stop McCormick to beat UTSA. McCormick rushed for three touchdowns in the second half, with his longest run being 45 yards. 

The Owls’ defense is only allowing 108 yards per game and 18.5 points per game. FAU cannot keep relying on its defense to win them games. 

The Roadrunners average 26.9 points and 399.3 yards per game, while the Owls average 15 points and 274.5 yards per game. 

UTSA gives up nearly 28 points per game, which is something the Owls need to take advantage of early. 

Tronti will need to bounce back on Saturday after his poor performance last week. He had 148 yards passing, 45 negative yards rushing, and one interception. 

The Owl’s offense should bounce back, but it will be the defense that keeps them in the game.  

Prediction: FAU 24, UTSA 20

Guest Picker Zachary Weinberger | Editor in Chief (2-0)

In what has been a hectic season for the Owls, it will only be the third game played this season compared to eight games for UTSA. 

While I still think FAU has some work to do on both sides of the ball, there’s a good chance that UTSA will lead most of this game as the Owls will try to find their footing.

The major concern is the offense. FAU was in a prime position last week to possibly defeat a ranked team for the first time in program history, but the team scored nine points. 

However, I don’t think it’s time to hit the panic button yet. The new coaching staff and a new quarterback will need to take time but against the Roadrunners, the offense won’t be explosive. Especially when the offense is averaging 15 points per game. Albeit in two games, but the point still stands.

For the defense, they did a great job at stopping Knox and they now face McCormick this season. His stats are eye-opening but if the front seven of the Owls can have the same performance from last week, FAU will be in good shape. 

So at the end of the game, even with UTSA’s vulnerable defense, the FAU offense will just be good enough to get the job done but the highlight will once again be the defense for the Owls.

Prediction: FAU 21, UTSA 20

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