The Owls finished their likely 2020 home slate to move to 5-1 on the season with a 24-2 victory over UMASS. Despite the scoreboard, FAU fans did not end the evening feeling great about their football team.
Here are five take away's from the game and what they should look for moving forward:
Back to Earth For Posey - After helping lead the team to two victories dominated by Javion Poesy's legs, he needed to show another level of his game to make teams think twice about selling out to stop the run. UMASS spent most of the night with 9-10 men within 1-10 yards of the line of scrimmage, making it hard to establish any type of consistent run game. Posey (photo right above) missed multiple receivers with inaccurate throws or just not seeing the open man. The play that embodies this the most was the 4th and seven on the game's third drive. Receiver Jordan Merrell ran a flag route from the inside slot and was open in a window behind the linebacker and front of the corner, and Posey could not throw it into the window. The ensuing drive ended after a 3rd and eleven, which had TJ Chase wide-open running across the field past the first down marker. These throws and reads are the basics Posey needs to master to become the long-term Owls quarterback.
Offensive Line Struggles - This is arguably the worst Offensive line performance since UCF in 2019. The running backs only managed 3.2 yards per carry, and Poesy was sacked six times. Some of the sacks could be blamed on Posey holding the ball too long, but he also was forced to scramble much of the night right after getting the snap. The extra men in the box due to the inability to consistently pass made things difficult, but there were obvious missed assignments and blown blocks. FAU's interior line struggled in particular, with calls, defenders being in the backfield, and penalties.
The Dependable Brandon Robison - FAU made it clear in the offseason they wanted to upgrade the receiver position and brought in numerous transfers to do that. TJ Chase has been a great addition so far, but the opposite of him has been a question mark all season, with no one providing consistent play. One-time walk-on Brandon Robinson (photo left above) has seen increased snaps every game this season and has taken the starting position over BJ Alexander and Aaron Young, who recently opted out. Robison came up big for the Owls in the Boca Bowl with 78 yards and a touchdown when the team was missing starter Tavarious ''Pico'' Harrison and came up big again with a Sportscenter Top 10 catch when FAU needed it most against UMASS.
Turnover Drought Ended - Head coach Willie Taggart said a few weeks ago that turnovers were like getting olives out of a jar, and once you get the first one, they all start coming. After going 15 quarters without one and being comically close to many others, defensive back Teja Young came up with a big interception. Long time Owl outside linebacker David Bevlin III came up with his first career interception just a few drives later in his final career home game. Hopefully, the "Olives'' continue to flow the rest of the season to help a struggling offense.
Road Warriors - The Owls have already played their last home game of the year in a whacky schedule and will have to keep the winning going on the road for three straight weeks. FAU starts by going to the biggest house of horrors in program history with a trip to Murfreesboro, TN., where they are 0-7 all time, then follows with a trip to Georgia Southern for a makeup game, where GSU holds a 27 game winning streak vs. out of conference opponents. FAU finishes with another makeup game against a reeling Southern Miss team.
Going 2-1 in these games would be a nice finish to a hectic regular season.
The Owls will play MTSU next week in the more traditional Saturday 3:30 time slot.
POST GAME: Willie Taggart
BOX SCORE: FAU vs UMass
FAU vs UMass Game Thread
Fearless Predictions FAU vs UMass
2020 FAU Football Schedule
the 2004 team was one of our better teams. We made the playoffs as an independent.. We were not in the Sun Belt conference yet.
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders vs Florida Atlantic Owls Saturday, September 18, 2004 - Bing
I have complete confidence that he will bring in a transfer QB or 2 that can pass. Whether itís Posey or a transfer, there needs to be the threat of more than 100 yards passing.†
What about this part of the post?
I am 100% CERTAIN that we wont be looking at the same situation next year, and this is spot on.
FSU fans canít look at things objectively and donít see itís the administration.†
Glad to hear that @rick I see recievers running wide open just need someone to hit them in stride.
That's why I removed that part of the post. But you have to admit the first part is quite a stretch.
I hope you're not insinuating I'm an FSU fan? Nothing could be further from the truth…..
Willie T is only succeeding here because of the talent on the defensive side of the ball, both Coaches and players. Otherwise, we're 2-4.
I mean you can make that argument for any coach. I could say dabo is succeeding because of trevor lawrence and brent venables. Its the staff he brought in so Iím confused as to what the issue is. We had very few dlineman, no linebackers left and our two CBs left. A whole new defense really. Tiring hear everyone complain about the offense and we have players running free and they cant get the ball. Tj chase and michael irvin jr are still running free from the umass game.†
All I'm saying is the defense has won 4 games for us as the offense is one dimensional. UMASS made that abundantly clear Friday night. Personally, I feel it's obviously QB play but I also feel the offense scheme plays a role as well.
Originally, my response was to JGF's P5 job opening for Willie T and the 10's of millions of dollars he's going to be making. The only millions he's going to be making in the next 5 yrs is coming from FSU….
In fall camp we lost a QB who was on the OíBrien list and who was considered one of if not the best G5 QB. Then Tronti ends up being not that good. And weíre left with no one who is a good passer. Itís not Taggartís fault.†
Not only was Robison supposed to be the QB, but we wouldíve had a replacement in Sanders if his dad didnít become a coach at Jackson State.
No you're right on the hiring of Leavitt and I should have clarified that. Willie t hired a very good staff and for that I have to give him credit.
I agree about the future star QB; however, why do we have so many QBs in the roster?
Nick Trontti (red shirt junior)
Justin Agner (red shirt junior)
Javion Posey (red shirt freshman)
Willie Taggart Jr. (freshman)
Luke Cohn (freshman)
Tyler Kolb (freshman)
… these last 2, are they any good?
That kind of experience matters. Then you talk about Leavitt who was the head coach of a team that at one point was #2 in the country. And he has a lot of experience as a defensive coordinator.
These are the guys Taggart hired . And thatís why if you actually know football you wouldíve known Taggart was a great football coach from the beginning. He knows how to manage things.†
Or you can be an observer to FSU the past couple years and blame the coach and not an administration.†
The reason Robison ďgot betterĒ in 2019 was because his weapons were better. Durante and Wright were by far the most targeted receivers in 2018 and both of them were terrible in their roles. Wright was running routes that were too far downfield for his skill set. Durante couldnít catch. Riles was atrocious and hampered the whole line which had already lost a lot. There were too many players who didnít care about the team.†
The reason Robison was better in 2019 was because Durante was gone and Wright didnít go on those routes which were too long for his skill set.
Then you had Antoine who was the anti Durante. He could catch anything. Mitchell and Harrison were healthy and solid. And defenses couldnít stop that when you also had Bryant and Raine. Also, the backup receivers like Robinson were good too. And the offensive line was a lot better at pass blocking. †
Robisonís first game at Oklahoma I noted how he was going through his reads really fast. That canít be taught. Thatís either there or it isnít there from day 1.
Now a lot of teams can win with a one read QB like Posey. But we could probably do better. It doesnít look like Posey will become an above average passer.
I see Quentin Flowers in him. He is so electric with the ball when he runs but I agree he needs to improve as a passer. Doesnít have to be Robison accurate but at least be close to Tronti accurate. Also, wonder if Posey struggles again if Taggart will pull him for Tronti
Will be interesting to see if the offensive coaches have the ability to adjust the play calling to help Posey be more effective with the skill set he does have.
We dont adjust and run the same offense we have been….it'll be another ugly L in Murfreesboro.
As far as JFG's take "When it comes to a QB going through reads, or how good a passer they are, those things never change and can’t get better." - Think this has some truth to it, but a coordinator can put a QB in a better position to succeed, design and call plays that align with their strengths and capabilities. Do we have the right coaches on that side of the ball to do so? Not suggesting we dont, just not sure.
What is the take on the OC that came over from Texas? What's the take on Willies play calling?
Thereís no way Taggart is going to let this continue next season. There will be a QB coming here to start. We will hopefully get away with all these problems these last 3 games.†
But I expect a totally different offense next season. There might be totally different skill position players in addition to the QB.†
Whatís funny is that FAU is getting votes in the AP poll after a unbelievably terrible game offensively. This offense is so easy to stop if a DC game plans against it. I think with all thatís on the line with Taggart he will find a QB. I also think we might have help with true freshmen at the WR and TE spots.