MID-WEEK MASH UP: UTSA @ FAU
Looking to move their record above 500, FAU will take on the UTSA Roadrunners (4-3) in the teams second home game of the year. FAU (1-1) will look to get back on track after suffering a tough road loss last week to Marshall by a score of 20-9.
“You got to be able to take lessons from everything” said OG Desmond Noel, as he discussed how the team was able to find some positive takeaways from last week.
Even after a tough road loss, the coaching staff remains proud of how the team has bounced back, “That was exciting the way these guys bounced back going into Sunday and Tuesday`s practice. It says a lot of about the leadership of this team” said co-offensive coordinator Drew Mehringer.
Expect to see more Owls active this Saturday as more players return from quarantine and contact tracing. ”A lot has returned so far…You`ll see a much completed team," said head coach Willie Taggart.
The Owls remain undefeated against the Roadrunners in two all-time meetings. Last season, FAU defeated UTSA 40-26 in the Alamo Dome.
Leading UTSA is first year head coach Jeff Traylor, who was named head coach after spending two seasons at the University of Arkansas as the associate head coach/running backs coach serving under Chad Morris. Traylor is seen as one of the rising stars of coaching after a jumping onto the scene in 2015 as the special teams/tight ends coach at the University of Texas.
Earlier in the season UTSA starting quarterback Lowell Narcisse suffered a season ending injury in a home loss to Army. Since then, junior QB Frank Harris has taken the reigns of the UTSA offense. Harris is another true dual threat challenge for the Owls defense, and has five rushing touchdowns. However, Harris has struggled to find consistency including throwing two interceptions last week.
Kickoff will be at 12:00 from Howard Schnellenberger Field at FAU Stadium.
Mid Week Mash-up
- By The Numbers UTSA features a three headed monster at WR in Zahkari Franklin, Joshua Sephus and Brennon Dingle who have combined for 85 catches. FAU`s secondary will have their hands full with the multidimensional UTSA offense. Defensively, UTSA has done a great job causing turnovers. So far UTSA has eight interceptions on the season. This could cause some fits for the FAU offense as they have struggled to have a consistent passing game to begin the season. FAU will need to take a step forward with their offense which currently ranks 92nd in FBS with 275 YPG.
- Keep an Eye On Last week, the FAU rush defense was able to keep Marshall RB Brendan Knox in check. Limiting the former CUSA Offensive Player of The Year to four yards per carry. This week the Owls will be tasked with facing UTSA RB Sincere McCormick. The sophomore already has 867 yards rushing on the season and seven touchdowns. “He is one of the best backs in the country. He does it every week. It is going to be a challenge" said defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt earlier this week. Eyes will be on the FAU LB group including Chase Lasater, Eddie Williams, Caliph Brice and Ahman Ross to keep McCormick in check. Last week, McCormick was named CUSA Offensive Player of The Week after rushing for 165 yards on 37 carries and three touchdowns in a win over Louisiana Tech.
- X Factor One of the issues in last weeks loss for FAU was special teams play. This included struggles in their kicking game as K Vladimir Rivas had an extra point blocked. It does appear the Owls have found their man to return kicks in WR LaJohntay Wester. Do not be surprised to see the electric freshman return a kick for a touchdown this Saturday. UTSA has one of the more accurate kickers in CUSA with Hunter Duplessis. The senior has already converted 14 out of 15 kicks this season and has shown great range including a successful 50 yard kick against Army.
- Breakout Candidate Expect to see a heavy dose of Malcolm Davidson (photo right above) due to the injuries of Larry McCammon III and the questionable status of BJ Emmons. At this point in the season Davidson leads all FAU running backs in yards per carry with just under seven yards per carry. If Emmons does not play expect James Charles to also be featured in the backfield. Redshirt freshman running Kelvin Dean could get a few carries as well. Davidson began practicing late last week. A full week of practice should greatly benefit the teams leading rusher from last season.
- Injury Report After suffering an injury last week, Taggart told reporters today that RB Larry McCammon III will be out this Saturday, Taggart also said that RB BJ Emmons remains questionable. “He is taking it one day at a time, we will see on gameday", said Taggart on the health of Emmons. Along the offensive line OG Desmond Noel suffered a hand injury. However, all signs point to Noel playing this Saturday.
Ryan Rubloff said
- Breakout Candidate Expect to see a heavy dose of Malcolm Davidson (photo right above) due to the injuries of Larry McCammon III and the questionable status of BJ Emmons. At this point in the season Davidson leads all FAU running backs in yards per carry with just under seven yards per carry. If Emmons does not play expect James Charles to also be featured in the backfield. Redshirt freshman running Kelvin Dean could get a few carries as well. Davidson began practicing late last week. A full week of practice should greatly benefit the teams leading rusher from last season.Posted On: Oct 28th 2020, 6:17 PM
Yep, this happened…