Staff Predictions: Owls seek first road win against North Texas

FAU has an 8-5 record against the Mean Green.


Paul Leachman

Head Coach Willie Taggart holds front and center as the Owls wait for their grand entrance for the 2022 opening game on August 27 against Charlotte.

FAU completes the first half of its season with a stop to Denton, Texas, for an encounter with the University of North Texas this Saturday.

The Owls are still seeking their first win on the road this year after a 28-26 heartbreaker at Purdue. They currently have a 2-11 record away from FAU since head coach Willie Taggart took over in 2020.

According to ESPN, FAU stands as the 3.5-point favorites to win this game. This contrasts with the underdog status the team had heading into the prior matchups with the University of Central Florida and Purdue.

The University Press Sports Staff makes their predictions after going 4-0 last week.

Cameron Priester | Sports Editor (3-2)

After suffering two very disappointing losses back-to-back, expect this to be a bounce-back game for the Owls.

North Texas’ defense has struggled throughout their first four games allowing 38 points per game, which ranks fourth-worst in Conference USA. They’re also allowing an average of 206.8 rushing yards per game, which also ranks fourth-worst in the conference as well.

With the Mean Green’s struggles defending the run, expect the Owls to keep the ball on ground.

Running backs Larry McCammon III and Zuberi Mobley both struggled last Saturday against Purdue, combining for 67 yards total. Expect both of them to get several carries early to get back in rhythm.

The Owls’ defense should be able to force some turnovers as North Texas quarterback Austin Aune has already thrown six interceptions through five games.

As long as penalties and mistakes don’t start to become a problem, which is not a given, the Owls should leave Denton with their second victory in conference play.  

Prediction: FAU 38, North Texas 28

Richard Pereira | News Editor (4-1)

Despite finishing non-conference play with a 1-3 record, there should be optimism for the Owls as they resume conference play.

Taking on North Texas for the first time since 2018, which resulted in a 41-38 defeat at the time, FAU has a huge advantage on the offensive end compared to their counterparts.

The Mean Green are very vulnerable in defending the run. They have the fourth-worst rushing defense in the conference, allowing 206.8 rushing yards per game. 

Considering the weapons FAU has at running back in Larry McCammon III, Zuberi Mobley, and most recently Johnny Ford, North Texas is going to have a hard time containing the Owls’ running game.

As long as FAU uses the running game to its advantage, the team should cruise to victory against the Mean Green. 

Prediction: FAU 38, North Texas 17

Trey Avant | Staff Writer (4-1)

Expect both teams to rely heavily on their running backs.

Running backs Oscar Adaway III and Ayo Adeyi lead the way for North Texas, who have combined for 704 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns on 123 carries this season. 

Through five games, North Texas is averaging 196.8 rushing yards per game, which is good for 30th in the nation. On the other hand, FAU has given up 147.8 rushing yards per game.

FAU has a very potent run game as well. The team ranks 21st in rushing offense in the nation, as running backs Larry McCammon III and Zuberi Mobley have been a pivotal part of that success. The two backs have combined for 731 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns.

Adaway III and Adeyi will cause some problems for the Owls but if they are able to contain those two and force quarterback Austin Aune to beat them, they stand a good chance.

Quarterback N’Kosi Perry needs to keep doing what he has been doing: limiting turnovers and getting wide receiver LaJohntay Wester the ball. 

Wester is tied for first in the nation for receiving touchdowns with seven. North Texas has struggled defending the pass so look for FAU to feed Wester early and often.

FAU is currently 0-2 in road games this season with losses to Ohio and Purdue. Last season, FAU went 1-5 on the road. With that being said, FAU will stave off their road demons against North Texas. UNT’s defense is just not good enough to keep up with FAU’s weapons on offense.

Prediction: FAU 35, North Texas 21

Kevin Garcia | Staff Writer (3-1)

After a close loss to Purdue, FAU will look to recover against conference foes North Texas. The two teams have not squared off against one another since 2018, when the Mean Green defeated the Owls 41-38. 

Saturday afternoon presents a real opportunity for FAU to gain momentum against a North Texas squad allowing opponents to score 38 points per game. 

Graduate quarterback N’Kosi Perry has leveled out with a 58.2 pass percentage after a hot start. He will need to have a good game behind center, exploiting a weak secondary if the Owls are going to secure a victory. The chance for this to be a high-scoring contest presents itself as neither team is very effective on defense. 

Running backs Larry McCammon III and Zuberi Mobley struggled to get anything going the past two weeks. However, North Texas is allowing opposing backs to rush for 206 yards per game so expect the dynamic pair to get back on track.

An early start for both teams will lead to a close-knit score at halftime. However, FAU will pull away thanks to its high-octane offense being too much for the Mean Green defense. 

Prediction: FAU 40, North Texas 20

For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet the staff:  Cameron Priester (@PriesterCameron), Richard Pereira (@Rich26Pereira), and Trey Avant (@TreyAvant3), and Kevin Garcia (@Kevingar658)