FAU vs. FIU prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the Owls and Golden Panthers at FIU Stadium in Miami, Florida.
FAU vs. FIU Game Preview
When: Saturday, Oct. 1 – 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: FIU Stadium, Miami, FL
TV Broadcast: No listing
The Owls (1-3, 0-0 Conference USA) are coming off of a tough 31-27 loss to Ball State, which rallied in the second half of a game that was delayed several times due to lightning. The Cardinals notched the game-winning score with 1:47 left to play. Jason Driskel led the way for FAU by throwing for 324 yards and a touchdown and also running for a score. Meanwhile, the Golden Panthers (0-4, 0-0) were crushed 53-14 last week by Central Florida, which recorded 501 yards of total offense to just 189 yards for FIU. Alex McGough and Maurice Alexander combined for just 11 completions for FIU, which dismissed head coach Ron Turner after the loss.
These teams met last season in Boca Raton, and the Owls used the rushing of Trey Rodriguez to score a 31-17 win, with FAU coming back from a 14-0 deficit.
What To Know About FAU
The Owls once again struggled to defend a mobile quarterback in their loss to Ball State last week. Riley Neal rushed for 74 yards and two touchdowns while also throwing one off of a run-pass option. The previous week, Kansas State signal-callers ran for 96 yards and three touchdowns. Against FIU, the Owls will see Alexander, who is averaging 8.4 yards per carry and made his first career start against UCF. He split time with McGough and will certainly test coordinator Roc Bellantoni’s defense, which has let opponents rack up at least 470 yards in each game this year. FIU has not scored more than 14 points in any game this season, but it will help to have a different dimension this week at quarterback.
What to Know About FIU
The Golden Panthers will be playing their first game since firing Turner, who was let go after the loss to UCF. Turner went just 10-30 during his tenure in the Sunshine State. Defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Ron Cooper will serve as the interim head coach for the remainder of the year, and he does have experience running a program as well as extensive experience as an assistant. He was the head man at Eastern Michigan and Louisville in the 1990’s, when he went a combined 22-33. Expect Cooper to keep things loose and just try to get his players to start having fun again after such a rough start.
Offense: FAU. Alexander gives FIU an intriguing threat at quarterback because of his running ability, but Driskel should find little resistance from the Golden Panthers when he drops back to pass.
Defense: Even. Neither unit has had much success slowing down opposing offenses this year.
Special Teams: Even. Both squads grade out well in the special teams efficiency ratings.
Coaching: FAU. The Golden Panthers are now under an interim head man.
Intangibles: FAU. What type of FIU squad will we see the rest of the year under Cooper? The Golden Panthers must play loose against a better Owls team.
Matchup To Watch
Driskel vs. FIU secondary
The sophomore Driskel has sandwiched two really good games around two stinkers, but those sluggish outings came against Miami and Kansas State on the road. He has tossed four interceptions, but three of those came against the Hurricanes and Wildcats. Against Southern Illinois and Ball State, he had five total touchdowns and just one interception. The Golden Panthers are in the middle of the pack versus the pass, so we’ll see how Driskel fares against a decent but not exceptional secondary.
FAU vs. FIU Betting Odds
Spread: FAU -5
FAU vs. FIU Prediction
The Golden Panthers will play hard, but the Owls are the better overall squad. It’s a league matchup, though, and FIU will play hard for Cooper. The quarterback position for the Golden Panthers just leaves too much to be desired.
FAU vs. FIU Score Prediction: FAU 27, FIU 19