Staff Predictions: Owls travel to Colorado to take on Air Force

FAU and Air Force last met in 2018, where the Owls won 33-27.


Photo by Eston Parker III.

FAU heads on the road to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado to face Air Force on Saturday, Sept. 25 at 8 p.m.

Succeeding at home in a 45-14 rout against Fordham, head coach Willie Taggart will look to maintain FAU’s momentum on the road against Air Force, which is the first time since 2018 the Owls and Falcons met.

The University Press Sports Staff announces their predictions for the game after going 4-0 with choosing the victors for a third consecutive time.


Richard Pereira – Sports Editor (3-0)

Considering the last time FAU and Air Force met was in 2018, where the Owls won 33-27 against the Falcons at home, it will be interesting to see how much the two teams changed since then.

Graduate quarterback N’Kosi Perry once again delivered a solid performance against Fordham, While he missed a lot of deep throws, he completed 27 of his 43 passes for 278 yards and two touchdowns. If Perry can improve his deep passing on Saturday, Air Force will have their work cut out for them defensively.

FAU’s brightest spot against Fordham was the running game. Redshirt freshman Kelvin Dean Jr., junior Malcolm Davidson, and sophomore Larry McCammon III combined for 174 yards on 31 rushes for two touchdowns. Once redshirt sophomore Johnny Ford returns to the rotation, Taggart will want to see this ground game gel and dominate against defenses.

A player the Owls will have to watch out for from Air Force is junior quarterback Haaziq Daniels. In three games so far, he has a rating of 136.68, 281 passing yards for one touchdown on 12 out of 27 passes, and 225 rushing yards for five touchdowns. Going against a versatile player who splits between running the ball himself or occasionally passing to one of his receivers, FAU will need to prepare for any play Daniels has up his sleeve.

Altitude conditions aside, FAU is more than capable of bringing an upset victory on the road. As long as the rushing and passing offenses continue progressing, the Owls can escape with the win.

Prediction: FAU 23, Air Force 21


Eston Parker III – Photo Editor (3-0)

FAU has a tough match on its hands this weekend, specifically the Owls’ defense going up against a high-flying Air Force offense. FAU’s limited history with Air Force in football only dates back to 2018, where the Owls edged out the Falcons in a 33-27 victory in Boca Raton.

Air Force enters the game with a 2-1 record, following a close but thrilling 49-45 defeat to Utah State last week. Air Force has averaged just over 34 points per game and will look to expose the Owls’ defense.

Thankfully for FAU, its defense has looked strong throughout the season so far. Holding opponents to just over 18 points per game, they will want to slow down Air Force’s explosive offense by forcing fourth downs and causing turnovers.

Offensively, N’Kosi Perry and the Owls should fare well against the Falcons’ defense. Air Force’s loss last week to Utah State showed massive weaknesses in their defense, particularly their struggle to slow down opposing quarterbacks. Coach Taggart and the Owls will look to continue this trend, and considering that N’Kosi Perry has yet to throw an interception so far, this should work in strong favor towards FAU.

Lastly, FAU faces a unique challenge in the massive altitude adjustment in playing at Air Force in Colorado Springs. While it will likely not be a determining factor in the game’s outcome, it will almost certainly have a minor impact on the Owls and will be a great test of the team’s overall fitness. 

Prediction: FAU 34, Air Force 31


Bryce Totz – Staff Writer (3-0)

This will be an interesting game for FAU. In head-to-head matchups, FAU leads 1-0. The only previous meeting between the two schools resulted in a 33-27 win for the Owls after a couple of lightning delays. 

Quarterback N’Kosi Perry performed well again last week, proving why he deserves to stay at the starting position. Last week, Perry threw for 278 yards and two touchdowns on 27 completions. 

The Owls were successful in the rushing game as well with 246 yards and three touchdowns on 49 carries. Redshirt freshman Kelvin Dean Jr. led the team with 74 yards and a touchdown on nine rushes. Junior Malcolm Davidson led the team in rush attempts with 14 and he accumulated 63 yards. 

FAU will have to make big adjustments this week, as they have never visited Colorado. Perry will have to learn how to handle the ball in thinner air, as it usually travels farther. The Owls’ running core will also have to prepare for the thin air as well. 

The Air Force Falcons run a triple-option offense, something that FAU’s defense needs to be aware of. The Owls saw the triple-option defense in 2018, but head coach WIllie Taggart was not with the team at the time. 

This is the last game before conference play for the Owls. Although FAU is the four-point underdog, they can win this game. Saturday’s contest should be close and a good test to end out-of-conference play. 

Prediction: FAU 24, Air Force 20


Trey Avant – Staff Writer (3-0)

The key battle to look for during this matchup is FAU’s run defense versus Air Force’s triple-option offense. FAU has struggled to contain the run thus far and Air Force’s triple-option is difficult to stop with the Falcons ranking fourth nationally in rushing offense.

Air Force are three games into the season and already have five players with over 100 yards rushing on the season. They are led by running back Brad Roberts and quarterback Haaziq Daniels, both of whom have combined for 546 rushing yards and seven touchdowns.

Unfortunately for Air Force, their offense is a bit one-dimensional and FAU has the talent on defense to force the Falcons into uncomfortable situations and firepower on offense to overwhelm Air Force’s defense.

Quarterback N’Kosi Perry has been on fire to start the season and it does not seem likely that Air Force would have an answer for him.

FAU’s defense will take advantage of Daniels’ passing struggles and combine that with another excellent game by Perry, FAU could take home the win.

Prediction: FAU 31, Air Force 14

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).