Louisiana (7-4) at Florida Atlantic (3-8)|
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 1, 3 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: FAU Stadium (30,000) -- Boca Raton, Florida.
Television: None. Home Record: Louisiana 5-1, FAU 2-2. Away Record: Louisiana
2-3, FAU 1-6. Neutral Record: Louisiana 0-0, FAU 0-0. Conference Record:
Louisiana 5-2, FAU 2-5. Series Record: Florida Atlantic leads, 5-2.
GAME NOTES: The regular season will come to a close for a pair of Sun Belt
Conference teams on Saturday afternoon, as the Florida Atlantic Owls play host
to the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns.
Since suffering a heartbreaking loss at the hands of nationally-ranked Florida
on Nov. 10 (27-20), Louisiana has won back-to-back games against Western
Kentucky (31-27) and South Alabama (52-30). The Cajuns went into action last
Saturday afternoon with hope that they could still be crowned conference
champions, but that door has been closed as a pair of one-loss teams in
Arkansas State and Middle Tennessee will play for the title on Saturday.
Still, their season appears to have been strong enough for a bowl bid.
FAU won its season opener against Wagner (7-3), but then buried itself in the
SBC standings with a six-game losing streak. The Owls were able to redeem
themselves somewhat by winning two of three against Troy (34-27) and WKU
(37-28), but they slipped up last week in the Shula Bowl against FIU, 34-24.
The Owls have a 5-2 lead in the all-time series, but their four-game win
streak was snapped last year when the Cajuns came away with a 37-34 home
Louisiana is coming off a season-best 52 points and it has been one of the
most dynamic offenses in the conference (34.8. ppg, 442.8 ypg) thanks in large
part to its dual-threat under center.
Terrance Broadway completed just 11-of-19 passes in last week's win, but those
completions went for some huge plays as he finished with 305 yards and two
touchdowns, while adding 65 rushing yards and another score on the ground for
good measure. The sophomore is completing more than 65 percent of his passes
for 2,053 yards, has rushed for 473 yards, and has accounted for 18 total
touchdowns while throwing just eight interceptions.
Alonzo Harris (634 yards, five TDs) is the team's leading rusher, but he had
to miss last week's game with an injury. In his place, freshman Effrem Reed
(411 yards, five TDs) carried the ball a career-high 17 times for 81 yards and
Harry Peoples has been a beast in the last two weeks with 18 combined catches
for 310 yards, which has allowed him to separate himself from the rest of the
receiving corps with 60 receptions for 772 yards and five TDs. Darryl Surgent,
Javone Lawson, and Jamal Robinson all have at least 400 receiving yards and
Luckily for the Cajuns, their impressive offense has been able to mask their
suspect play on the defensive side of the ball, as they allow more than 28 ppg
and 418.7 ypg.
Rodney Gillis has been active in the turnover battle, creating five of the
team's 17 takeaways with four interceptions and a fumble recovery. Christian
Ringo (six sacks), Jermario Moten (three INTs), and Justin Anderson (82
tackles) are also putting together solid seasons.
FAU has struggled putting up points all season long, as it registers just 20.5
ppg on a mere 332.7 ypg.
Despite his offense's poor output on the scoreboard, Graham Wilbert has
quietly put together a strong season under center, completing 64.3 percent of
his passes for 2,436 yards with 16 touchdowns against only four interceptions.
The 403 yards he put up against FIU the last time out was a career-high.
William Dukes has been the Owls' busiest receiver with 54 receptions for 775
yards, but he has only recorded a pair of touchdowns. Nexon Dorvilus (30
receptions, 301 yards) has become Wilbert's favorite target in the red zone,
reeling in five touchdowns.
The FAU rushing attack hasn't gotten much going this season as it averages
just 3.1 yards per carry. Jonathan Wallace has been the most productive back
with 562 yards and five touchdowns.
The defensive effort has also been lackluster, but considering how poorly the
offense has played, the unit's numbers could be much worse (30.5 ppg, 402.4
Brentley Harstad has been one of the busiest safeties in the conference with a
team-high 97 tackles to go along with a pair of forced fumbles. Adarius
Glanton and Keith Reaser each have a pair of interceptions.
FAU has been a surprisingly tough draw in recent weeks with a pair of upset
wins over Troy and WKU, and it will surely get up to play in its finale at
home. That said, Louisiana has been very consistent this season, even on the
road. Broadway will make enough plays to lead the Cajuns to their eighth win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Louisiana 38, Florida Atlantic 28
11/28 10:53:21 ET