Start Time: Saturday, September 3rd - 6:00 pm EST
Location: FAU Stadium, Boca Raton, Florida
Radio: ESPN West Palm
Series Record: First meeting ever
Let the games begin. Entering year three of the Charlie Partridge era, FAU will hosts Southern Illinois to start the season. The last time FAU hosted an FCS opponent was back in 2012 against Wagner.
That was Carl Pelini’s first ever game as FAU’s head coach. You also may remember that game for how unwatchable it was, as FAU eked out a 7-3 win. Let’s hope we get far more better football out of our Owls this go round against an FCS opponent.
Southern Illinois Outlook: Head coach Nick Hill, who was their offensive coordinator last year runs a dynamic hurry-up spread offense. Last year SIU averaged 498 yards per game which broke the Missouri Valley Conference record.
However, they will be welcoming in a new starting quarterback on offense in Matt DeSomer. Last year SIU finished 3-8 but took the Indiana Hoosiers down the wire in the opening game before losing 48-47.
FAU Outlook: The Owls enter this game as a bit of an unknown. Yes, we know Jason Driskel is the starting quarterback but we don’t know how he is going to look. We know the familiar names of Jay Warren and Buddy Howell in the backfield but who will be featured primarily as the ball carrier.
For all the question marks FAU has on offense, there aren’t many on defense. Trey Hendrickson and Hunter Snyder will lead the pass rush after combining for 18 sacks last season.
Jalen Young and Ocie Rose will be the leaders in the secondary and Azeez Al-Shaair will be the go-to-guy for the linebackers. The defense should be ready to go but after Ray Ellis went down for the season, the defensive tackles are a major question mark. Can FAU stop the run?
We won’t really know after this game, but if SIU is able to move the ball on the ground, sound the alarms.
Prediction: As an FAU fan this is unchartered territory. For the first time in ages, I know for a fact, FAU is going to win. Rather than worrying about whether the team is going to come away with a victory, I’m more concerned about how the team is going to look.
After Reggie Bain suffered non-life threatening injuries in a car accident that has sidelined him for the year, I’m curious to see how the offensive line looks.
With Ray Ellis out, who will make plays at the nose tackle position? Will we see prized recruit Kevin McCray make an impact?
And what about the offense? How is Daniel Parr going to look in his first career game as an Owl? Travis Trickett had dynamic offenses at Sanford, will he make an immediate impact at FAU?
These are the things that I will be looking out for during tomorrow nights game. I see the Owls starting slow and winning a lethargic game, 30-7.