Two teams with identical records and coming off big offensive games meet when UTSA visits Florida Atlantic.
Both are in their first season of AAC competition after competing in Conference USA. The winner is guaranteed to stay in first place in the AAC.
UTSA-FAU How To Watch
UTSA at Florida Atlantic, Saturday, 6 p.m. (ET)
UTSA (3-3, 2-0 AAC)
Florida Atlantic (3-3, 2-0)
UTSA-FAU Betting Line
UTSA -3.5 (-110)
Place College Football Wagers at BetMGM
UTSA: Jeff Traylor (33-13)
Florida Atlantic: Tom Herman (57-25 overall, 3-3 at FAU)
Oct. 20, 2020, FAU won 24-3 at home
The win increased FAU’s all-time series lead to 3-0. The key player was FAU’s Jayen Joyner, who had six tackles and a team-high 3.5 sacks. UTSA’s current QB Frank Harris, now in his seventh season, played in the game. He completed 12 of 26 for 109 yards, no touchdowns or interceptions. Harris also rushed for 66 yards on 14 carries.
Why This Game Is Important
Just look at the standings. Four teams enter this week 2-0 in the AAC and these are two of them. The others are Tulane and SMU. The winner clearly stays in the race while the losing team will already face an uphill battle since Tulane and SMU don’t figure to lose much, if at all. (Tulane and SMU don’t face each other in the regular season). The top two teams will play in the AAC championship.
Harris missed two games with a turf toe injury and UTSA lost both, 37-29 at home to Army and 45-14 at Tennessee. He has returned the last two games, a 49-34 win at Temple and last week’s 41-20 home victory over UAB.
In four games, Harris has completed 64.7% of his passes for 932 yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions. He has rushed for 75 yards (2.3 avg.) and one score. For his career, Harris has passed for 10,288 yards, 81 touchdowns, and 26 interceptions.
Kevorian Barnes has rushed for 413 yards (4.4 avg.) and four touchdowns while Robert Henry has rushed for 306 yards (7.1 avg.) and four scores.
Joshua Cephus has 45 receptions for 441 yards and six touchdowns.
UTSA place-kicker Chase Allen matched the school record for longest field goal with a 53-yarder against UAB.
Linebacker Trey Moore has a team-high 10 tackles for loss, including 7.5 sacks. Senior safety Rashad Wisdom became the first Roadrunner to eclipse 200 career solo tackles after posting three against UAB. UTSA, which had just three takeaways entering the UAB game, added three against the Blazers.
FAU lost starting quarterback Casey Thompson for the season with an ACL injury during a 48-14 loss at Clemson in the third game of the year. Thompson previously played at Texas and Nebraska and was in his sixth season of college football.
Daniel Richardson has completed 65.1% of his passes for 902 yards, five touchdowns and four interceptions. A junior, Richardson is a transfer from Central Michigan.
Senior running back Larry McCammon III has rushed for 442 yards (5.5 avg.) and five TDs in five games.
The Owls’ big-play threat is LaJohntay Wester. In last week’s 56-14 rout at South Florida, Wester had 10 receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown along with a 67-yard touchdown on his only punt return. He is currently the FBS leader in receptions per game (10.3). Wester has 62 receptions for 622 yards and three touchdowns. He is averaging 27.14 yards on seven punt returns. That would lead the nation, but he doesn’t have enough attempts to qualify.
Graduate school LB Jackson Ambush has a team-high 45 tackles.
I like UTSA -3.5
Have the Roadrunners fixed their early season offensive woes when they lost to Houston 17-14 and edged Texas State 20-13? That remains to be seen. The Roadrunners have averaged 45 points in the two games since Harris returned from injury, but that was against Temple and UAB, who allow 35.6 and 36.6 ppg. respectively. Still, Harris and the offense are getting comfortable, and they will need to against an FAU unit that is fifth in the AAC in scoring defense, allowing 23.2 ppg.
FAU is also coming off its best offensive game, but that was against a USF team that is 13th in the AAC in scoring defense, allowing 36.1 ppg.
The question is whether FAU can do enough in the passing game to take advantage of a less-than-average UTSA pass defense. The Roadrunners allow 257.2 passing yards per game, 11th in the AAC, and they have only intercepted two passes.
The key for UTSA is Harris. He has played better since his return, albeit against less-than-stellar competition and he still is the one player who can be the difference maker.