FAU Football: Owls make preparations for road matchup against Purdue

This will be the first matchup for both teams.


Paul Leachman

N’kosi Perry communicating the next play to his fellow Owls on Sep. 17, 2022.

Matthew Aguilar-Lizzi, Staff Writer

The FAU football team (2-2, 1-0 C-USA) head on the road this weekend to face the Purdue University Boilermakers (1-2, 0-1 Big Ten). The Owls will look to gain back momentum after suffering a heavy defeat to the University of Central Florida Knights at home last weekend.

Head coach Willie Taggart spoke about the loss and how he wants to move on and focus on Purdue, and the rest of the season.

“I think you look at the big picture of everything, you know, we gotta own that loss,” said Taggart. “We didn’t play well enough. When you play the game like that, you got to take advantage of every opportunity that comes up and we didn’t do that. So we’re gonna own that and move forward.”

The Owls surrendered 339 passing yards and 314 rushing yards against the Knights, and allowed two touchdowns and a field goal in the second half. Taggart said they need to play a better second half and maintain consistency throughout the game.

“We have to find a way to come out of halftime and play better,” said Taggart. “It all comes back to executing, and we have to be able to do that for four quarters, play at a high level, and play winning football for four quarters…we have to be consistent in our play…especially against good football teams like Purdue and UCF, we have to answer offensively. Those are the winning plays.”

Star senior quarterback Aidan O’Connell leads the way for Purdue, as he completed 1,000 yards in just three games this season. He plays tag-team with senior wide receiver Charlie Jones, who has 474 receiving yards in 32 receptions and is said to be a real threat to play against.

“He’s just a baller,” said Taggart on Jones. “You watch him on film and he’s a baller, he plays the game how you’re supposed to. He’s competitive, he can run, and they find ways to get the ball to him.”   

Junior linebacker Eddie Williams is someone that Taggart is looking forward to playing against the Boilermakers. He has 39 total tackles, 11 solo and 28 assisted. Taggart praised his ability to take chances and his mindset and effort during practice and on the field.

“I’m so excited for Eddie, because he has waited his turn,” said Taggat. “He has waited around for a while, guys being in front of him, having coaches that believe in him. He finally got his opportunity and he’s taking advantage of it.”

The Owls head to West Lafayette, Ind., to play Purdue on Saturday, Sept. 24, at 7:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.

Matthew Aguilar-Lizzi is a staff writer at the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected], or tweet him @mattaguilarUP