Start Time: 3:30 PM CT
TV: Find the channel for your provider in your area in this PDF.
Betting: Florida Atlantic is favored by 6.5 according to Oddsshark.com
The Series: Dating back to 2008, the Owls lead the all time series 5-3. These two teams most recently met last regular season when the Tops won 52-3 in Boca Raton. WKU had 661 total yards of offense in that game, while Mike White was 13 of 21 with 3 TDS. FAU’s most recent victory came in 2014 when the Charlie Partridge led Owls came back from being 10 points down entering the fourth quarter to win 45-38.
This past weekend, FAU set a school and C-USA record with 804 total yards of offense. That came in a 69-31 home win over North Texas. Running back Devin Singletary is now 13th in the nation in rushing yards with 809. He is also tied for the most rushing touchdowns in FBS with 14. As a team, FAU is 10th in the nation in rushing yards with 1999. While the Owls started the season 1-3, they seem to have refocused and are now 4-3 overall and 3-0 in conference play.
FAU has also shown some decent improvement in the defensive department. They rank 8th in total passing defense in C-USA, but have more interceptions (12) than anyone in the league. Corner Shelton Lewis has picked off a pass in each of their last 3 games while fellow corner Chris Tooley also has 4 on the year. They’re still struggling to defend the run, however, giving up 213 yards on the ground per game. That’s the second worst average in the league.
On the WKU side, they’re beginning to look like the offenses of old in Bowling Green. In the past two games combined, quarterback Mike White has thrown 10 TDs with just 1 interception and accumulated 702 yards through the air. The stellar performance of White was enough to help the Tops squeak by Old Dominion last week, bringing their record to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in conference play. Allowing White to spread the ball around in a similar fashion can only stand to benefit them in the future, but that will be a tall task against FAU’s solid corners that I mentioned.
Over the course of the season, WKU’s defense has typically been pretty dependable against the run, allowing 161 yards per game (5th in C-USA). That being said, they allowed ODU’s Ray Lawry to run for 166 yards and 3 TDs in last week’s win. It may have been just a momentary lapse for the Tops, but they can’t afford to let that happen again against this very impressive FAU run game.
We’re in for an immensely entertaining game on Saturday. If WKU can win this, it will be a testament to how much they’ve improved this year. If FAU wins, it will be further proof that Lane Kiffin has something special going in Boca. In a high scoring affair, I’m taking the Owls by 10.