2017 Football Preview – C-USA – Owls
Looking for 2017 Florida Atlantic Owls predictions? The Owls are entering into a new era of FAU football as Lane Kiffin takes the helm. There is no arguing Kiffin’s ability to call plays on the offensive side of the ball, but can year 1 be better than the experts think?..
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- 2017-18 College Football Preview – Florida Atlantic Owls
- Head Coach: Lane Kiffin
- 2016 Record: 3-9
- Florida Atlantic Owls Odds to win the 2017 FBS Championship: +100000
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How quickly can Lane Kiffin turn things around?
2017 Florida Atlantic Owls Predictions: Team Strengths
The ground game should be explosive?: The Owls running backs unit as a whole should put up similar numbers to last year’s team since every key contributor returns.
As a true freshman Devin Singletary rushed for over 1,000 yards at a 6.7 yard per carry clip. Their #2 leading rusher was junior Buddy Howell who rushed for over 800 yards. I would expect both players to potentially reach 1,000 yards rushing. Kendall Briles is the new offensive coordinator and after guiding Baylor to the #1 offensive ranking in the country in 2015 you would think that FAU will throw the ball all over the field.
However coach Kiffin is known for giving his best players the ball over and over again while exploiting matchups (Derrick Henry winning the Heisman). This will be the key factor in how good the FAU offense will be this season, because abandoning the running game for the sake of scheme wouldn’t be playing to the teams strengths.
When you factor in Juco transfer De’Andre Johnson at QB this could be one of the best rushing attacks in Conference USA.
Deep and Experienced at LB: The Owls have one of the top linebacking corps in the conference. Led by 2nd all conference LB Azeez Al-Shaair, this athletic group also boasts top 100 transfer from VaTech Carson Lydon.
The defensive secondary has a few question marks but I expect the linebackers to play with reckless abandon in a new defensive scheme.
2017 Florida Atlantic Owls Predictions: Team Weaknesses
How bad will this secondary be?: While the Owls only had to replace one major contributor from their 2015secondary last season, they had 6 defensive backs with starting experience but still played poorly.
They gave up over 265 yards per game through the air and also had a putrid 24:10 TD to Interception ratio. The secondary can only go up and with key starters coming back I expect a major improvement this year.
Will ball control be the key to saving this defense? Florida Atlantic had their worst statistical season on the defensive side of the ball in school history.
Do I expect them to become a top 25 unit in the blink of an eye?
Of course not, but their should be improvement on all three levels and with Kiffin’s ability to get the ball to his playmakers on offense, I do not expect the defense to be as spent in the 4th quarter (gave up 3 4th quarter leads last year).
Florida Atlantic Owls Prediction: 5-7
Florida Atlantic will have a rough start to the season against Navy and Wisconsin, but should have a few swing games in conference, and I see them finishing out the season at 5-5, with them just missing out on a bowl game.
2017 Florida Atlantic Owls Football Schedule
- 9/1/17 TBD NAVY
- 9/9/17 TBD @WISC
- 9/16/17 TBD BETH
- 9/23/17 TBD @BUFF
- 9/30/17 TBD MIDTN
- 10/7/17 TBD @ODU
- 10/21/17 TBD UNT
- 10/28/17 TBD @WKU
- 11/3/17 TBD MARSH
- 11/11/17 TBD @LATECH
- 11/18/17 TBD FIU
- 11/25/17 TBD @CHAR
What do you think about our 2017 Florida Atlantic Owls predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2017!
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