FAU (5-2, 4-1 C-USA) will play its final regular-season game of the season against conference foe Southern Miss. (2-7, 1-4 C-USA).
Head coach Willie Taggart and his team will be looking to bounce back after a poor offensive showing last week against Georgia Southern. The Owls lost to the Eagles 20-3 last Saturday.
This game was originally scheduled for Oct. 10 but had to be postponed due to COVID-19 issues within the FAU Football team.
The University Press Sports Staff is back again with their predictions after going 0-4 in FAU’s loss against Georgia Southern. This week, Staff Writer Richard Pereira will make his first appearance as a guest picker.
Jensen Jennings | Sports Editor (6-1)
Last week against Georgia Southern, the Owls struggled to do much of anything on the offensive side of the ball. When they did manage to move the ball, they would end up turning the ball over or missing a field goal instead of putting points on the board.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Javion Posey has started the past three games but has six turnovers so far on the season. I wouldn’t be surprised to see head coach Willie Taggart roll with Nick Tronti as starting quarterback in this one. Tronti is a bit more of a threat in the passing game and has just one turnover on the season.
Look for the Owls defense to continue to dominate their opponents. The defense is allowing just over 12 points per game. It doesn’t matter how much you struggle on offense when you have a defense who has been playing that well all season.
I think FAU will bounce back and win this week behind another strong performance from its defense. Look for both quarterbacks to get some playing time in this one.
Prediction: FAU 28, Southern Miss 10
Trey Avant | Staff Writer (6-1)
The short week will not affect FAU too much, but they still need to be wary of a Southern Miss squad with nothing to lose and looking to play spoiler.
Southern Miss running back Frank Gore Jr. is someone to watch for as he has rushed for 597 yards and a touchdown while averaging 5.3 yards per carry.
Wide receiver Jason Brownlee is another player Southern Miss will go to frequently. Brownlee has caught 31 passes for 529 yards and four touchdowns.
On the other hand, the quarterback position is in flux with Tate Whatley being injured and Jack Abraham transferring, leaving redshirt sophomore Trey Lowe to start. Lowe has thrown for 224 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions in three games.
FAU should be able to stifle Southern Miss’ offense with its third-ranked defense, which is giving up only 12.4 points per game and 299.6 yards per game.
The Owls will rely on a run-heavy game plan once again with Posey still likely to start, but expect Tronti to get in for a few snaps as well to boost the passing game.
Expect Posey and running back Malcolm Davidson to have big games against a Southern Miss defense that has allowed 410.1 total yards per game, including 182.8 rushing yards per game.
Prediction: FAU 35, Southern Miss 10
Bryce Totz | Staff Writer (6-1)
After a tough game against Georgia Southern, FAU will look to bounce back this week.
FAU should be able to rely on its defense once again this week as they are allowing less than 13 points per game.
The Owls’ offense needs to find consistency though. They have been up and down all season, which is why some of their games have been closer than expected. It is unknown who will start at quarterback for FAU.
It is key for the offense to develop a running game early so they can set up the passing game later. The Owls may look to Posey for this, as he is their leading rusher. He has 54 carries for 393 yards and three touchdowns.
FAU cannot just rely on the run game though. They need to get senior wide receiver TJ Chase involved tonight, as he is the team’s leading receiver. He has 21 catches for 328 yards and a touchdown.
This will be a sloppy game for the Owls as they try to recuperate from last week’s loss, and figure out the direction they want to go in next season.
Prediction: FAU 20, Southern Miss 14
Guest Picker Richard Pereira | Staff Writer (6-1)
FAU will look to get back to its winning ways after a disappointing loss against Georgia Southern. Ending the regular season with a win over Southern Miss would do the trick.
While the FAU defense continues to be its best strength, the biggest factor that will decide the outcome of this game will be the offense.
Whether Posey or Tronti get the majority of playing time against Southern Miss remains to be seen. What is understood is that FAU cannot afford for its offense to be as stagnant as it was against Georgia Southern, only scoring three points in the defeat.
Passing the ball will be crucial, as redshirt junior wide receiver Jordan Merrell and Chase will want to build on their performances against Georgia Southern to be more efficient against Southern Miss.
While this game appears to be winnable, FAU should not underestimate Southern Miss. Having a solid performance on both sides of the field will be key to attaining the desired victory.
Prediction: FAU 24, Southern Miss 10
For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet the staff: Jensen Jennings (@Jensen_Jennings), Trey Avant (@TreyAvant3), Bryce Totz (@brycetotz), Richard Pereira (@Rich26Pereira).