Staff Predictions: Owls seek resounding victory against UAB

FAU lost 31-14 to UAB in last season’s matchup.


Jaden Wiston

Jaylen Joyner watching the replay showing his thoughts about a touchdown on Oct. 15, 2022.

Despite remaining winless on the road this season, FAU hopes to bounce back with a home victory against the University of Alabama at Birmingham Blazers this Saturday.

The Owls struggled against the Blazers last season, falling 31-14 in a game which their opponents held them scoreless in the second half.

According to ESPN, UAB is the favorite to win this game by a 4.5-point margin.

The University Press Sports Staff takes their picks after going 1-3 last week.

Cameron Priester – Sports Editor (4-4)

This Saturday poses to be another tough matchup for an FAU squad that already has been struggling as of late. 

The Owls’ offense, which had trouble in their past two matchups, will be pitted against the UAB defense, which is arguably the best in the conference. The Blazers are holding opponents to an average of 17.7 points per game, which ranks first in Conference USA and 18th in the country.

Meanwhile, the Owls’ defense will be tasked with stopping one of the best offenses in the conference. Junior running back DeWayne McBride leads the Blazers’ conference-best rushing offense, already tallying 11 touchdowns himself this season. 

A big game from sophomore defensive lineman Evan Anderson, who’s been relatively quiet since his return from injury, would go a long way in stopping McBride and the Miners’ offense. 

However, even if Anderson and the defensive line have an outstanding game, it still may not be enough to get the Owls a win.

Prediction: UAB 28, FAU 21 

Richard Pereira – News Editor (5-3)

If FAU wants to keep its chances of appearing in a bowl game alive, this matchup against UAB is a must-win.

Graduate quarterback N’Kosi Perry, who threw for three interceptions in last year’s encounter against the Blazers, needs to step up for the Owls to get into a rhythm offensively.

Limiting UAB’s offense, currently averaging 32 points per game, will be key for the Owls’ defense. They also need to stand their ground during the first half, where the Blazers have scored 148 of their 224 points throughout the season.

FAU’s defensive line has to keep track of running back DeWayne McBride. He leads the Blazers in total carries with 140, total net rushing yards with 978, and total touchdowns with 11.

Despite their inconsistencies, if the Owls can take advantage of UAB’s struggles on the road, they should enter their second bye week with a win.

Prediction: FAU 20, UAB 14

Trey Avant – Staff Writer (5-3)

UAB is winless on the road this season and will enter Saturday’s game without starting quarterback Dylan Hopkins, who is recovering from a concussion. With backup quarterback Jacob Zeno likely to start, expect UAB to rely heavily on running back DeWayne McBride. 

McBride is one of the best running backs in the nation and can single-handedly shred FAU’s poor defense. 

UAB has a stingy pass defense but are susceptible against the run. This bodes well for the Owls, since they have one of the best run games in the country. 

The key will be stopping McBride and forcing Zeno to beat them. If FAU feeds running back Larry McCammon III early and often, and quarterback N’Kosi Perry limits his turnovers, FAU has a great chance at winning.

Prediction: FAU 24, UAB 21

Kevin Garcia – Staff Writer (3-4)

UAB will pose as a tough defensive opponent as they allow just 17.7 points per game on defense while their offense posts 32 points per game. They have a dangerous pass rush and disciplined secondary that will make things tough, but they are beatable.

The two-man rushing attack of junior Larry McCammon and freshman Zuberi Mobley will have to be potent and break down the defense, opening up the field for quarterback N’Kosi Perry in the process. 

Overall, UAB is a winnable game for the Owls if they are up to the test, but if the recent lack of execution continues to plague them, Saturday could result in a disappointing loss. 

Prediction: UAB 24, FAU 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), and Kevin Garcia (@Kevingar658)