Week two marks FAU’s first big challenge of their rigorous season as they travel to Detroit to play Michigan State University on Saturday, Sept. 11th. It will be a game that could determine how the Owls will play against their biggest challenge later in the season against Texas.
FAU showed they are a team that refuses to give up as they beat UAB by one point in their season opener last week. However, as much determination as they have, improvements are still needed. We can expect the Owls to put on a decent show for the first few plays of the game as they come off their 1-0 start high, but as the game rolls on, they will need to keep some kind of consistency on defense. Quite simply, if the defense plays this game as they did last week, they will be crushed by the MSU offense.
In their season opener against Western Michigan, MSU’s freshman running back Le’Veon Bell rushed for 141 yards and two touchdowns on ten carries. Bell became the first Spartan true freshman in school history to rush for 100 yards or more in a debut game. But this wasn’t MSU’s only weapon as they pummeled Western Michigan 38-14. Running back Edwin Baker also rushed for over 100 yards and two touchdowns. It goes without question that the FAU defense has trouble stopping the run. Especially judging from their last game in which they allowed the UAB quarterback David Isabelle to rush for 214 yards and two touchdowns. If the Owls have any hope of claiming victory in this game, they will need to watch Bell and Baker like hawks as we can expect them to be getting many carries.
Offensively, despite FAU’s poor O-line performance, they need to just continue doing what works. Such as giving the ball to running back Alfred Morris and getting passes off to wide receiver Lester Jean. Jean was named the Sun-Belt conference player of the week, so we can guarantee the Spartan defense will be targeting him. MSU knows how to force turnovers. Interceptions were a big part of their victory in week one. If FAU’s O-line struggles to hold the Spartan D-line, which they most likely will judging from last weeks performance, quarterback Jeff Van Camp tends to get a little skittish. The Van Camp/Jean combo could be a solid touchdown duo if the O-line allows it. Giving Morris the ball as much as possible would be a good game plan against this defense. MSU struggled in the first half of their week one game. Morris is a player who can do some serious damage if he can find the breaks in the Spartan D-line.
Bottom Line: Quite frankly, FAU is not ready to face a team like MSU. The lack of depth in the Owl defense troubles me. If they want to keep up in this game, the offense will need to answer to all of MSU’s scores. The Owls defense may find themselves overwhelmed which will in turn make the offense tired quickly. We may be seeing a lot of the punting unit in this one.
Prediction: MSU wins by three touchdowns
About the Author
Written by Mark Gibson
Mark Gibson is a senior media communications major at Florida Atlantic University. He is a staff reporter who covers sports and entertainment for the FAU student Newspaper, University Press. He also runs a podcast and website that reviews video games and new electronics. On his downtime, he loves playing his guitar and currently plays bass in a local band.