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

UNIVERSITY PRESS

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

UNIVERSITY PRESS

Staff Predictions: Owls should get fourth win this season

The University Press Sports staff predict FAU will get past Charlotte on the road.
FAU+quarterback+Daniel+Richardson+%28%2310%29+stepping+back+to+pass+against+the+University+of+Texas+at+San+Antonio+%28UTSA%29+Roadrunners+%28orange%29+during+the+Owls+36-10+homecoming+loss+on+Saturday%2C+Oct.+21%2C+2023.
Matthew Vogdes
FAU quarterback Daniel Richardson (#10) stepping back to pass against the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Roadrunners (orange) during the Owls’ 36-10 homecoming loss on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023.

Last Saturday, coming off of a 56-14 conference road win, the Florida Atlantic Owls (3-4, 2-1 AAC) lost at home to the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Roadrunners (4-3, 3-0 AAC), 36-10, during the Owls’ Homecoming Game.

FAU junior quarterback Daniel Richardson was 19/34 and threw for 142 yards for no touchdowns and two interceptions. FAU junior wide receiver LaJohntay Wester was isolated for four receptions for a season-low 14 yards. Redshirt junior defensive lineman Latrell Jean ran for a pick-six in UTSA’s 10-yard line to end the first quarter, scoring the only touchdown for the Owls.

This Friday, the Owls will take on the University of North Carolina at Charlotte 49ers (2-5, 1-2 AAC) to kick off a two-game road stint. The 49ers are coming from a low-scoring 10-7 road victory against the East Carolina University (ECU) Pirates (1-6, 0-3 AAC). FAU and Charlotte are coming into this game with first-year head coaches from Conference USA.

The University Press Sports staff predict who will win between FAU and Charlotte.

Maddox Greenberg – Sports Editor

The 26-point loss at home during Homecoming definitely wasn’t what Tom Herman, the Owls, or the students and fans wanted to see.

Having been blinded by the 56-14 win over the University of South Florida Bulls, the fans and the team expected another win in a similar fashion. 

The Owls are looking for a much needed win in North Carolina to face Charlotte. The upcoming three games are against beatable opponents: this week on the road against Charlotte, next week on the road against the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and then at home against ECU.

Charlotte does look beatable: they have been switching between quarterbacks senior Jalon Jones and redshirt sophomore Trexler Ivey, and the lowest scoring offense in the AAC. The only worry is the defense, which has some playmakers on the defensive front, including graduate defensive lineman Eyabi Okie-Anoma. 

If FAU plays as they did against the University of South Florida, or remotely close to that game, the Owls will be back at .500.

Prediction: FAU 27, Charlotte 17

Cameron Priester – Editor-at-Large

After watching six weeks of FAU Football, it may be easier to flat out guess the score—you never know what team you will get.

Sitting at 2-5, Charlotte has been enduring the usual growing pains associated with a first-year head coach in the first half season under Biff Poggi. But even with that in mind, it’s hard to ignore how bad their offense has been the past month—which sits at dead last in the conference by a considerable margin. 

They’ve been held to seven or fewer points in three of their last four outings, even being shutout 14-0 on their home turf when The Naval Academy came to town. They’ve leaned on their defense, allowing 22.4 points per game.

Similar to Charlotte, FAU has a stout defense carrying along a struggling offense. But there are games, like last Saturday, where neither shows up, leaving one hesitant to pick FAU even against a struggling Charlotte team. 

On paper, FAU is the more talented team and should be able to handle business. Hence them being four-point favorites on the road during a short week. This Owls team has been the most inconsistent to date.

Prediction: FAU 21, Charlotte 17

Anthony Brown – Staff Writer

Charlotte’s last home game was a blowout loss to the United States Naval Academy on Oct. 14, and this season, they have averaged only 16 points per game in front of home crowds. In last week’s win against the East Carolina Pirates, the offense scored only 10 points. The Owls’ final away game was a 56-14 win against the University of South Florida Bulls. Since 2015, Charlotte has lost four straight home games against Florida Atlantic. It is unlikely that the 49ers will score quickly against the Owls defense since they rank 130th out of the 133 teams in terms of average points per game, and an Owls squad that scored 56 points on the road two weeks ago, as they are averaging 14.6 points scored per game. 

 The Owls defense led them to win three of the four games, holding their opponents to fewer than 23 points. Last Saturday, the Owls scored just 10 points at home against the Roadrunners, dropping them out of the top 100 in several key offensive categories. With 21.2 points per game, the Owls currently rank 101st in the country. As for yards per game, they rank 102nd with 327.5 total yards. 

The Owls have 13 takeaways and are even in turnover margins. Despite only having six takeaways, Charlotte is -6 in turnover margin. Florida Atlantic has performed well on defense when it comes to generating momentum-shifting plays, whereas Charlotte has not. One defense is better than the other at taking the ball away, but neither takes great care of the football.

Prediction: FAU 24, Charlotte 10

The Owls will face the 49ers this Friday, Oct. 27, at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN 2.

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

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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.
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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