Date: Friday, October 26, 2018
Kickoff Time: 5:30 p.m. CT
Location: Boca Raton, Florida
Stadium: FAU Stadium
TV: CBS Sports Network
Series Record: FAU leads 1-0
Last Meeting: FAU won 48-23 in 2017
Betting Line: FAU -3.5
The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs will make their first ever trip to Boca Raton Friday night when they face the Florida Atlantic Owls on national television.
FAU won the first ever meeting between the two in Ruston last year, and Tech will be looking for revenge. The Bulldogs will also be seeking to reach bowl eligibility for the fifth straight season. FAU, however, will be looking for a much-needed win to get back to .500 in both conference play and overall.
An exciting game should be on tap for this Friday night Conference USA match-up.
Florida Atlantic Overview
Cyrus Smith: With a 3-4 record, FAU’s season is now at a crossroads. The Owls are no longer in control of their fate for a second straight conference title after losing at Marshall last weekend. With a sub .500 record, they are now at risk of missing a bowl game altogether if they are unable to turn things around.
Fortunately for FAU, they will play the Bulldogs at home. They have won 10 straight at FAU Stadium where they are averaging 44.6 points per game this season. Being that redshirt freshman Chris Robison has been much more effective at home, the previous stat doesn’t come as a surprise. Robison has passed for 9 touchdowns with 980 yards and 2 interceptions at home this season.
Devin “Motor” Singletary is still the star of the offense and after seeing his streak of 19 straight games with a touchdown run end against Marshall, I’m sure he’ll be the focal point of Lane Kiffin’s game-plan.
The disappointing play of the offense during conference play has hampered what’s been an improving defense. First-year defensive coordinator Tony Peccaro loves blitzing. FAU took their lumps during non-conference play but has looked a whole lot better against C-USA opponents. With that said, with star linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair out for the season with a torn ACL, I’m curious to see how former safety Andrew Soroh will progress in this role over the course of the season. Last week Soroh had 13 tackles with 1.5 TFLs. Al-Shaair was often used as a QB spy against mobile quarterbacks. Considering J’Mar Smith’s mobility, Soroh will be relied on a lot to keep Smith in the pocket.
Louisiana Tech Overview
Tanner Spearman: The La Tech offense has had its struggles this year. But after scoring a paltry seven points at home against UAB, the Bulldogs have scored 31 points in two straight games.
J’Mar Smith and the Bulldog passing offense have been inconsistent, and last week was one of the lesser performances. That was enough to get past winless UTEP, but it won’t cut it against FAU.
Teddy Veal had a 100 yard day against UTEP, but the other receivers were no where to be found outside of the Adrian Hardy touchdown grab, which was his only catch of the game. Hardy and Rhashid Bonnette will need to be more of a factor if Tech is to pull the road upset.
The rushing attack has been solid most of the season, and Skip Holtz has been mixing up the carries all season. Jaqwis Dancy has been listed as the starter for several weeks, but Kam McKnight and Israel Tucker get just as many touches. However, they don’t put up the same numbers as Dancy. Either they need to up their game, or Holtz and offensive coordinator Todd Fitch need to feature Dancy more.
Defensively, Tech’s corners are normally solid, but underperformed against UTEP. FAU isn’t known for airing it out too much, but standing and watching receivers catch isn’t the way to win games.
The rush defense did very well against UTEP, holding the Miners to just 72 yards, but they average allowing 146 yards per game. With Devin Singletary on the other side, the front seven must play one of their best games to keep him from winning the game for FAU single-handedly.
The key for the Dawgs will be to slow down Motor Singletary. He’s not going to be shut down completely, but Tech has to have the mindset of making someone else beat them. Offensively, feed the backs. FAU gives up almost 200 rushing yards per game. Dancy and company need to take advantage.
Cyrus: S&P+ gives FAU a 59 percent chance at winning this game. While the Bulldogs have played down to their opponent at times this season, I expect them to be up for this game. They are playing with a lot more momentum and considering how bad FAU struggled to stop Marshall’s defensive line, I think they are going to struggle even more against Jaylon Ferguson. Louisiana Tech 28, FAU 21.
Tanner: Louisiana Tech has to hit the road on a short week after surviving a scare from winless UTEP. FAU hasn’t been the dominant force they were a year ago, but they will still be the toughest challenge Tech has faced since falling to UAB at home 28-7. They beat UNT on the road the week before, but it took some magic to do it. Tech may need magic to slow down Motor. This should be a great game and it could go either way, but I’ll say FAU’s offense bounces back from last week. Louisiana Tech 24, FAU 28