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2013 Florida Atlantic
Schedule and Odds
Even with only three wins last year, Florida Atlantic tripled their win total from 2011 in Carl Pelini's first season. It's going to be much harder to show improvement in his second year as they make a transition to Conference USA.
The Owls ran a spread offense last year with everyone being relatively new to the style after their former coach ran more of a pro style set. The offense did improve which is a good sign. With a lot of skill position players returning, it's at quarterback where FAU needs to find their guy in a race between three candidates. If the starter can pick up where they left off with Graham Wilbert last season, they will be just fine offensively. All of Florida Atlantic's top receivers are back like William Dukes (63 catches, 979 yards). Leading rusher Jonathan Wallace is also back although his numbers weren't that great averaging 3.8 yards per carry. The running game will likely be a problem once again as they only have two returning linemen.
The defense will have to improve on last year's struggles when they allowed over 200 yards per game on the ground. Losing the majority of their front seven hurts, but they are getting back some key players that are returning from injury. Linebackers Andrae Kirk and Adarius Glanton will likely be the top tacklers in this unit. The secondary gets three starters back which should help.
2013 Florida Atlantic Football Preview
Aug. 30 at Miami (FL)
Sept. 5 at East Carolina
Sept. 14 at South Florida
Sept. 21 vs. Middle Tennessee
Sept. 28 at Rice
Oct. 5 at UAB
Oct. 12 vs. Marshall
Oct. 26 at Auburn
Nov. 2 vs. Tulane
Nov. 16 at Southern Miss
Nov. 23 vs. New Mexico State
Nov. 29 vs. Florida International
A major problem for Florida Atlantic this year is their opening schedule. They start the season on the road in five of their first six games. To make matters worse, none of those early road games will come easily against teams like Miami (FL) and high-scoring East Carolina.
It doesn't get much easier either with games against Mid Tennessee and Rice toward the end of September. Even UAB will be a tough game on the road. It's a wonder when the Owls will get their first win because their first two home games are against difficult opponents. Unless they get an early season upset, their first win may have to wait until November when they face Tulane. From there, it should be smoother sailing.
While the beginning of FAU's schedule is rough, it ends nicely for a possibility at four straight wins. Of course their confidence could be shot at that point, but as long as they stay strong, the wins will be there for the taking. If their new QB can get the ball to playmakers, the Owls should be able to stay close in plenty of games.
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