College Football News Preview 2020: Florida Atlantic Owls Keys To The Season
Biggest Key To The Florida Atlantic Owls Offense
Keep everyone upright. Willie Taggart was never able to get the offensive line right at Florida State, but he was also left with an empty cupboard to deal with.
The Florida Atlantic situation isn’t all that bad up front, but there are still a few key parts that have to be replaced. However, even with two first-team All-C-USA blockers, the line was still a disaster at times at allowing way too many tackles for loss, and struggled too much in pass protection.
The line was great for the running game, and it should be again, but it would be a huge help if it didn’t get hammered for close to eight tackles for loss and two sacks per game.
Biggest Key To The Florida Atlantic Owls Defense
Even with a whole lot of uncertainty across the board, and even with most of the disruptive forces from last year gone, the defense under new coordinator Jim Leavitt has to keep making big play after big play.
The offense was terrific, and the defense overall was okay. However, the D was No. 1 in the nation in interceptions, and No. 1 in takeaways with 33.
The Owls attacked everything, coming up with two or more takeaways in ten games, and generated a whopping 18 over the final six games – all wins.
The 2018 defense on the team that finished with a losing season generated just 14 takeaways. The 2016 monster under Lane Kiffin came up with 26.
The defense needs to get the ball.
Key Florida Atlantic Owls Player To A Successful Season
LB Caliph Brice, Sr.
He’s not the only linebacker still left on the roster, but it sure seems like it.
With Rashad Smith (graduated), Akileis Leroy (not quite sure), Hosea Barnwell (maybe transferring, maybe not) are all out of the mix, and the the Florida Atlantic linebacking corps has to rebuild in a big hurry.
The 6-2, 233-pound former JUCO transfer was a part of the rotation behind Smith on the weakside, making 28 tackles with a sack and an interception. Really fast, he’s got the range to go along with the size.
Key Game To The Florida Atlantic Owls Season
at Marshall, Oct. 24
FAU went 11-1 after starting out 0-2 against Ohio State and UCF. That one loss was at home to Marshall.
The Owls beat the Thundering Herd in 2017, but they lost 31-7 in 2018, lost in 2016, lost in 2015, and lost in 2014 and 2013, too.
FAU is 1-6 in the series, and this year it’s in Huntington. However, the Owls have a week off to prepare, and Marshall will be coming off a date against Louisiana Tech.
– Florida Atlantic Owls Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2019 Florida Atlantic Fun Stats
– Red Zone Scores: Florida Atlantic 62-of-68 – Opponents 30-of-40
– Fumbles: Opponents 23 (lost 11) – Florida Atlantic 14 (lost 4)
– Interceptions Thrown: Opponents 22 – Florida Atlantic 8