The 2018 spring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Florida Atlantic Owls.
No. 65: Florida Atlantic Owls
Spring Practice Starts: March 20
Spring Game: April 21
Florida Atlantic Owls Spring Status
That all worked out well.
The hiring of Lane Kiffin went better than anyone could’ve asked for, going 11-3 with a Conference USA title, a dominant Boca Raton win, and a ten-game winning streak to close things out after starting out 1-3.
Now, the Owls have an identity, a great team, a great coach, and a whole lot of fun for the young program that kicked it all in at the FBS level in 2004.
Kiffin is still around. Start from there, and everything else falls into place.
Scoring machine running back Devin Singletary returns, but the quarterback situation is a fight with FSU transfer De’Andre Johnson and Oklahoma transfer Chris Robison the main players.
Just two starters are back on the O line, but the receiving corps is fine, and the defense should be even better with ten starters back.
And again – and this can’t be stressed enough – Lane Kiffin is still the head coach.
Florida Atlantic Biggest Depth Chart Battle
Quarterback. The quarterback situation was about to be amazing. Jason Driskel threw 15 touchdown passes and just four picks, but he retired. Again, Daniel Parr transferred after being the backup last season.
De’Andre Johnson left Florida State after off-the-field battery allegations, and he suffered from blood clots last year missing most of the season. Chris Robison is in after being suspended for a bit after violating team rules, and with this coming a few years after getting kicked off the Oklahoma team. They’re both talented, and FAU can win with either one.
Florida Atlantic Biggest Issue
Giving up first downs. For all of the good things FAU did, the D had a hard time when it came to teams being able to move the chains. The Owls allowed almost 22 first downs per game and 305 overall – the most in Conference USA. By comparison, UTSA allowed 15.1 per game and just 166 overall. Teams in the top ten nationally? Alabama, Georgia, Clemson, Wisconsin, Michigan – the great defenses.
Florida Atlantic Biggest Positive
Devin Singletary. The O line might need some retooling, but the running game should be fantastic again after tearing off close to 4,000 yards and 52 touchdowns.
Backup back Gregory Howell is gone after running for 740 yards, and Driskel finished third on the team with 427 yards. Singletary did most of the heavy lifting, running for 1,920 yards and 32 scores after coming with 12 rushing touchdowns in 2016.
Really, Why Are The Florida Atlantic Owls Ranked Here?
There might be a few replacements on the O line, and there’s uncertainty at quarterback, but everything is going to be fine.
Can the Owls be as strong as last year? That’s asking a lot in a much-improved conference, but they’ll still be the league’s biggest star.
There’s experience, talent, and a whole lot of swagger. Expect a lot more of the same.