Coming off another bye week, FAU will travel to take on Arkansas State University on Saturday, Oct. 23rd. This will mark the Owls third attempt at securing a win in the Sun-Belt conference and hopefully a break in their four game losing streak.
FAU (1-4, 0-2) spent their week doing individual and seven-on-seven drills concentrating heavily on defense. This was a much needed bye week, and it’s no secret that the Owls need extensive work on defense. The big question is whether or not the bye week made any difference in the teams overall performance. Coming off their first bye week, FAU struggled against North Texas, a team in which they had never lost to before. I was just as surprised as the team was when they all scratched their heads wondering how they lost that game. The honest truth is just lack of research and preparation.
Arkansas State (2-5, 2-2) is not a team to be taken lightly. Although their record doesn’t seem anything special, FAU should have learned their lesson by now about judging a team by its record. The Red Wolves have what makes FAU’s defense quiver. A scrambling quarterback. In ASU’s last win against North Texas, quarterback Ryan Alpin not only went 14-26 for 169 yards and one touchdown, but also rushed for 76 yards and two touchdowns. If not handled correctly, this could be a disaster for the Owls.
In FAU’s practice over the bye week, the defense looked rather good. They were able to put good pressure on the quarterback and force a series of interceptions. This means the defense has stepped up or the offense is slacking. It’s difficult to determine which one is true due to the fact that the offensive line has been struggling the last few games. Aside from defense, the Owls worked extensively on special teams. If anything, this was needed the most. Special teams has started to fall apart as the season goes bye. Punt blocks and missed field goes have become all too common. What happened to the punting unit that lead the NCAA in negative return yards?
If the FAU defense can put pressure on Alpin, he will be forced to make bad decisions. Lets just hope he doesn’t decided to run. If he does, it would be nice to see the linebackers step up their game and finally show us they are capable of stopping the run.
Bottom Lime: Yes, FAU is coming off a bye. Yes, they should be rested and ready for this match-up. However, this is a difficult game to predict. ASU isn’t much better than FAU in comparing records, but if Alpin breaks free from the pocket, the Owls are introuble. If the FAU defense can put pressure on Alpin, he will be forced to make bad decisions. If he decides to run, it would be nice to see the linebackers step up their game and finally show us they are capable of stopping the run.
Prediction: ASU wins by one touchdown.
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.