Keys to the game: FAU Football takes on Georgia Southern for the first time in school history

The Owls are on a four game winning streak.


Javion Posey takes the snap against UMass on Nov. 13. Photo by Alex Liscio.

Jensen Jennings, Sports Editor

Florida Atlantic’s football team (5-1, 4-1 C-USA) is heading on the road to take on non-conference opponent Georgia Southern (6-4). This will be the first time the schools will face off against each other. 

The game was originally scheduled for Sept. 19 but had to be postponed due to the number of positive COVID-19 cases on the FAU football team.

Georgia Southern is a difficult place for non-conference opponents to play. The Eagles have won 26 straight non-conference home games with their last loss coming back in 2006 when they lost in overtime to Central Arkansas. 

Here are some keys to the game if FAU is going to be the team who ends Georgia Southern’s non-conference home winning streak:

Establish the Run

For the Owls to be successful on the offensive side of the ball, they will need to establish the running game early against a stout Georgia Southern run defense.

The Eagles’ defense is allowing just 103.9 rushing yards per game. On offense, the Owls are averaging 197.5 rushing yards per game. If FAU is going to be successful, they will need to find a way to have early down success running the ball.

FAU will rely heavily on quarterback Javion Posey to help out running backs Malcolm Davidson and James Charles to make plays in the ground game with running back BJ Emmons being unavailable to play.

Posey has struggled to pass the ball for the Owls in his nine quarters of action, completing 23-43 passes for 283 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception.

Make Plays in the Passing Game

While establishing the run early needs to be the number one priority for the FAU offense, being able to pass the ball will be what leads them to victory against a shaky Georgia Southern secondary.

The Eagles are giving up a total of 226 passing yards per game this season and have allowed 14 scores through the air. 

Posey needs to find a way to get the ball into the hands of his playmaking wide receivers on the outside like TJ Chase, Brandon Robinson, and LaJohntay Wester. 

The Owls have struggled all season in the passing game, averaging just 133 yards per game and scoring six receiving touchdowns. If there’s any week where the FAU passing game needs to strike, this is the week.

Being Prepared for Either Quarterback on Defense

Georgia Southern’s unquestioned leader is senior quarterback Shai Werts, but he is day-to-day heading into this week’s game with a right shoulder injury

If Werts is unable to play, look for sophomore quarterback Justin Tomlin to draw the start for the Eagles. Tomlin played in the last two games while Werts has been dealing with injuries.

Defensively, the Owls need to be prepared for whichever quarterback will take the reins on Saturday. Werts has total command over the Georgia Southern triple-option attack. He has rushed for 3,001 yards and 31 touchdowns in his four seasons in Statesboro.

Tomlin has appeared in six games this season for the Eagles. He’s completed 6-9 passes for 68 yards, zero touchdowns, and two interceptions. He’s also carried the ball 12 times for 43 yards and no touchdowns. 

The Owls and the Eagles will face off Saturday, Dec. 4 at Allen E. Paulson Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN+. 

Jensen Jennings is the sports editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @Jensen_Jennings.