It's an uphill battle for FAU [5-3, 3-2 C-USA]. After dropping their last game 28-13 to Marshall, the Owls fell from first place to third place in the C-USA East and now need some help from other teams to be able to make it to the C-USA Championship game.
With Marshall playing against UAB and Charlotte playing against Louisiana Tech, Owls fans are going to have to do some scoreboard watching this weekend - but that doesn't mean the team will be.
"We just have to control what we can control and win out," cornerback Romain "Smoke" Mungin [photo] said. "Whatever happens then, happens."
What FAU has in front of them right now is a hot Old Dominion [3-6, 2-3 C-USA] team that's on a two game winning streak - including a big 47-24 win over the FIU Panthers.
The Owls will have a lot of work to do to redeem themselves against the red hot Monarchs, as they're set to take the field on Saturday, Nov. 13 at 3:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.
- Overreliance on Johnny Ford During his Monday press conference, head coach Willie Taggart admitted that the offense was slow when Johnny Ford had to sit out when he wasn't feeling well. The offense went three and out on two of the five possessions they had without Ford in that game while he had 146 of FAU's 445 all-purpose yards. FAU relies on his speed to make plays offensively and they have to find different ways to generate offense if they want to win on Saturday.
- Eyes On Kuntz ODU TE Zack Kuntz has been one of the best tight ends in the nation, putting up 550 yards and four touchdowns on 53 receptions. His 553 receiving yards are fourth among tight ends in the nation this year. "He's one of the key players," defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. "So if we shut him down, we'll be good, but they try to get him open as much as possible. They'll put him out wide. They'll try to get him the ball the most."
- Don't Get Too Comfortable Despite ODU being 3-6, this could be one of those trap games for the Owls if they get too complacent with their game. ODU is about average in most aspects of the game and can strike with stars like Kuntz. "When you look at their record, it's easy to assume something about their team," offensive lineman Desmond Noel said. "But you look at the last two games, you can tell they're very much improved. The type of defense they run, they're very sound and know what they're doing. We have to put a lot of emphasis on technique and our assignment and know what we're doing." With FAU looking to get back into first place in the C-USA East, they can't get complacent just because ODU is 3-6 - they need to play hard and get a victory on Saturday.
- Limiting Drops Lask week, FAU's receiving core had a lot of drops - dropping 4 of the passes that N'Kosi Perry threw. This week, offensive coordinator Michael Johnson wants to loosen up the run game and open up the passing game in an effort to limit them. "You have to loosen the defense up a little bit in order to run the ball," Johnson said "Otherwise they'll outnumber you. We had some opportunities for some big plays in the passing game down the field. We just didn't make the plays. It goes together. If you're going to run the ball, then you have to get [the defense] out of the box. Once you get them out of the box and you back them up, now you should be able to manage the guys up front."
Head Coach Willie Taggart, Offensive Coordinator Michael Johnson, offensive lineman Desmond Noel, Defensive Coordinator Mike Stoops, and cornerback Smoke Mungin headline this week's VideoPlay.