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

UNIVERSITY PRESS

Staff Predictions: Owls projected as third straight conference winner over UTSA

The University Press Sports staff predicts a victory for the Owls’ Homecoming game.
FAU+redshirt+senior+Marlon+Bradley+%28%2395%29+getting+ready+to+rush+the+passer+during+the+Owls+56-14+win+over+the+University+of+South+Florida+Bulls.+Oct.+14%2C+2023.
FAU Athletics
FAU redshirt senior Marlon Bradley (#95) getting ready to rush the passer during the Owls’ 56-14 win over the University of South Florida Bulls. Oct. 14, 2023.

The Florida Atlantic Owls (3-3, 2-0 AAC) return home to face former Conference USA and now American Athletic Conference (AAC) rival the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Roadrunners (3-3, 2-0 AAC) this Saturday at the Owls’ homecoming game.

The Owls are returning from a 56-14 road victory over the University of South Florida (USF) Bulls (3-4, 2-2 AAC). Junior quarterback Daniel Richardson went 31 for 38, threw for 382 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Backup quarterback redshirt sophomore Michael Johnson, Jr. ran for two touchdowns. Junior wide receiver LaJohntay Wester ran 67 yards on a punt to set up the Owls for a touchdown in three drives.

Maddox Greenberg – Sports Editor

If the different units on the team (offense, defense and special teams) all contribute and back one another up like in the last game, the Owls can be victorious. The most important objective is to stop redshirt sophomore outside linebacker Trey Moore on defense and make redshirt senior quarterback Frank Harris uncomfortable. In this upcoming game, he’ll be down some weapons, including senior wide receiver De’Corian Clark, with only senior wide receiver Joseph Cephus to rely on. 

UTSA is last in the AAC when it comes to opponent fourth down conversion, while FAU is last in the AAC in fourth down conversion. That is what would make the game interesting. If the game goes down to the final few seconds, fourth down in UTSA’s red zone, with Moore lining up across the offensive line, that will determine the game’s outcome.

If the Owls’ defense line can force Harris to run around and get out of the pocket and the secondary can neutralize Cephus, then the Owls have a really good shot at winning at home before a tough two-game road stint, then returning on Nov. 11.

Prediction: FAU 37, UTSA 34

JD Delcastillo – Staff Writer

The Owls will need to put a wall in front of the Roadrunners to stop them in their tracks and end their two-game win streak.

FAU is coming off an impressive win after obliterating the USF Bulls on the road, putting up an unexpected season-high of 56 points. 

Junior quarterback Daniel Richardson and the Owls’ receiving core had their best game of the season. Richardson had a season-high 382 passing yards and three passing touchdowns, and receiver duo redshirt sophomore Tony Johnson and junior LaJohntay Wester each had over 100 receiving yards and a touchdown. 

Not to mention the 34-yard reception junior Devin Price, a transfer from Texas A&M University, made. The Owls will look to take advantage of a UTSA defense that is giving up 257.7 passing yards per game with only two interceptions on the season. 

The stat sheet doesn’t tell the whole story of this UTSA football team, as they aren’t putting up crazy numbers on offense or defense. However, if you exclude their game against the University of Tennessee, they have lost by less than one possession, and all their wins have been by double-digit margins. 

The Roadrunners will keep this game competitive for 60 minutes, and it will be up to the Owls offense to pressure UTSA to make the winning plays down the stretch. 

If the Owls can go into the fourth quarter with the lead, the defense will make the necessary stops to win the game. It won’t be clean, it won’t be easy, but FAU should walk out of their homecoming game with a three-game win streak.

Prediction: FAU 24, UTSA 20

Anthony Brown – Staff Writer

There have been two wins in the Owls’ last three home games. They have won two straight games, both against conference opponents. It has been a good offensive year for them. The Owls have a passing game. They have averaged over 30 points and averaged 242 passing yards per game. 

Aside from averaging 26.5 points per game, Florida Atlantic is rushing for 139.5 yards each game. They gained over 500 yards in their last game, scoring 56 points against the USF Bulls. 

In addition to winning two straight times, the Roadrunners have lost two of their last three road games. Defensively, the Roadrunners could be better, and their opponent averages 172.3 yards on the ground per game. 

The Roadrunners have been 1-2 on the road, giving up 304.6 passing yards per away game. They gave up 472 passing yards in their last away game against Temple University. Therefore, the team will likely face difficulty slowing down the Owls’ offense. 

Defensively, UTSA surrenders 27.7 points per game. The team gave up 20 points in their last matchup, so they will have to perform similarly in this contest.

Florida Atlantic has played well defensively, giving up 23.2 points per game. They gave up 14 points in their last game and will need reasonable defensive effort if they want to get the win. They also do a good job of getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks, averaging four sacks per game in their last three matches, so expect them to keep UTSA’s offense in check.

Prediction: FAU 27, UTSA 14

For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or DM the staff: Maddox Greenberg (@MaddoxGreenberg), JD Delcastillo (@jd.delcastillo), 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.
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.

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