FAU (1-5, 0-3) will play its second home game of the season against rival Florida International University (2-4, 2-0) on Saturday, Oct. 30th. This will mark the Owls fourth attempt to put a Sun Belt conference win on the board.
Not only is this an important conference game for FAU. but it also marks the schools homecoming game. A loss here would be the crushing blow that would effectively end the Owls hopes of a last chance bowl game run. What’s most surprising is the team FAU has chosen to play for its homecoming extravaganza. If you don’t know, schools generally are allowed to choose their apponent for homecoming games. Most of the time, they choose a team that they not only know they can beat, but crush. In FAU’s case, they picked a team that matches up to them almost exactly.
The one thing FIU has going for them is their 2-0 conference record. A record that the Golden Panthers will surly fight hard to keep. However, in the teams first win against WKU, they barely squeezed out a 28-21 victory. FIU’s problem is that they really don’t have a main offensive wepon. Quarterback Kawaun Jakes likes to scramble, which the FAU defense is weakest against, but he tends to lose almost as many yards as he gains. In the WKU game, Jakes rushed for 33 yards but lost 26 as he was sacked three times.
In FAU’s match-up last week, the defense did better than usual, but the cause of the Owls loss was poor offense. Two interceptions in the fourth quarter were the cause of ASU’s four touchdown streak in under ten minutes. The problems with the O-line won’t be something that can be fixed within a few weeks, so the defense will need to carry the Owls for this game. Constant pressure on the Golden Panthers O-line will surely force Jakes to scramble. Normally I would say this is a bad thing, but judging from the stats, this might actually work to FAU’s advantage.
Bottom Line: FIU plays in almost the same fashion as FAU. That doesn’t mean the game will be any easier, but FAU will have home field advantage in front of a homecoming crowd on this Halloween weekend. A lose here will haunt the Owls for the rest of the season and effectively end a late Bowl game run. For FIU, a lose would bump them from holding a good standing in the conference. Therefore, I would expect a strong game from both sides of the ball.
Prediction: FAU wins by 3
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.