An all Florida battle takes place on Saturday as the Florida Atlantic Owls travel to Tampa to take on the South Florida Bulls. The start time is 7:00 pm (Eastern) and the game will be televised on ESPN3. Current Odds have South Florida listed as 12.5 point favorites, while the total sits at 43.5.
Analysis: The Florida Atlantic Owls are looking to avoid an 0-3 start when they invade Raymond James stadium on Saturday night. FAU is currently near the bottom of Conference USA in total offensive production as they are producing just 266 ypg so far this year. The Owls use a two-headed quarterback system. Jaquez Johnson has been the official starter in each game but Greg Hankerson has thrown more passes. Johnson (20-of-34, 145 yards, INT) is used more often for his running ability, while Hankerson (19-of-37, 150 yards, TD, INT) is used as a more traditional passer. Johnson also has 69 yards rushing on the season which is second to Jonathan Wallace, who has tallied 78 yards on the ground so far. While scoring fewer than 10 points per game themselves, the Owls are being lit up for 32.5 ppg on the defensive side of the ball. FAU has surrendered more than 800 yards of total offense in the first two games and have allowed while allowing six touchdowns in 10 red zone chances.
The Bulls are also looking to avoid the 0-3 start after losing to FCS Foe McNeese State In their opener and then falling to Michigan State last week. The Bulls offense has started out very weak this year as vthey have averaged just 248.5 ypg, including a mere 137.5 ypg through the air. At the root of their passing game struggles is Bobby Eveld, who has completed just 35.6 percent of his pass attempts for 203 yards with an interception. Marcus Shaw is averaging 6.8 yards per carry and has totaled 239 yards already on the ground, but still the passing game needs to step up a bit. If there is any hope for the Bulls to salvage the season it is on defense, but hey could be without without a pair of starters in linebacker Reshard Cliett (shoulder) and tackle Elkino Watson (knee, thumb) for this game. Taggart faced Florida Atlantic in each of his three seasons as head coach at Western Kentucky, going 1-2, including a 37-28 loss last year.
Pick: Going to take the under in this one. This just has the feel of an ugly game. The FAU defense is not the bad as they showed last week vs a powerful East Carolina offense, especially in then 2nd half where they held the pirates to just 10 points. The USF offense is not hard to stop as they come in averaging just 248.5 ypg and 13.5 ppg on the year so far. The FAU offense is even worse as they come in averaging just 266.5 ypg and 9.5 ppg. These are two really bad offenses for sure. USF had a bad outing on defense in their opener vs McNeese State, but they showed they can clamp down on a bad offense, but holding Michigan State to just 21 points and 265 yards last week. Clearly the punter will get more work than the score board operator in this one, as this ugly game puts up no more than 35 points.
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