Preview 2019: Previewing and looking ahead to the Florida Atlantic Owls season with what you need to know.
2018 Record: 5-7 overall, 3-5 in Conference USA
Head Coach: Lane Kiffin, 3rd year, 16-10
5. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE FLORIDA ATLANTIC OFFENSE
– The offense still worked. The problems weren’t necessarily on that side of the ball, leading Conference USA with 479 yards per game and scoring 31 points per outing. So what was the problem? It wasn’t the offense that scored 568 points in 2017. The passing game wasn’t efficient enough, but with Devin Singletary, the ground attack led the league and was 13th in the nation averaging 242 yards per game.
– Singletary is off being a Buffalo Bill, and top backup Kerrith Whyte left early and got picked up by the Chicago Bears. The running back situation will be a revolving door with no one taking over the gig this spring.
Junior James Charles ran for 20 yards last season, but he has to hold off the fast Malcolm Davidson – the team’s leading returning running back – and Alabama transfer BJ Emmons. They’ll all work behind a line that returns just two starters after having a nightmare of a time giving up tackles for loss, but was great in pass protection.
– The quarterback situation is in a holding pattern. This gig is Chris Robison’s, but the former Oklahoma transfer isn’t currently on the team after being suspended indefinitely. Fortunately, Indiana transfer Nick Tronti looked and played the part this offseason and should at least provide a push if Robison – who threw for 2,533 yards and 12 touchdowns with 12 picks – as the top option last year. To make things even crazier, former Florida State starter Deondre Francois walking on. If he’s playing at his normal form, he’s the starter.
– The receiving corps has potential, but the top guys have to stay healthy and be amazing. Leading receiver Jovon Durante left early and was signed by the Seattle Seahawks, but Harrison Bryant is a terrific tight end who should be the go-to guy in key plays. Willie Wright is a smallish speedster who caught 46 passes, and 6-3 Tavaris Harrison returns after averaging over 17 yards per catch.