How Florida Atlantic can win:
Unless the Owls get a bunch of turnovers and make a whole lot of big plays on offense, they probably can’t win this game. But they certainly have the ability to make it very competitive and very interesting (I can sense UF fans starting to squirm already).
FAU has the kind of passing attack that has befuddled the young Florida defense all season. Quarterback Rusty Smith has a strong, accurate arm and he’s playing in a pro-style offense that has been consistently productive for legendary head coach Howard Schnellenberger.
The Owls are averaging almost 280 yards a game passing and will have the opportunity to create some drives against the UF defense. The Gators have improved in some areas, but last week’s victory at South Carolina again showed how susceptible this secondary can be.
If the Owls can sustain some drives and hit some big plays, this game could be very interesting. FAU’s biggest problem will be slowing down Tim Tebow and a UF offense that has scored 49 and 51 points in its past two games.
Why Florida will win:
The Gators have Tebow and simply too much offensive talent for this FAU defense to handle. The Owls are giving up 218.9 yards rushing and 409.0 total yards a game and have not been able to slow down the top teams on their schedule.
Oklahoma State put up 42 points on this defense, while Kentucky hit the Owls with 45.
If Tebow’s on (when isn’t he?), the Gators should be able to move up and down the field at will in this game and name their score.
The biggest concern from a UF standpoint is the pass defense. The Gators have shown some improvement in this area in the past two weeks and will receive another tough test from the FAU passing game.
This game probably will be interesting for most of the first half and FAU will put up some points, but the Gators will eventually pull away with their overall talent advantage.
Prediction: Florida 55, Florida Atlantic 28