Florida Gators vs Florida Atlantic Owls Breakdown
Date: Saturday, November 21, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM
TV: SEC Network
Last meeting: 2011 Florida defeated Florida Atlantic 41-3. Florida leads the all-time series 2-0.
Last time out:
• Florida defeated South Carolina 24-14
• Florida Atlantic loss to Middle Tennessee 24-17
Meet the Owls:
• Head Coach: Charlie Partridge (5-17 in his 2nd season at Florida Atlantic)
• Conference: Conference USA Eastern Division
• 2015 Overall Record: 2-8
• 2015 Conference Record: 2-5
• Rank: Not Ranked
Player(s) to Watch:
• Senior Quarterback, Jaquez Johnson. Johnson has thrown for 1,356 yards and 8 touchdowns. He is a load at 240 lbs and has also rushed for 227 yards.
• Senior Defensive Tackle Trevon Coley. Coley has started every game since his arrival at FAU. He has recorded 57 tackles, 4.5 sacks and 5 QB hurries.
5 Things to Know About Florida Atlantic:
1. FAU ranks 47th nationally with 2.2 sacks per game.
2. The Owls have dropped eight games by a touchdown or less during FAU Head Coach Charlie Partridge’s tenure.
3. The Owl defensive backs have taken advantage of the pressure up front with a total of 13 interceptions.
4. Jacquez Johnson is the first Owl QB to rush for 1,500+ yards and to pass for 5,000+ yards in his career.
5. Of the 119 members on the Owl’s pre-season camp roster, 10 call a state other than Florida home. More than half of the in-state members are from the tri-county area.
5 Things to Pay Attention To:
Five Things to Pay Attention To:
1. Gators Depth on the Defensive Line.
Over the last two games Florida has been challenged with injuries on the defensive line. FAU should not expose anything in this area on Saturday. Ivie, McCalister and Sherit will all be out Saturday. It will be critical that Florida does not suffer any further injury during this game.
2. Player Participation
These type of games are always difficult for a coach to manage the amount of plays for their players. Especially with the Gators who still have growth areas on offense. How much will Mac play his starters knowing that there are some big moments ahead in the coming weeks?
3. Will Driskel Play?
The intrigue of this game would be a little bit better if Jason Driskel’s older brother Jeff were still playing for the Gators. Driskel has seen time in all but two games this year and threw for an Owls season high 385 yards against Buffalo.
4. Yes, He is a QB.
He wears #32 and weighs 240 lbs. He looks more like a fullback than a quarterback, but Jacquez Johnson has come back from injury to produce for the Owls offensively. He is a dual threat QB who has the ability to throw it around a little bit.
5. #2 Running Back
Kelvin Taylor has been the primary option throughout the season at running back, but neither of the Jordan’s have solidified themselves as the #2 back. Scarlett looked like he was going to be that guy coming out of the Georgia game, but since then he has disappointed. Cronkrite scored two touchdowns last week versus the Gamecocks, can he emerge this week as the backup running back.
5 Things to Expect:
1. A Complete Game from Florida.
Florida is position to play for a SEC title and something bigger, but they will need to continue to improve and grow. Saturday affords Florida that opportunity to clean up some areas, solidify areas they like and are concerned about, as well as continue to build on the winning football that has gotten them this far.
2. A Big Play in the Running Game.
McElwain mentioned that Florida is very close to breaking some big runs. Last week Taylor broke off a 53 yard run late in the game and hopefully that was moment Florida can break through the ceiling. The Gators will have their opportunities this week, FAU gives up 185 yards per game.
3. Better Situational Football.
The Gators have had bad moments the last two weeks in situational football. Last week Harris threw an inexcusable interception in the red zone and Florida failed on a 4th down in scoring position. These are areas that make the difference in winning and losing against quality opponents.
4. FAU Turnovers
In three games this year FAU has turned it over at least 5 times. That Gators have been very opportunistic this year and will be chomping at the bit to take advantage of the Owls who have struggled at times to protect the football.
5. A Special Teams Touchdown
This may be more of a prediction but Florida has the ability to be very dangerous in this area. I am going to go out on a limb and say Calloway, Powell or a blocked kick will produce a touchdown at some point in the game.
5 Keys to Victory:
1. Keep Avoiding Complacency.
Last week Florida got off to a good start and controlled most of the game against South Carolina. This week Florida needs a fast start and to play a complete game. FAU will play hard and inspired but just are not good enough to be a focused Florida team.
2. Control the Game on the Ground.
As Treon continues to grow in the passing game, opportunities in the run game will open up. Last week we saw Florida break a few runs, if they can build on that get some momentum in the running game going, they will be able to put this game away early.
3. Take Care of Business
FAU is a tough and gritty team, but not to the caliber of Florida. If the Gators come ready to play, this is a game the Gators should have under control come late 2nd or early 3rd quarter. Florida needs to come in ready from snap one and take care of business against a lesser talented team.
4. Keep Treon Upright
Florida’s offensive line gave Treon a much better pocket last week and it allowed him to make some clean throws. FAU is 2nd in Conference USA and 47th nationally averaging 2.3 sacks per game. They will look to pressure Harris and hopefully create some turnovers. Florida ranks 108th nationally surrendering 2.8 sacks per game.
5. Play Clean Football
The same rule applies to FAU that applied to Vanderbilt and South Carolina. The only way this game is a game is if Florida gives it away. Florida has multiple turnovers in the last 2 games. That needs to be cleaned up moving forward into the final portion of their season.
5 Signs It Was a Good Day:
1. Team Is Injury Free.
Florida has been fairly healthy most of the season, but the bug seems to be creeping up the last two weeks. This will be an opportunity to get some those bumps and bruises healed up and get the team ready for a very tough two game stretch coming up.
2. Running Game Gets Some Explosive Plays.
Florida has not had consecutive 100 yard rushing games. This will be a great week to do that and get some big runs. Getting some big runs will build confidence on the line and help Treon make plays in the passing game with play-action.
3. Offense Continues to Solidify Their Identity.
Since Grier’s suspension, the Florida offense has almost had to reset. But we see the offense beginning to develop some plays that work with Treon at the helm. We can see the progression from game to game and this would be a great time for Florida to start making some big plays.
4. Stay Within Themselves.
Florida formula to winning has been playing great defense and not turning it over. Both of those areas have been challenged at points in the last 2 weeks, but if Florida can get back to playing clean offense and the defense avoids the brain cramp from time to time, they should win this game going away.
5. Hardin Is Settling In
2 weeks in a row Hardin has nailed to field goals and hopefully this is the beginning of a kicking game that can be trusted. If Hardin is called upon and he continues to hit his field goals, that will be a huge boost for this team and their chances against Florida State and most like Alabama in the SEC Championship.
Florida will come out fast and roll to a solid victory. It is hard to predict a shut out but why not, the defense has done everything else this year and they are due. Treon will continue to show improvement in the pocket and the running game will produce a couple of big runs that will break this game open. The Gators will have control from start to finish, get some players healthy and prepare for a huge game against that other school next week.
Florida 38 Florida Atlantic 0