Florida Atlantic fell to a Power Five opponent on Saturday for the second week in a row, as Alabama rolled over the Owls 41-0 in a game that was truncated by lightning in the Tuscaloosa area. With Alabama firmly in control of the contest, the schools decided to end the game with 7:47 left in the fourth quarter after a weather delay suspended play. Despite playing only 52 minutes, FAU allowed 614 total yards (170 less than last week), but managed to look "better" than the shellacking they took in Nebraska.
The Crimson Tide moved the ball efficiently through the air, utilizing a dual-QB system to near perfection. Jacob Coker and Blake Sims combined to throw for 416 yards and three touchdowns against a depleted FAU secondary that saw back-ups Reggie Brown and Raekwon Williams exit the game early due to injury. Senior cornerback D'Joun Smith did not start.
Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper solidified his status as an elite pass catcher, nationally, with 189 yards off 13 catches. The Miami native looked incredible off the bevy of bubble screens offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin drew up, and the Owls simply had no response to the Crimson Tide's speed on the outside.
The FAU offense never really got going against Alabama, but sophomore Greg Hankerson began to make strides in the second half. Following an early-third quarter turnover, sophomore Jay Warren ripped off a 31-yard bombastic run and the Owls looked ripe for a touchdown. All-purpose chain-mover Lucky Whitehead kept the drive alive, but FAU was stopped on fourth down deep in Alabama territory. The Owls finished the game with 143 yards of total offense.
FAU falls to 0-2 on the season and will enter their home schedule next week against Tulsa.
- Two games in and Lucky Whitehead has officially solidified his place on the field. The senior all-purpose player is electrifying on offense and special teams. Forty-two yards off six catches has turned Lucky into a player to game plan for.
- William Dukes entered 2014 with the highest hopes for any offensive player. So far, the senior wide receiver has caught one pass for a measly eight yards. FAU will desperately need Dukes to turn it up if the Owls want to make any noise during conference play.
- Greg Hankerson performed admirably given the situation. He is clearly not ready to start for the Owls, but every throw today looked drastically better than his performance against Nebraska. Hopefully, Jaquez Johnson will be healthy enough to start the home opener against Tulsa next week.
- The defense followed suit from last weekend's lopsided loss. Bubble screens went untouched and almost every Alabama blocker found a defensive player to subdue. FAU will need to make some pretty big adjustments if they want to come close to last season's defensive numbers.
- Alex Deleon hasn't shown his worth on the box score yet, but his blocking has been superb. The senior tight end has done all that has been asked of him and should really shine against FAU's weaker opponents.
- The second half wasn't terrible! Granted, this is all relative, but at least the Owls were moving the ball. A lot of new faces, including Henry Bussey and Kamrin Solomon, were involved in the offense today and Martese Jackson reappeared to give FAU a third game-ready running back. Next week against Tulsa will be the true test for this Owl team and thankfully, it is in steamy Boca Raton.