After a week full of controversy surrounding Lane Kiffin’s tweets addressing Conference USA’s referee crew, FAU fans were greeted by more off the field shenanigans when FAU started their conference game against Old Dominion, this time thanks to ESPN+. Or was it FAU? No, actually it was Old Dominion’s fault.
Although the contest was broadcasted on ESPN+, the game’s first few drives were not actually viewable.
Is the ESPN+ broadcast glitching for anyone else?— Jake Elman (@JakeElman97) October 26, 2019
Hey @ESPN, not paying for the subscription this month. Tired of your (insert descriptive) service. Either get it right, or get out of the space you are trying to play in. C-USA TV never had these (repeated) issues. Thank you. pic.twitter.com/H7cJ6Pi5iQ— Rick Henderson (@Florida_Owl) October 26, 2019
For those trying to watch FAU-ODU on ESPN+ the broadcast is still not working https://t.co/XXIYOCmr5I— Underdog Dynasty (@underdogdynasty) October 26, 2019
It's working fine. FAU produced game. All problems were with FAU. None of the problems were ESPN.— Daniel Ormsby (@bigddan11) October 26, 2019
My goof. ODU production.— Daniel Ormsby (@bigddan11) October 26, 2019
No. Goofing up on typing the production isn't stating false information. It's not an ESPN production, which most people were claiming it is. ESPN can only air the signal they receive. If there's transmission problems at ODU's end, it isn't ESPN's fault.— Daniel Ormsby (@bigddan11) October 26, 2019
This Twitter exchange, brouhaha was actually more interesting than the game itself, as FAU outclassed ODU for an easy 41-3 win. Right from the jump FAU asserted itself as the Owls outscored the Monarchs 14-0 in the first quarter.
With the game finally available to watch, the Owls took advantage of great field position with a 4-play drive that was capped off by a Chris Robison touchdown pass to John Raine. The defense would force another three and out, and FAU would pick up right where it left off with another touchdown drive, albeit this one they actually worked for. Malcolm Davidson would score from 21 yards out, capping an 82-yard drive that needed 7 plays.
When Robison found Harrison Bryant for another touchdown pass in the second quarter to give FAU a 21-3 lead, the route was officially on.
Although the competition wasn’t great, this was a complete game by the Owls. The defense held an extremely limited ODU offense, to 204 total yards while forcing one turnover. There was at no point during the game when it felt like ODU could keep it close for four quarters. The offense got whatever they wanted, gaining 430 yards with the backups mainly getting most of the snaps from the 3rd quarter on. The Owls averaged 5.1 yards per rushing attempt. Robison passed for 208 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Perhaps the only negative for FAU is that the injury bug continues to sting the Owls. Robison left the game in the 2nd quarter and did not return in the 2nd half.
Alright... So here's a replay of Chris Robison's injury. His left arm gets slammed down hard against the turf. No harm intended by the #ODU defender, who was just trying to prevent an #FAU first down.— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) October 26, 2019
It's unknown if Robison will play in the second half. pic.twitter.com/6632zZlFFD
With Nick Tronti running the offense, FAU failed to move the ball with the consistency we saw with Robison at QB. Caliph Brice also got some snaps at QB but didn’t really move the needle either. If FAU is to have any shot at winning C-USA East, Robison must return.
With the win, FAU moves to 5-3, 3-1, while Old Dominion is now 1-7, 0-4 in conference play. The loss gives program architect Bobby Wilder his third straight losing season. Wilder has given just about everything to this ODU football program, but I’m afraid it might be time for the Monarchs to move on.
Located in the talent-rich tidewater region, ODU should never look this hapless on offense. The defense lacks team speed and depth, while the offense is short on playmakers. Riding a 7-game losing streak, the road doesn’t get any easier as they will play at FIU next Saturday. FAU will have a huge game at WKU next week as both teams are tied with Marshall for first place in C-USA East.