Preview: Keys to the Owls’ road game against UAB

The Owls are looking to keep the momentum going after a dominating performance against FIU.


Eston Parker III

Photo by Eston Parker III.

Bryce Totz, Staff Writer

FAU (3-2, 1-0 C-USA) will begin its road schedule in conference play on Saturday, Oct. 9. They are scheduled to play the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) (3-2, 1-0 C-USA), the defending C-USA champions. 

The last time these two faced each other was at the 2019 C-USA Championship Game at FAU Stadium. The Owls dominated with a 49-6 victory.

FAU is scoring 32.8 points per game but are allowing 21.4 points per game. UAB is averaging 23.6 points despite conceding 23.8 per game.

According to the stat sheet, FAU is outplaying the Blazers. The Owls should not take UAB lightly though. The start of Saturday’s game should see more rushes than passes from both offenses. 

Here are some keys to the game if FAU wants to get past UAB to win on Saturday:

Establish the Running Game Early:

Last week, the Owls built success with play-action passes. In order to repeat that this week, FAU needs to run the ball often and early, forcing the Blazers to assume a running play. Head coach Willie Taggart said that play-action passes do not work if the team does not run the ball well. In the win over FIU, the Owls rushed the ball 47 times for 296 yards and five touchdowns. 

Redshirt sophomore running back Johnny Ford shined in that game, leading the team with 102 rushing yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. 


Involve Different Receivers:

In the win over FIU last week, graduate quarterback N’Kosi Perry threw for 329 yards and three touchdowns, redshirt junior Nick Tronti threw for 68 yards on six completions, and redshirt freshman wide receiver Javion Posey threw a pass for 11 yards. Posey has also played as a quarterback for FAU.

The three quarterbacks combined for 408 yards and three touchdowns on 24 completions. The Owls distributed the ball nicely, as 11 different receivers had at least one completion (including an 11-yard reception for Perry). 

Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Je’Quan Burton led the team with 121 yards and a touchdown on seven receptions. Ford has 91 receiving yards and a touchdown on two catches. 


Shut Down UAB’s Running Backs:

“They’re a very athletic, very physical football team on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball,” Taggart said. Most teams built for physicality tend to run the ball. Last week, the Blazers rushed the ball 36 times and passed 26 times. On the ground, UAB had 173 rushing yards and a touchdown in their loss against Liberty University. This was led by junior running back Jermaine Brown Jr., who had 106 yards and a touchdown on nine carries. 

Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 9 at Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Ala. The game will be broadcast on Stadium.

Bryce Totz is a staff writer for the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected], or tweet him @brycetotz.