FAU -8.5 against North Texas. Write up copy/pasted from the sportsnetwork dot com.
Florida Atlantic will look to continue its dominance
over North Texas, when the Owls host the Mean Green this Saturday in the
Sun Belt Conference opener for both schools.
The Owls grabbed a thrilling, 44-40 decision over North Texas this past
season and now have won all six matchups against the Mean Green.
The 2010 campaign has gotten off to a rough start for coach Todd Dodge
and his Mean Green. North Texas has dropped its first three matchups
this year and dating back to last season, they have suffered seven
consecutive losses. North Texas opened the year with a 35-10 loss on the
road against Clemson, and followed that with a heartbreaking, 32-31
setback to Rice at home. It got worse this past weekend, as the Mean
Green were blanked by Army, 24-0.
were not in action this past weekend, but so far Florida Atlantic has
performed well. In the team's opener, the Owls went to UAB and left with
a thrilling, 32-31 victory. In their second contest, the Owls traveled
to Detroit to take on Michigan State at Ford Field. FAU fought hard, but
by the final whistle, the Owls were on the wrong end of a 30-17
The winless start for North
Texas has plenty to do with the ineffectiveness of an offense that is
posting just 13.7 ppg. This unit after three games has posted just five
touchdowns, but has committed seven turnovers.
The quarterback position has been a revolving door, with three
different players seeing action. Nathan Tune, who was the best of the
three, dislocated his hip against Rice and will miss the remainder of
Without Tune the Mean Green
went with Riley Dodge and Derek Thompson against Army, but neither were
effective, as Dodge completed less than 50.0 percent of his throws for
just 63 yards, while Thompson was worse finishing with 43 yards and one
The ground game was not
much better in the loss to the Black Knights, as coach Todd Dodge's guys
posted just 95 yards. Lance Dunbar, who grabbed five passes for 44
yards, also led the ground game with 42 yards on 12 totes. Through three
games, Dunbar has been the main source of production out of the
backfield, as the tailback is leading the way with 263 yards on 5.1 ypc.
On top of the lack of success
offensively, the Mean Green have also endured plenty of problems on the
defensive side of the ball. The main problem coach Dodge's defense has
to address is its inability to stop the run.
After surrendering close to 200 yards per game a year ago, the front
line for North Texas is having problems again, as teams are gashing this
unit for 214.7 ypg. Now the last game for North Texas came against
Army, which is primarily a running team, so the Mean Green had little
chance to stop the run, and proceeded to allow 292 yards and three
However, stopping the run was not
the only problem for North Texas against Army, as the defense did not
force a turnover or record a sack, and also allowed the Black Knights to
convert on 4-of-5 red zone chances.
Owls went down 20-7 at halftime against Michigan State and were unable
to recover, en route to a loss, but the passing attack showed plenty of
promise in the setback.
Jeff VanCamp was
efficient against a tough Big Ten defense, completing 23- of-35 passes
for 215 yards and one score. It is still very early in the season, but
the quarterback for coach Howard Schnellenberger's Owls has performed
well, completing over 60 percent of his throws, which has led to 469
yards and four touchdowns.
Lester Jean has
proven to be a big time target for VanCamp, and is leading the team in
receptions (15), yards (263) and touchdowns (2). In the loss to Michigan
State, Jean hauled in six passes for 99 yards, but was held out of the
What hurt FAU's chances against
Michigan State was its inability to run the rock. The Owls were bottled
up for just 45 yards on 34 carries. However, this is nothing new for
FAU, which opened the season with a poor showing against UAB.
Last season the Owls were unable to stop the run, and two games into
the new campaign it looks like FAU will have similar problems in that
In two games the Owls have been
clobbered for 285.0 ypg on the ground and have already allowed five
rushing touchdowns. Two of those rushing TDs came against Michigan State
in the team's last matchup, as the Owls also surrendered 225 yards on
7.5 yards per contest.
Defending the pass
has been a different story for this defense, which held Michigan State
to just 142 yards via the pass. However, that could have a lot to do
with the opposition choosing to run the ball. Regardless of the
reasoning though FAU has defended the pass well, and on top of that the
Owls also made some big plays against the Spartans, holding Michigan
State to just 1-of-7 on third down attempts, while also forcing two
Florida Atlantic is likely to
struggle against the run throughout the season, but the one way to keep
offenses from pounding the ball is by scoring early and often. That
won't be easy for FAU in every game, but this offense can definitely
light up the scoreboard this weekend and will likely do so against a
weak North Texas squad.
Prediction: FAU 45 - North Texas 28