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Breaking Down FAU vs. UAB

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Breaking Down FAU vs. UAB

While Rivals.com listed UAB at #114 and FAU at #81 in their annual pre-season rankings, I believe this will be one of the most evenly matched games in both schools' history.

UAB:
Eight offensive starters are back off a team that went 4-4 in C-USA, but without do-everything QB Joe Webb. Webb's expected replacement, David Isabelle, is a good runner but an unproven passer. Also there is no established runner. UAB's offensive talent lies within the hands of WR Frantrell Forrest, a potential 50-catch guy, and TE Jeffery Anderson. 6'7" OT Matt McCants is the top offensive lineman and a potential all-league guy.

Junior S Hiram Atwater and Junior DT Eliott Henigan are stars on the rise on "D", but the Blazers had the worst pass defense in the nation last season (309.7 ypg, 27 TD passes). Two junior college transfers, CB T.J. Ballou and SS Jamie Bender, won starting jobs in spring ball. The line underwent a shakeup, too, with two returning starters losing their jobs. The special-teams coverage units were bad last season, and the return teams weren't much better.

FAU:
One offshoot of last season's disappointing record was that the Owls got a head start on the rebuilding process. Senior QB Rusty Smith was injured in Game 7 and Jeff Van Camp came on and played solid football down the stretch. Senior WR Lester Jean steadily has improved throughout his career, and he has 50-catch potential. WR Avery Holley and TE Rob Housler each should have 30-plus receptions. RB Alfred Morris ran for a league-leading 1,392 yards last season; he had seven 100-yard games and five games with two rushing TDs. The only downside to the Owls offense is the entire O-line, as all five starters are inexperienced and unproven. Depth is an issue as well.

Defensively, FAU was 112th nationally in rushing defense, 112th in total defense and 106th in scoring defense last season. FAU managed just 12 sacks last season, an embarrassingly low number for a team with this many athletes. Only three teams nationally had fewer sacks. However, there are potential all-league players at each level of the defense: E Kevin Cyrille, LB Michael Lockley and SS Marcus Bartels.
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The Summary:
FAU is horrible at passing defense and even worse at rushing defense, but UAB has no established runners and an unproven passer.

FAU has many offensive weapons, but is only protected by an inexperienced, unproven O-line that faces an improved Blazers' "D".

FAU will score, even with a shaky O-line. UAB will score, even with an unproven QB. Both defenses will keep the game close.

The X Factor:
QB David Isabelle: Will he fill Joe Webb's shoes?

The Key:
Special Teams!!! The game will likely be decided by a FG or a TD on the return.

The Facts:
Both teams finished 5-7 overall last season and the series between the Owls and the Blazers is 1-1.
FAU opens its 2010 season at UAB on Thursday, Sept. 2 at 8 p.m.
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Re: Breaking Down FAU vs. UAB

If this game is going to be decided by special teams that definetly does not favor us.

Teambeer is the most knowledgeable FAU sports fan I know, way smarter than me.
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Re: Breaking Down FAU vs. UAB

walty12 said

If this game is going to be decided by special teams that definetly does not favor us.

It surely has not in the past.  Maybe this is the year something turns for special teams, I am not going to hold my breath but I do think we take this game.

GO OWLS!
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Re: Breaking Down FAU vs. UAB

We took a huge hit last season in the return game...this year, we should be back to from...looking for a much better performance there.
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