Shula Bowl Pits FAU vs. FIU
MIAMI, Fla. (CBSMiami.com) – The Florida Atlantic Owls are arguably the worst team in the Football Bowl Subdivision this season; and it doesn’t look like a victory is coming Saturday as the Owls travel to Miami to battle Florida International University.
FIU comes into the game after a heart-breaking one point loss to Western Kentucky last Saturday. The Panthers are trying to secure their sixth win of the season, which would make the squad bowl eligible.
FIU’s problems revolve around a defense that is statistically good, but can’t hold onto leads in the second half. According to cfbstats.com, FIU’s defense is the second best scoring defense in the Sun Belt Conference, allowing just 21 points per game.
Overall, FIU allows just 347.4 yards per game to opponents, which ranks FIU third in the conference in total defense.
Offensively, FIU is averaging just fewer than 24 points per game this season. The year started off gangbusters for FIU as they rode T.Y. Hilton as long as they could.
But, Hilton broke down mid-season and the FIU passing offense has sputtered even when Hilton is in the lineup.
Statistically speaking, FIU is in the middle of the pack in the Sun Belt Conference in total offense. According to cfbstats.com, FIU averages 380.9 yards per game, or roughly 5.6 yards per play.
Luckily for FIU, FAU is coming to town with a winless record and is abysmal on both sides of the football. It’s a sad state of affairs for legendary coach Howard Schnellenberger, who is in his final season as a head coach for FAU.
The Owls rank 119th out of 120 teams in the FBS when it comes to points scored per game, at just 12.9 points per game. FAU averages 136.8 yards per game in the air and just 91.8 yards per game rushing the football.
On the defensive side of the ball, FAU is allowing 35 points, 166 yards in rushing, and 219.5 passing yards per game. Overall, FAU’s total defense ranks 67th in the country, according to cfbstats.com.
If FAU wants to pull an upset, they have to protect the quarterback. That’s easier said than done against FIU’s pass rush.
The Panthers have sacked opponents’ quarterbacks 24 times this season, good for second best in the Sun Belt Conference.
The game kicks off at FIU stadium at 6:00 p.m. Saturday evening. It will not be shown on television.