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Preview, How to Watch: Air Force looks to get right vs. FAU

The Falcons welcome an Owls squad to town for a battle of the non-conference birds.

NCAA Football: Utah State at Air Force Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve all had some time to exhale after the high-scoring shootout against Utah State last weekend. The Falcons sit at 2-1 on the year after coming up just short against an Aggie team that got hot in the second half.

Now, it’s time for a battle of the birds before Air Force dives into the real meat of its Mountain West slate. That’s right, the Owls of Florida Atlantic will migrate to Colorado for the weekend as both teams hope to emerge 3-1.

The good news is that Florida Atlantic hasn’t put up its wins against terribly impressive opposition. Its two victories have come against Fordham and Georgia Southern, who have a combined 1-5 record. Unfortunately, the Falcons have only topped Navy and Lafayette, which offer a total record of 0-5.

Alright, let’s get to the preview:

Air Force offense vs. FAU defense

NCAA Football: Utah State at Air Force Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons had no problem imposing their will on Utah State last week. After all, this is a team that put up over 500 yards of total offense and 45 points in a loss. Haaziq Daniels passed his way to 182 yards on just six completions while adding nearly 80 more yards and a touchdown with his legs.

He’ll look to set the tempo early with help from Brad Roberts and fullback Emmanuel Michel, both of whom eclipsed the 100-yard mark last weekend against the Aggies. They’ll be facing an Owls defense that has given up as many rushing yards as it has earned, though, once again against weaker competition.

In its opening tilt against Florida, the Owls let four rushing touchdowns get past them along with a rushing score by Georgia Southern on an extended drive.

Right now, Florida Atlantic has a trio of defenders leading the way, with Caliph Brice, Jordan Helm, and Teja Young all totaling more than 20 tackles. The Owls have racked up five interceptions as well, which might suggest that Air Force veers away from the 12 attempts it had last week.

Air Force defense vs FAU offense

NCAA Football: Utah State at Air Force Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Owls appear to run a pass-first offense under Willie Taggart, and it’s working well for them so far. Miami transfer N’Kosi Perry has completed 65 of his attempts for 871 yards and seven touchdowns against zero interceptions. FAU spells Perry with a pair of rushers in Malcolm Davidson and Johnny ford, with 165 and 133 yards, respectively.

It’s a safe bet to assume that the Owls will hope to open things up through the air against a Falcons squad that allowed 457 yards to the combo of Logan Bonner and Andrew Peasley. The duo landed five passing touchdowns against Air Force, too, which is nearly as many as N’Kosi Perry has all season.

Air Force gave Tre Buggs III, Demonte Meeks, and Jordan Jackson the honor of serving as captains last week, and it will need high-end performances out of all three if the Falcons have a hope of defending their turf this weekend. Meeks and TD Blackmon currently lead the team with 15 and 17 stops, and Corvan Taylor has a pair of interceptions so far.

How to Watch

  • When: Saturday, Sept. 25 — 8:00 p.m. ET
  • Where: Falcon Stadium — Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Watch: FS2, Cory Provus and Devin Gardner will have the call.
  • Spread: Air Force is currently a 4.5-point favorite with the over-under set at 54.