FAU Football: The Owls prepare for a tough test on the road against Air Force

The altitude change will be a point to watch for the Owls as they make the trip to Colorado for Saturday’s game.


Photo by Eston Parker III.

Kevin Garcia, Contributing Writer

The Florida Atlantic Owls are 2-1 on the year as they prepare for an Air Force team on the heels of a 49-45 loss to Utah State. In their previous game, the Owls defeated the Fordham Rams 45-14 for their second straight win since dropping the season opener to the Florida Gators. Graduate quarterback N’Kosi Perry shined, going 27-43 with 278 passing yards and two touchdowns. 

The altitude change will be something the Owls need to adjust to as they make the trip to Colorado for Saturday’s game. 

Head coach Willie Taggart said that controlling what they can control is key when asked about how the team is preparing for the Colorado altitude, which is over 5,000 feet in Colorado Springs. 

“The only thing we can do is control the things that we can, which is our practice habits and doing the winning things it takes to win ball games,” Taggart said. “We’re not gonna let it distract us and we’re gonna go out and play.”

FAU has averaged 32.3 points per game thus far and 182.3 rushing yards per game, ranking them 50th in the nation. Kelvin Dean had a team-high 78 rushing yards on nine attempts against Fordham. 

Taggart spoke about the improvements he has seen from Dean in practice, especially in regards to taking care of the football. “He’s done a tremendous job this training camp and this fall of getting better with taking care of the football and then it paid off in the game on Saturday,” he said. 

“I think he’s earned the right to see more, and I think we’ll see more and more if he keeps playing the way he did the other night.” Taggart said of Dean’s increased role in the backfield. 

During his tenure so far with FAU, Taggart has posted a 1-4 record on the road, he said of this, “the next challenge that we have to do if we want to be the championship team that we aspire to be is to go out and be able to win on the road.” 

FAU’s defense has been stellar in three games this season allowing 18.9 points per game, ranking them 52nd in the nation. Their rushing defense will be put to the test facing the triple-option offense of Air Force. 

“We [have] to be disciplined in staying true to our rules,” Taggart said in regards to the opposing team’s offensive scheme. 

Kickoff is set for Saturday, Sept. 25 at 8:00 p.m. It will be broadcast on FS2 from Falcon Stadium in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Kevin Garcia is a Contributing Writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email him [email protected] or follow him on twitter @kevingar658