Can the Florida International University Panthers snap their three-game skid when they host the Florida Atlantic University Owls on Friday night? To do so, they will have to defeat the Owls who enter with two straight victories after defeating Western Kentucky University, 10-6. FIU is coming off a tough 19-10 loss to Jacksonville State, their third loss by less than 10 points this season. The Panthers also face the challenge of not playing since October 23 as their most recent contest was canceled.
FAU has won the last three meetings between these two teams, including last year when they dominated the Panthers, 37-7. FAU is favored by 8.5 points in this contest.
How to Watch
Florida Atlantic vs. Florida International
Date: Friday, Nov. 13 | Time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: Riccardo Silva Stadium — Miami
TV: CBS Sports Network
Late Score Leads Owls to Victory
Javion Posey scored from 11 yards out with 2:27 left in the contest as FAU narrowly defeated Western Kentucky, 10-6. This was a great defensive struggle, as the Owls defense held the Hilltoppers to 16 first downs and 257 total yards of offense.
The Owls defense has been spectacular this season, allowing 11.5 points per contest, ranked fourth nationally, and 103.5 yards rushing per game.
Florida Atlantic has struggled offensively averaging 16 points per game, ranked 112th nationally. However, after Posey replaced Nick Tronti, the offense did look much better. He led the final scoring drive, carrying the ball nine times for 60 yards, including scoring the game-winning touchdown. He only made one pass attempt in the contest, an interception, but showed a lot of poise and could very well be the quarterback this week.
How Wil FIU Respond After Long Layoff
The Panthers last took to the field on October 23 when they lost to Jacksonville State, 19-10. The Gamecocks scored 10 points in the second quarter, which proved to be the difference-maker in this game.
The Panthers offense struggled mightily, producing just eight first downs and 173 yards of total offense. The combination of quarterbacks Stone Norton and Max Bortenschlager were just seven of 19 for 93 yards and a touchdown. Three different quarterbacks, including Kaylan Wiggins, have seen time under center this season, and have combined to go just 26 of 60 for 287 yards.
The running game has done its share to help, as D’Vonte Price has rushed for 311 yards and three touchdowns on 35 carries, an 8.9 yards per carry average. Shaun Peterson, Jr. has been exceptional as well, rushing 28 times for 188 yards and two scores.
The success of the ground game is a key in this contest, as the FIU defense is mediocre. They are allowing 458.3 yards per game, including allowing 213.3 per contest on the ground. Adding to the challenge is that the Panthers defense has not been able to produce the big play, recording just seven sacks and two turnovers this year.
- 8-1 ATS in their last nine games on the road.
- 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games overall.
- 12-5 ATS in their last 17 Conference USA contests.
- 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games.
- 1-4 ATS in their last five games at home.
- 1-5 ATS in their last six Conference USA contests.
The Winner Prediction
I normally like a team that has had a little bit more time to prepare for a contest, but three weeks since the Panthers took to the field is not good. That creates some rust and, for an offense that already was out of sync, that could very well spell disaster for FIU.
Florida Atlantic comes in hot. The defense has been exceptional, allowing just nine total points over their last two games, and they may have found their quarterback. I like how Posey responded after throwing the interception. He will definitely be a key for a decisive Owls victory.
Pick: Give the Points as FAU Dominates (-8.5) (-110).
The total is set at 41.5, which is an indicator that oddsmakers have very little faith in the FIU offense. That is a good call on their part, as this group is not very good. The sad part is that they do not show any indicators to believe that they are going to make a significant improvement, especially when all they have been able to do the last three weeks is practice.
The Owls defense is arguably the best in the conference, and they will help to keep the score down. Take FAU to win, 26-7.
Pick: Go under 41.5 (-110)