Staff Predictions: Owls seek victory in season opener against Charlotte

FAU dominated Charlotte 38-9 in last year’s matchup.


Eston Parker III

Willie Taggart leads his FAU Owls onto the field.

FAU will play its first game of the 2022 season hosting the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Head coach Willie Taggart, after finishing last season with the Owls with a 5-7 record, will look to make huge progress to have the Owls be potential title contenders, starting with the 49ers.

FAU’s matchup with Charlotte last year saw the Owls limit the 49ers’ offense in a cruising 38-9 victory.

The University Press Sports Staff returns with their first predictions for 2022.

Cameron Priester – Sports Editor

With the plethora of changes the Owls have seen this off-season, coupled with the loss of an extra week of practice due to this matchup taking place during Week 0, expect FAU to come out looking very sloppy. 

Anticipate a lot of penalties, missed assignments, and turnovers early on in the game. Mishaps like these aren’t uncommon for an inexperienced team like FAU early in the season. However, with these mistakes, expect the Owls to go into the locker room down at the half. 

With a half of football under their belt, the Owls’ offense should start to find a rhythm in the second half. To do so, they will have to keep up with Charlotte’s offensive duo of quarterback Chris Reynolds and wide receiver Grant DuBose, who combined for 892 receiving yards and six touchdowns last season. 

If it takes until later in the game for FAU’s offense to start moving the ball efficiently, it will more than likely be too little, too late to compete with the 49ers’ offense. 

Prediction: Charlotte 28, FAU 17

Richard Pereira – News Editor

FAU will begin its last year in Conference USA by taking on Charlotte, a foe who the Owls have had their number in past seasons.

The Owls are currently riding a three-game winning streak against the 49ers, as last season emphasized the gap in quality between the two sides.

What FAU did very well in its last encounter with Charlotte revolved around two areas: getting plenty of yardage in the running game and shutting down the 49ers’ rushing attack. The Owls had 5.1 yards per rush for a solid net total of 202 yards, as they limited Charlotte to just 2.4 yards per carry for a low net total of 77 yards.

The deciding factor from FAU will be graduate quarterback N’Kosi Perry, who completed nine of his 11 passes in the previous matchup. If he can start the season on a great note with accurate throws and reads, the Owls will have the advantage.

If FAU can continue executing what worked in the last matchup, expect them to begin the season with a comfortable victory.

Prediction: FAU 28, Charlotte 14

Trey Avant – Staff Writer

On the surface, these two teams are very similar. Last season, both teams finished at 5-7. FAU lost four straight games to finish the season while Charlotte lost three straight games.

Both FAU and Charlotte have experienced and accomplished quarterbacks in graduate transfer N’Kosi Perry and senior Chris Reynolds, respectively.

In last season’s matchup, Perry torched the 49ers for 225 passing yards and three touchdowns. Reynolds, on the other hand, struggled. He threw for 219 passing yards and one touchdown but had two interceptions.

Charlotte’s defense struggled against FAU, giving up 38 points and 427 total yards. It is going to be tough for Charlotte to stroll into FAU Stadium and defeat an FAU team that went 4-2 at home in 2021.

Prediction: FAU 21, Charlotte 17

For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet the staff:  Cameron Priester (@PriesterCameron), Richard Pereira (@Rich26Pereira), and Trey Avant (@TreyAvant3).