The Florida Atlantic Owls (3-6) have had a miserable go of it in 2013. But despite their losing record, they can still become bowl eligible if they win their next three games. The first of those three final games will be a trip to Hattiesburg, Miss. where they will battle the Southern Miss Eagles (0-9). The game will air on CSS at 12:30 p.m. ET and will feature Matt Stewart as play-by-play, Chuck Oliver as color, and Hannah Chalker as the sideline analyst.
The Owls are being led under interim coach Brian Wright, following Carl Pelini’s departure. The Owls won their first game under Wright last week against the Tulane Green Wave 34-17. They have a dynamic quarterback in Jaquez Johnson. The sophomore has thrown for 1,290 yards and is second on the team with 513 rushing yards. He has combined for 14 touchdowns this season, eight of which have been from the ground.
The main targets for Johnson are wide receivers William Dukes and Daniel McKinney. They have combined for 852 receiving yards and six of the team’s 10 receiving touchdowns.
The defense has been able to get pressure on the quarterback. It has 18 sacks through the season’s first nine games. It also has 11 interceptions, which ranks it in a tie for 33rd nationally.
D’Joun Smith is a big playmaker on defense. He has seven interceptions this season, which is tied for first nationally.
The Southern Miss Eagles have been awful on offense, averaging just 12.8 points per game.
Quarterback Nick Mullens has started the previous three games for the Owls and has averaged 277 yards per contest. Unfortunately, the freshman has thrown nine interceptions to five touchdowns. The passing game as a whole has thrown 20 interceptions through nine games.
The Owls running game has been non-existent in 2013. They average less than 75 yards per game and are ranked 119th in the FBS.
The defense has also been atrocious. It averages 43.7 points per game, which is ranked in the bottom ten in the FBS.
Defensive back DeBarriaus Miller and linebacker Terrick Wright have combined for 150 tackles this season. Both are sophomores and are on pace for 100 tackles this season.
Florida Atlantic Owls Notes
- Cory Henry has 12.5 sacks in his career, which is second all-time at FAU, and just three behind first place.
- The Owls defense gives up just 170.4 passing yards per game, which is ranked sixth nationally.
- The Owls are ranked seventh in penalty yards in that nation, with just over 32 penalty yards per game.
Southern Miss Notes
- The Eagles have allowed less than 200 yards passing in five games this season.
- Kendrick Hardy needs 295 yards to register 2,000 rushing yards for his career.
- Three different true freshmen have started at wide receiver (Tyre’oune Holmes, James Cox and Marquise Ricard).