Conference play starts this weekend for FAU (0-3) as they hit the road to take on Charlotte (2-1, 0-1). Both teams will be vying for their first conference win of the year.
Start Time: Sept. 26, 7:00 P.M. ET.
Where: Jerry Richardson Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina.
TV: American Sports Network
Series: First ever meeting
Live Stats: Here.
Betting Line: Charlotte -9.5, Over/Under Point Total: 63.5
Forecasting Charlotte: The 49ers will be hosting their first FBS team ever as well as hosting their first game as a member of Conference USA this week. In their conference road opener they got steamrolled by Middle Tennessee 73-14 as they allowed 42 points in the first quarter to the Blue Raiders.
Not exactly an endorsing start to Conference USA.
They committed seven turnovers in the blowout and had 236 total yards of offense with zero first downs. Charlotte played both Brooks Barden and Lee McNeill at quarterback last week and according to head coach Brad Lambert, both will play again.
Forecasting FAU: Once again the main storyline surrounding the team is whether or not Jaquez Johnson will return from the ankle injury he suffered against Miami (FL.) two weeks ago. Partridge has listed Johnson as probable. FAU has had a difficult time holding onto the ball as they have had 10 turnovers since Johnson's injury.
On defense the Owls have improved since the opener against Tulsa as they held their own against Miami and displayed more progress versus Buffalo, holding their offense to 10 points.
Thus far Trevon Coley has been the lone bright spot on the defense as he leads the team in sacks and tackles for loss with four each. No one else has recorded more than one sack or tackle for loss.
Prediction: Both teams will turnover the ball this Saturday as both rank near the bottom in turnover margin. And both teams rank near the bottom in points per trip inside the 40 as Charlotte averages 4.18, whereas FAU averages 3.43. Double whammy!
Due to how inept both offenses can be, the key to the game will be points off of turnovers and field position.
FAU has given me no reason to believe that they will win a road game. At night. In front of a raucous crowd. So I won't. I'd take the over in points due to the possibility of both teams having the ability of gifting their opponent with great field position throughout the night.
Unlike last week when I believed Johnson starting at quarterback will make a difference in whether FAU will win or not, this week it doesn't matter. The 49ers defense will play with a ton of passion after last week's embarrassing performance and will want to make a statement that they will not be a pushover. Charlie Partridge will begin to hear it from the fan base if this team is winless entering their bye week with a loss to an FBS newcomer for the second straight year.
FAU 31 Charlotte 38
Season Record: 1-2 Straight Up, 2-1 ATS, 3-0 Over/Under.