Football season is here! The Navy Midshipmen visit Florida Atlantic for a Friday night battle on the beach. Here is your first look at the Florida Atlantic Owls.
WHAT WE KNOW
Florida Atlantic (FAU) finished the 2016 season with a 3-9 record (2-6 CUSA). A quick glance at the Owl’s 2016 results and you’ll see that FAU scored an average of about 40 points per game in their last four contests of the season. Add in the fact that the Owls have brought in offensive guru Lane Kiffin as a head coach and throw in the nine returning offensive starters and you have the makings of an explosive offense in 2017. In 2016 the FAU defense was defenseless but again, the Owls have a new coordinator to coach the D, which includes eight returning starters including two preseason all conference performers.
What do the prognosticators’ think of the Owls? According to Massey’s consensus college football rankings/ratings (about 50 of them) for 2017, FAU is ranked 121 out of 130 teams but don’t sleep on that. They’ll at least have an explosive offense.
INJURIES AND SUSPENSIONS
FAU’s injury status is not too bad but they have one major question mark. Projected starting quarterback De’Andre Johnson is listed as questionable for Friday’s game due to an undisclosed injury. Johnson is a transfer from Florida State who was a 4-star Rivals.com prospect out of high school. He ended up attending junior college and before heading to FAU. Backup offensive tackle Matthew Weiner is out for the season with an injury.
Navy opens on the road against a program with some weapons and a fan base very excited about their new head coach. While it’s hard to not be “up” for an opener, the Mids can ill afford to overlook the Owls. Stopping Kiffin’s offense is certainly the biggest challenge. The best way to do that is through good ole option offensive efficiency and chewing up the clock. This keeps Kiffin’s offensive players on the sideline twiddling their thumbs while Navy defenders stay rested.