TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (CBSMiami) – Florida Atlantic coach Carl Pellini knew he was going to have a tough job trying to build a program at the school, but it doesn’t get any tougher than what Pellini has to face this weekend when his Owls team heads to Tuscaloosa to play the number one ranked Alabama Crimson Tide.

FAU is looking to avoid a three-game losing streak when it plays Alabama on Saturday. The Owls have lost two straight this year, 31-17 against Middle Tennessee and 56-20 against Georgia. However, the Owls did play Georgia well for most of the first half last week.

While Alabama head coach Nick Saban has spent part of the past few weeks criticizing the media for putting Alabama at the top of the college football world; it’s easy to see why the Tide are riding high right now.

Alabama has shut out its last two opponents, including last week’s 52-0 demolition of what was supposed to be an SEC West power Arkansas Razorbacks team. Alabama was never threatened by the Razorbacks and the Tide’s defense took Arkansas’ once-vaunted offense behind the proverbial woodshed.

Alabama is looking for their third straight shutout for the first time since 1966 did it four games in a row.

Alabama’s defense is again in the top 3 in the country, allowing just 4.7 points per game on the young season. The Tide is giving up just 57 rushing yards per game and 152.3 yards passing per game, according to cfbstats.com.

Currently, Alabama is ranked sixth in the country in total defense, giving up just 210 yards per game to opponents.

FAU is walking into the Alabama game with an offensively challenged team. The Owls rank 119th out of 124 teams in scoring, managing just 14.7 points per game. This includes a 7-3 victory over lower division Wagner to start the season.

On the flip side, Alabama comes in with an offense that is averaging 42.7 points per game this season, which far eclipses recent Tide teams. FAU’s defense is giving up 30 points per game, which ranks it 87th in the nation, according to cfbstats.com.

Alabama is a 49.5 point favorite over Florida Atlantic on Saturday.

The game kicks off at 6 p.m. Eastern Time and can be seen on ESPN3.com.


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