FAU Football: Owls are well-rested for matchup against Rice

The Owls hope to improve their 2-4 record coming off a bye week.


Paul Leachman

Dwight Toombs II trips from UCF tackle on his way to the end zone during the third quarter on Sep. 10, 2022

Richard Pereira, News Editor

Having rested for an entire week due to being on a bye week, the FAU football team (2-4, 1-1 C-USA) is seeking a home victory this Saturday against Rice University.

Head coach Willie Taggart said the team did a good job focusing on the weaknesses and fixing the mistakes they made throughout the first half of the season.

“We want to put our players in the right position, but probably the most important thing [is] where we can simplify things so they can play fast and not think so much,” Taggart said. “If we do that, we’re gonna have ourselves in a better position to make plays, whether it’s on defense [or] offense.”

Rice enters Saturday’s encounter with a 3-2 record, a major improvement from the 4-8 performance the team had last season.

“They’re a well-coached football team,” Taggart said. “They play with great effort and they take advantage of the mistakes that you make within the game.”

Despite the Owls’ struggles, sophomore wide receiver LaJohntay Wester was one of the team’s brightest spots. Wester currently has eight receiving touchdowns, which ties for the second most in the country.

“He’s shown that the spotlight is not too big for him,” Taggart said. “We know that our opponent knows that [so] we just got to continue to find different ways to be able to get him the ball so he can do the things that he does well for us.”
Graduate quarterback N’Kosi Perry will also be important to FAU’s offense. After throwing for 879 yards in his first three games this season, he slowed down to 633 yards in the next three.

“We need our quarterback to be at his best,” Taggart said. “This bye week was a good week for him to reevaluate some things for us, to reevaluate what we asked him to do, and then for him to go out and execute like we know he’s capable of doing.”

The game is set for Saturday, Oct. 15, at 6 p.m. ESPN+ will head the broadcast.

Richard Pereira is the News Editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @Rich26Pereira.