Staff Predictions: Owls look to win home opener against Georgia Southern

Last season’s matchup resulted in a disappointing 20-3 loss for the Owls.


Photo by Eston Parker III.

FAU hosts its first game of the 2021 season on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. against the Georgia Southern Eagles.

After losing the season opener at Gainesville, head coach Willie Taggart will want to make adjustments on offense and defense for the same mistakes to not happen again.

Georgia Southern had the clear upper hand in last season’s matchup, taking down FAU 20-3. It was the first time FAU failed to record a touchdown since the 2016 season.

The University Press Sports Staff provides their predictions for the game after going 4-0 in FAU’s loss to the Gators. 


Richard Pereira – Sports Editor (1-0)

The Owls will have to make adjustments to prepare for the running game Georgia Southern will attack them with for Saturday.

What went down between the two teams was an indicator that FAU needed better passing and changes to adapt to the run-heavy offense the Eagles used on them in the 20-3 defeat. 

Georgia Southern prevented FAU from recording a touchdown that game while winning the ground game 269-133 in total rushing yards. The Eagles also forced two fumbles from the Owls that kept the momentum in their favor to secure the win that night. 

To beat Georgia Southern, FAU needs to show it has learned from the last go-around by having a defense capable of limiting the running offense as frequently as possible.

This will also be N’Kosi Perry’s first game playing in front of FAU’s home crowd. After a solid debut against the Florida Gators, he’ll want to give fans a home debut to remember to proudly solidify his starting spot at quarterback.

Prediction: FAU 24, Georgia Southern 17


Eston Parker III – Photo Editor (1-0)

This is a much different FAU team than the one that failed to score a touchdown against the Eagles last season in Statesboro; the Owl’s addition of N’kosi Perry will make a major difference this time around.

Last week’s loss to the Gators was not pretty for most of the game, but the Owls showed some encouraging flashes late into the fourth quarter. This slight momentum should hopefully be carried into Saturday, especially since Georgia Southern barely defeated Gardner-Webb at home 30-25 in a nailbiter.

The Eagles pass defense was torched by Gardner-Webb and should play into the hands of FAU, but FAU should be sure not to allow as many big plays as they did against the Gators.

N’kosi Perry and company, however, should improve and pick up their first win of the season comfortably.

Prediction: FAU 31, Georgia Southern 14


Bryce Totz – Staff Writer (1-0)

This game will be a different story than last time these two teams met. In 2020, FAU struggled on both sides of the ball and fell 20-3. This time around they will keep the game much closer. 

Last week, FAU knew they were heading to a tough environment and lost by 21. On Saturday, they will make their home debut against a team that barely beat Gardner-Webb from the Big South Conference (BSC). Georgia Southern needed 30 points to escape its home opener with a win. 

Defensively, the Owls will have to shut down the running game. Redshirt senior Logan Wright and senior Amare Jones combined for 276 yards on 45 carries (6.13 yards per carry). 

Offensively, FAU will look to improve on last week. Graduate student N’Kosi Perry threw for 261 yards and a touchdown on 19 completions. Redshirt sophomore Johnny Ford and junior Malcolm Davidson each ran for 52 yards (104 yards combined on 19 rushes). 

The Owls will look to continue their rhythm from the fourth quarter against the Gators last week, but they will fall behind in the first half. FAU will take over the game in the second half and win. 

Prediction: FAU 21, Georgia Southern 17


Trey Avant – Staff Writer (1-0)

FAU gave up a whopping 400 yards on the ground against Florida, while Georgia Southern was able to rush for 365 yards against Gardner-Webb in their respective matchups last week. Just like Florida, Georgia Southern boasts a dangerous rushing attack the Owls will need to focus on to win this game.

Last season, Georgia Southern defeated FAU 20-3 while dominating them on the ground. The personnel for both teams remain mostly the same, so a repeat of last year’s performance is possible, but expect FAU to make the necessary adjustments needed to contain an offense that is largely one-dimensional.

Quarterback N’Kosi Perry showed promise in his first game as an Owl and he might be able to carve up a GSU defense that gave up 365 yards through the air last week. The key for him is to avoid pressure. GSU had three sacks last week and FAU’s offensive line struggled to keep Perry upright.

The game will come down to FAU’s offensive line giving Perry enough time to throw and Georgia Southern being able to replicate their offensive performance from last week. 

If FAU struggles to contain GSU’s ground game and GSU’s defense is giving up big chunks of yards from passing plays, the game will likely turn into an offensive shootout with Perry doing just enough to will FAU to victory.

Prediction: FAU 27, Georgia Southern 24

For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet the staff:  Richard Pereira (@Rich26Pereira), Eston Parker III (@EstonParker), Bryce Totz (@brycetotz) Trey Avant (@TreyAvant3).