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Midweek Mashup: FAU @ WKU

Florida Atlantic [5-5, 3-3 C-USA] is in danger.

After being in first place in the C-USA East Division going into their game against Marshall, two losses now put them in danger of losing their chance at bowl eligibility. And they'll have to go through Western Kentucky.

That will be a big uphill battle with WKU [6-4, 5-1 C-USA] being home to one of the nation's best signal-callers - Bailey Zappe.

Zappe leads the nation in passing yards (4,170)  and passing touchdowns (42) while having a 70.8% completion percentage and only seven interceptions on the season.

"I don't think you stop him," Mike Stoops said. "You just have to get stops. I think you gotta' limit explosive plays and I think if there's one thing we can do better defensively, that's one."

It's win or go home - for a final fight for bowl eligibility - for the Owls. If their two-game road trip, which started with last week's loss to ODU, they'll be fighting for their right to postseason football at 5-6.

FAU will head to Bowling Green to face off against the Hilltoppers on Saturday, Nov. 20. Kickoff will be at noon while the game will be broadcast on Stadium.

Midweek Mashup

  • Finishing Drives After being held without a touchdown in the first half of last week's game against ODU, offensive coordinator Michael Johnson is focused on being able to finish those drives. "We've just been inconsistent in finishing drives," he said. "We've moved the ball and then we've gotten stagnant and drives have stalled. Sto that's what we got to do, you just got to continue to finish and be more consistent in putting those drives together and finishing and scoring points."

  • Limiting Big Plays Last week, the Owls' defense gave up nine big plays for a total of 284 yards against the Old Dominion Monarchs. This week, they're going to have to try a little harder to limit those plays against a high-powered WKU offense. "They got guys that can make explosive plays on short throws," Stoops said. "so I think the tackling and playing the screens, the sucker screens, any of the quick throws, you gotta be able to tackle well in."

  • Legend Coaching The WRs On Monday, head coach Willie Taggart announced that Joey Thomas was relieved of his duties as wide receivers coach. His replacement, Hines Ward, is a four-time Pro Bowler and a two-time Super Bowl champion after a legendary 13-year career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. "Hines has a lot of experience with wide receivers," offensive coordinator Michael Johnson said. "He played a long time, he knows the position well, so his insight and his input in that room is good."

  • The Importance of Evan Anderson Evan Anderson [photo] had one of the more underrated performances last week, notching five tackles, two tackles for a loss, and one of the two sacks the Owls recorded against ODU. This week, Stoops thinks he will be important in their efforts against WKU. "I think we've made progress with some of our younger players," he said. "Certainly Evan has been an anchor for us in the middle and we play a lot of odd fronts, so you need a guy in there that can take up that center and hopefully those eight gaps in there and Evan has done an extremely good job of that all year."


Head Coach Willie Taggart, Offensive Coordinator Michael Johnson, wide receiver Brandon Robinson, Defensive Coordinator Mike Stoops, and safety Jordan Helm headline this week's VideoPlay.


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