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

UNIVERSITY PRESS

Staff Predictions: Owls travel to Death Valley to face the Tigers

The University Press Sports staff predict the outcome of FAU’s first road game of the season against Clemson.
FAU+graduate+defensive+back+Jarron+Morris+%28%234%29+returning+an+interception+for+a+touchdown+during+the+Owls+17-10+loss+to+the+Ohio+University+Bobcats.+September+9%2C+2023.
Jaden Wiston
FAU graduate defensive back Jarron Morris (#4) returning an interception for a touchdown during the Owls 17-10 loss to the Ohio University Bobcats. September 9, 2023.

Last week, the FAU Owls were up 10-0 late in the second quarter before the Ohio University Bobcats got a touchdown to end the first half.

Going into the second half, the Bobcats scored 10 unanswered points, ending the Owls’ hopes of finishing their first two weeks of football undefeated. 

The Bobcats’ defense stopped the Owls graduate quarterback Casey Thompson, with Thompson going 23/42 with a low 14.4 QBR. Thompson threw 180 yards, threw no touchdowns but threw two interceptions.

The Owls now look ahead to their tough road schedule, starting with Clemson University, in Clemson, South Carolina.

Maddox Greenberg – Sports Editor 

The Owls are coming off of a sour loss and the upcoming road schedule is no better. The first game of a two-week road trip is in Death Valley against the Clemson University Tigers, a team that is always thrown around in the conversation with other college football powerhouses like the University of Alabama and the University of Georgia.

However, the Tigers fell to the Duke University Blue Devils 28-7 and were down to Charleston Southern University Buccaneers at the end of the first quarter before winning the game, 66-17.

Going against the Tigers will be no easy task for the Owls. The Tigers are coming in with 39 four- and five-star athletes and a NFL-ready junior running back Will Shipley in the backfield. This will be Coach Tom Herman’s first time going against Clemson. Now, while graduate quarterback Casey Thompson has had experience playing in big games with the University of Nebraska, it will be a complicated day for the Owls.

The Owls will be without redshirt senior safety Armani-Eli Adams who currently has suffered a fractured fibula and redshirt senior wide receiver Je’Quan Burton, who has a concussion. If the Owls play like they did against Monmouth University, the game may be interesting. If they play like they did against Ohio, the Owls will be preparing for their home return against the University of Tulsa in two weeks.

Prediction: Clemson 56, FAU 7

Anthony Brown – Contributing Writer 

Week 3 of the 2023 football season for FAU Owls will include an away game against Clemson. At Memorial Stadium on Saturday, the No. 22 Tigers welcome the Owls. The only other time both schools faced each other was in 2006, when Clemson won, 54-6. While Clemson most recently defeated Charleston Southern by a score of 66-17, FAU just suffered a 17-10 setback to Ohio.

Clemson’s head coach Dabo Swinney made special mention of FAU’s senior running back Larry McCammon III and junior wide receiver LaJohntay Wester on film, and he also said this about the two FAU players on Youtube. Two games into the season, McCammon, FAU’s leading running back, has 148 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.

Swinney praised Wester as well, who has 18 receptions for 156 yards and a touchdown so far this season.

It’s good to see so many returning starters on FAU’s defense, but in 2022 it wasn’t particularly strong. A total of 425 yards and 39 points were allowed per game by the Owls by the defense last season.

There’s been some improvement under new management, but only two games are enough to tell. As a result of their poor performance last week against Ohio, FAU allowed 354 yards (while accumulating only 185 its own). Ohio only scored twice while dominating FAU on yards. This Clemson unit may still be developing, but the Tigers should be able to capitalize on its potential.

Prediction: Clemson 42, FAU 28

JD Delcastillo – Contributing Writer 

FAU’s upset loss against Ohio was a shocking one for Owls fans, yet there is still hope in this tough matchup in Death Valley against the Clemson Tigers. 

This is not the same Clemson we’ve known in years past. Clemson has already had an upset loss of their own, when they fell to Duke 28-7. Not to mention that they allowed Charleston South to only be down seven at the half in their game last week. This is a very beatable Clemson team.

The only way FAU can have a chance is to win the turnover battle. Clemson has fumbled and thrown an interception in each of their first two games, and FAU has intercepted the ball at least once in each of their games. If the Owls’ defense can force turnovers at crucial moments to put their offense in a good scoring position, that will be the best opportunity for them to score points. In turn, the Owls’ cannot turn the ball over, because Clemson will capitalize and score. They also can’t have a total of five rushing yards like they did last game if they have hopes of upsetting Clemson at home. If the run game is serviceable, that will open up the passing game for quarterback Casey Thompson to sling the ball.

A lot of things are going to have to go right for the Owls. It is going to take perfect execution mixed with an equal amount of luck. As long as the game doesn’t run away from the Owls’ in the first half, and they walk through Death Valley with the confidence that they can win, there is no reason to doubt them. 

Prediction: FAU 31, Clemson 28

Cameron Priester – Editor-at-Large 

Clemson did not look like the two-time national champions we’ve come to know in their season-opening loss to Duke University. 

But even though they may have caught the Tigers on a down year, the Owls’ equally-abysmal performance of their own against the Bobcats last Saturday doesn’t leave much to be confident about.

FAU quarterback Casey Thompson struggled, finishing with two interceptions and an adjusted quarterback rating of 14.4; senior running back Larry McCammon struggled, finishing as the leading rusher with just 23 yards. 

Even if the defense can keep Clemson’s offense from scoring a ton of points, who’s to say the offense will be able to put up the, say 14-, 21- points necessary to keep up with even a struggling Tigers’ offense?

Prediction: Clemson 31, FAU 14

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

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About the Contributors
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.
JD Delcastillo, Sports Editor
JD is a junior multimedia journalism major with a minor in sports studies and digital marketing. Since high school, he knew he wanted to pursue a career in the sports industry. He's published work in magazines, started his own sports newsletter, and currently interns with ESPN West Palm.
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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