Staff Predictions: FAU takes on FIU for 20th annual Shula Bowl

2020’s matchup resulted in the Owls cruising 38-19 against the Panthers.


Photo courtesy of FAU Athletics.

FAU returns home to host the 20th edition of the Shula Bowl, as the team faces in-state rivals Florida International University (FIU) on Saturday, Oct. 2 at 3:30 p.m.

After a disappointing road defeat at Air Force, head coach Willie Taggart will desire a better performance from the team as they try to defend their Shula Bowl title for a fifth consecutive year.

The University Press Sports Staff reveals their predictions for the Shula Bowl after going 0-4 with choosing the victors in last week’s game between FAU and Air Force.


Richard Pereira – Sports Editor (3-1)

With non-conference play coming to a close, FAU will want to make sure it has learned from its first four games and apply those lessons to the rest of the season, starting with FIU.

The Owls beat the Panthers 38-19 on the road in last year’s matchup, which saw redshirt freshman Javion Posey have a great performance at quarterback. He threw for two touchdowns on 10-16 completions and ran for 182 net yards for a touchdown.

Graduate quarterback N’Kosi Perry, who is able to run the ball himself and throw the ball efficiently, can replicate a similar game to that of Posey’s. Being able to force FIU’s defense to scramble and become disorganized should be a major key for Perry to execute with his game.

FIU has underperformed with a 1-3 record to start the season, with its only win coming from the 48-10 season-opening victory against Long Island on Sept. 2. Following three straight losses, the Panthers will look to bounce back with a road victory at FAU’s turf.

With the amount of trouble FIU will have limiting Perry, FAU should chalk this up as a victory to start conference play and their fifth consecutive Shula Bowl.

Prediction: FAU 34, FIU 20


Eston Parker III – Photo Editor (3-1)

Last week was a tough loss for the Owls, as Air Force rolled over FAU 31-7 in Colorado Springs. Thankfully for FAU, they come back home this weekend as they face their biggest rival, FIU, in the Shula Bowl. 

FAU will look to improve their winning streak against FIU to five, and achieving that will begin by stopping FIU’s rushing attack. The Owls were pounded on the ground last week as Air Force ran for 446 yards and four touchdowns. FAU will have to stop FIU and their senior running back, D’vonte Price, if they want to continue their dominance over their rivals. 

Offensively, graduate quarterback N’Kosi Perry will rebound from a frustrating performance in which he threw for no touchdowns and threw his first interception of the season. He and the Owls offense will look to overwhelm FIU’s defense, the same defense which has allowed 36 points per game in their last three.

The Owls are looking for redemption following last week’s defeat and intend to start their conference play off strong, as this should be a statement win for the Owls on Saturday.

Prediction: FAU 45, FIU 13


Bryce Totz – Staff Writer (3-1)

The Owls should bounce back this week, as they begin conference play. 

FIU has averaged 28.3 points and 419.3 yards per game, both better than FAU. The Panthers have played smaller schools (Long Island University, Texas State University, Texas Tech University, and Central Michigan). 

Graduate quarterback N’Kosi Perry will perform better this week. Last week, he had just 78 yards on 11 completions. The Owls rushing offense performed better as they scored the team’s only touchdown. 

FAU’s defense struggled last week against the triple option. The Owls allowed 446 yards on the ground on 73 carries. Air Force’s quarterback Haaziq Daniels led the team with 164 on 17 carries. FIU runs a mixed offense that the Owls should be able to stop. 

The Owls lead the all-time series 17-12-5, and have won the last four. The Owls will likely win big on Saturday.

Prediction: FAU 45, FIU 24


Trey Avant – Staff Writer (3-1)

The Owls gave up 446 rushing yards last week and that performance continued FAU’s trend of bad run defense this season. Senior running back D’vonte Price is another tough matchup for FAU. This season, Price has 377 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 60 carries.

FIU also has a solid quarterback in senior Max Bortenschlager, who has 1,105 passing yards and eight touchdowns to just three interceptions this season.

Graduate quarterback N’Kosi Perry has played well this season and he has a great opportunity against an FIU defense that struggles against the pass.

Expect high point totals from both teams in a game that will be heavily dictated by the offense.

Prediction: FAU 35, FIU 31

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).