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Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Staff Predictions: Owls take on Bobcats in second-straight home game

The University Press Sports staff predict the outcome of the Owls’ second game in the AAC against the Bobcats.
Ravindra Thorupi
The Florida Atlantic Owls getting ready before their season- and home-opener against the Monmouth University Hawks.

Last Saturday, the Florida Atlantic Owls football team (1-0, 0-0 AAC) defeated the Monmouth Hawks (0-1, 0-0 CAA) in the first game in the Tom Herman-era.

Starting quarterback Casey Thompson, the graduate transfer from the University of Nebraska, finished the game with a tremendous 83% QBR, completing 20-of-25 passes for 280 yards and throwing for five touchdowns.

He was not the only one who shined at Howard Schnellenberger Field last Saturday. Senior running back Larry McCammon ran 13 times for 125 yards and scored a touchdown. Redshirt sophomore Tony Johnson, junior LaJohntay Wester, and redshirt senior Je’Quan Burton were also difference makers for the Owls at the wide receiver position. 

Johnson caught five receptions for a team-high 91 yards and two touchdowns, including scoring the first touchdown by either team. Wester caught six passes for 55 yards and one touchdown, which he celebrated with men’s basketball star Alijah Martin on the sideline. Burton caught three passes for 56 yards and scored two touchdowns.

The Owls defense held last year’s Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) leading rusher Jaden Shirden with 24 carries for 66 yards, averaging under three yards per carry.

Tom Herman and his staff were impressed for their first game, leading the Owls to a 42-20 victory. But now, Herman and the team turn to the Ohio University Bobcats (1-1) on Saturday at 6 p.m.

The University Press Sports staff predicts the Owls’ second home game of the 2023 season.

Maddox Greenberg – Sports Editor (1-0)

The Owls’ win made a statement when they defeated the Monmouth Hawks. The Hawks had junior running back Jaden Shirden, who led the FCS in rushing last year with 1,722 yards.

However, it wasn’t a shocker that FAU won the game: they were predicted almost unanimously overall to win. This next game, their second home game against the Ohio Bobcats, will be the first of a very long test to prove what Herman and the Owls have cooked up this season.

The Bobcats are coming from a 27-10 victory over the Long Island University Sharks. While it is uncertain if graduate quarterback Kurtis Rourke will make his 2023 season debut, that should not matter to the effect of how FAU played.

The defense did a great job during most of the game against the Hawks, stopping them early and getting a sack and interception off quarterback Marquez McCray. Ohio’s passing game last week was not great, with two quarterbacks alternating possession of the ball and not going over 60 passing yards.

The Bobcats’ defense does threaten the Owls, as the Bobcats recorded three sacks and caught two interceptions in their victory over the Sharks. The Owls are five-point favorites, even though point spreads don’t mean hardly anything in sports. A touchdown will decide the game.

Prediction: FAU 30, Ohio 27

Anthony Brown – Contributing Writer (0-0)

As the Florida Atlantic Owls host the Ohio Bobcats at home for their second home game of the season, they will be looking to build off their impressive Week 1 performance. The Owls opened their season last week with a 42-20 victory over the Monmouth Hawks. 

This is the start of a very long road test to prove to Herman and the Owls that they can continue to prosper this season in their home game against the Bobcats. A 27-10 win over Long Island University Sharks capped off a good weekend for the Bobcats. Ohio’s passing game last week was not great, with two quarterbacks alternating possession of the ball and not going over 60 passing yards. 

Jaden Shirden, Monmouth’s junior running back, was limited to 66 rush yards on 24 carries by the defense. Shirden finished last year’s season as the FCS’s leading rusher. So FAU’s rushing defense has made big improvements and it seems that their run defense will continue to be successful. This game will be a close defensive game between both teams but FAU will still come out triumphant.   

Prediction: FAU 24, Ohio 21 

Cameron Priester – Editor-at-Large (1-0)

Though they should be much a tougher test than Monmouth, Ohio is another game that, if Herman is truly able to get the most out of this roster, should be more than beatable. 

The Bobcats’ offense has looked average and nothing more in their first two matchups. 

With their second- and third-string quarterbacks leading the offense, the Bobcats were held to 13 points in their season-opening loss to San Diego State University, and tallied 27 points on 303 total yards against FCS opponent, Long Island University. If the Owls’ front seven can generate more pressure than they did a week ago—one sack for seven yards—it should force their generally inexperienced quarterbacks into some mistakes.

It will then fall upon the offense to capitalize on those mistakes. Thompson looked more than comfortable in his new offense last Saturday, and should be able to dice up a defense that allowed Long Island’s offense to out pass its own. 

Prediction: FAU 31, Ohio 21

For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or DM the staff: Maddox Greenberg (@MaddoxGreenberg), Cameron Priester (@PriesterCameron), and Anthony Brown (@popular_vlone).

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About the Contributors
Maddox Greenberg
Maddox Greenberg, Sports Editor
Maddox started writing sports for the UP in Summer 2022 with the intention of improving his journalistic writing. He is a sophomore majoring in multimedia journalism and plans on becoming a sports broadcaster. He is a broadcaster for FAU Owl Radio.
Cameron Priester
Cameron Priester, Editor-at-Large
Cameron Priester is an Editor-at-Large for the University Press. Having served as Sports Editor for the 2022-23 academic year, he is a multimedia journalism major and intends on pursuing a career in sports journalism. He can be found on Twitter @PriesterCameron and you can email him at [email protected].

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