Florida Atlantic-Kansas State
Start Time: 2:30 PM EST
Location: Bill Snyder Family Stadium , Manhattan, Kansas
Records: FAU: 1-1. KSU: 0-1. Kansas State leads the all-time series 1-0.
Live Stats: Here.
Line: KSU: -19 Over/Under: 48
A week after getting throttled in Miami by the Hurricanes, the Owls play their second road game against a Power Five opponent in Kansas State.
While the Wildcats dropped their first game to Stanford, a week off gives them an early recovery to begin the season on the right foot.
With the Owls trying to play spoiler, both teams are set play out the second ever meeting between programs. Let’s hope it won’t be the lopsided blowout it was in 2006…
Florida Atlantic Outlook:
Running back Greg Howell could not find what made him successful in the Southern Illinois game, as he was held to only one score and 75 yards last week. The Wildcats were phenomenal in keeping Christian McCaffrey to 126 yards, but he did score twice. Howell will have to find that spark to build up his yard total and stifle the defense that held one of the best backs in the nation at bay.
On the offensive line, the Owls have Kelly Parfitt listed as doubtful after he was injured in the Miami game. Combine that with Reggie Bain’s accident and quarterback Jason Driskel now will have to continue adjusting to his new blockers. Six sacks last week stalled the team, so a repeat failure will not help offensive coordinator Travis Trickett’s offense get off the ground.
Driskel looked out of sorts last Saturday, as he allowed Miami to control the pace of his playcalling. To have success in this game, there can be no slip ups with the new office and he can’t make stupid mistakes early.
On defense, Miami quarterback Brad Kayaa was held to no touchdowns and two picks but the Hurricanes’ run game was able to move freely against the Owls. While K-State’s leading rusher only had 43 yards last week, this week they’ll be much better.
FAU will have to be on its toes and capitalize on slip-ups by the Wildcats. They hung in early with Miami, but had chances on an early interception and a blocked field goal to score first and didn’t.
Kansas State Wildcats Outlook:
In their first game, the offense had an uphill battle versus the No. 8 ranked Cardinal. Quarterback Jesse Ertz threw for 207 yards and a score, but was 16-for 34 on completions and threw an interception. Ertz will have to be more careful, as the Owls posses defensive playmakers like defensive back Jalen Young and safety Ocie Rose in the secondary that will make him pay if he is lax.
Ertz did spread the ball well to his receivers, leaving Dominique Heath, Deante Burton and Charles Jones with four receptions each. Isaiah Zuber, who caught the lone receiving touchdown, had three receptions. If those receivers are all getting catches, K-State could potentially make the Owls pay.
The previously mention running game will need to be available for short yardage situations if the Wildcats want the edge. Charles Jones doesn’t need 200 rushing yards to have an amazing game, but he does need to gain first downs and score in goal line situations when called upon.
If Kansas State can hold FAU to the amount of yardage they allowed Stamford, that will be a major momentum stopper for the Owls. Combine that with big games from Dante Barnett and Jordan Willis if they can get to Driskel, and the Wildcats will easily have another W.
Kansas State will come in with a pair of helpful factors with their previously mentioned bye week and home-field advantage. Florida Atlantic has played teams well away from home recently, but can’t let up the pressure early.
To win, FAU must keep its no-huddle offense on the move and can’t let it trip up. Greg Howell will have to help set up the pass option with a good running game and defense has to force turnovers and serve as a sparkplug if the offense lulls.
Kansas State also needs a better game from its running backs and will need to stall FAU’s tempo by sending pressure to the quarterback. If Zack Ertz can beat the defense and spread the ball around, it’s likely his team will have some breathing room to make big plays.
The Owls will play the Wildcats close early, but a lack of scoring will allow K-State to pull away. No planned upset tracker Saturday, unfortunately.
KSU 24, FAU 10