2011 Florida Gators Predictions: FAU Owls, Week 1
Part 2 of a series I have decided to create until football season starts back up. Every week I will introduce the next opponent in Florida's schedule and breakdown the game as well as make a prediction. This week is FAU.
Florida Atlantic University was anything but impressive in 2010, finishing with a 4-8 record (3-5 Sun Belt). They ended the season with the 108th ranked total offense and 85th ranked total defense.
FAU has yet to be a team to pull off a big upset against a team of credibility, and only moved to the FBS in this decade (why does it feel like the Sun Belt gets all the teams that move from the FCS to the FBS?).
However, FAU does have some offensive weapons the Gators need to prepare for: QB Jeff Van Camp and HB Alfred Morris. Camp stands aat a towering 6-6 at 222 lbs. The upcoming season he will be a senior with plenty of experience. Last year he threw for 2459 yards with a completion rate of 57.3%. He threw 17 TD and 13 INT and had a passer rating of 127.95.
However, he was sacked 34 times. In fact, he averaged about -16 yards a game. Of course, sacks aren't always a QB's fault, but 34 of them seem to indicate a lack of pocket presence.
On the other hand, FAU has a quality back in Morris who averaged 4.1 yards per rush and was only 72 yards away from a 1000 yard rush season.
One element that can never be forgotten is the coaching staff, FAU has legendary coach Howard Schnellenberger at their disposal. He revived a dying Miami Hurricanes team and coached them to a 1983 National Championship win over Nebraska. Nevertheless, he has only managed one respectable season at FAU in 2007 where they went 8-5 with a bowl win over Memphis.
Despite the positives of the FAU team, there is really no reason for the Gators to not be able to handle them. A 5-7 Texas team dismantled FAU 51-17 last season.
As long as the Gators don't play as if they are looking ahead in their schedule, the Owls will be the first "W" for Will Muschamp as a Head Coach.
Gators start slow but win 38-14 in the Swamp.
2011 Football Schedule Prediction
9/17/2011 vs. Tennessee
9/24/2011 at Kentucky
10/01/2011 vs. Alabama
10/08/2011 at LSU
10/15/2011 at Auburn
10/22/2011 Bye Week
10/29/2011 vs. Georgia*
11/05/2011 vs. Vanderbilt
11/12/2011 at South Carolina
11/19/2011 vs. Furman
11/26/2011 vs. Florida State