Middle Tennessee vs. FAU prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the Blue Raiders and Owls on Saturday in Murfreesboro, TN.
Middle Tennessee vs. FAU Game Preview
When: Saturday, Nov. 26 – 5:30 p.m. ET
Where: Floyd Stadium, Murfreesboro, TN
The Blue Raiders (7-4, 4-3 Conference USA) are coming off of a 38-31 road win over Charlotte, as John Urzua threw for 250 yards and four touchdowns, and Ty Lee had the go-ahead 61-yard touchdown run with 1:12 left to help Rick Stockstill’s team eke out a victory.
Meanwhile, the Owls (3-8, 2-5) dropped a 42-24 decision to Old Dominion in Boca Raton last week, as Monarchs quarterback David Washington threw for 416 yards and five touchdowns to overcome a 14-3 first-quarter deficit. It was a far cry from last year’s meeting when Charlie Partridge’s team denied Old Dominion a bowl berth with a 33-31 victory.
In last year’s contest between these two teams in Boca Raton, Brent Stockstill threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns in a 24-17 Blue Raiders win. Middle Tennessee’s defense stepped up late, forcing FAU to turn the ball over on downs on its last two drives. Richie James finished with nine catches for 198 yards and two scores, while Shane Tucker added 103 yards on 25 carries for the Blue Raiders. FAU’s Jacquez Johnson had 214 yards through the air with two touchdowns and an interception.
What To Know About Middle Tennessee
One week after the Blue Raiders fell apart in the second half of their road game against Marshall, as they had a 17-14 lead at the break before being steamrolled in the second half and falling 42-17, Stockstill’s bunch received a nice effort from Urzua, who was forced into action after star quarterback Brent Stockstill was lost for the remainder of the regular season. While he did toss two more picks, he was efficient enough to help out a run game that produced 221 yards on the ground. It’s an offense that is not as potent without Stockstill, but it is still one of the best in C-USA, especially because of the ground game led by Ole Miss transfer I’Tavius Mathers.
What to Know About FAU
A week after Jason Driskel drove his team 96 yards late in the fourth quarter to help it notch a 35-31 come-from-behind win over UTEP, which was the second win in a row after going through a brutal seven-game losing streak, the defense let the Owls down. Partridge’s squad is giving up 491.7 yards per contest, as it’s been a rough year on both sides of the ball. Besides the rushing duo of Devin Singletary and Gregory Howell Jr., who each have over 775 yards and have combined for 21 touchdowns, not many others have stepped up. Driskel has just seven touchdowns against eight interceptions for the season.
Offense: Middle Tennessee. The Blue Raiders possess a different offense without Stockstill, but Mathers is a valuable weapon as a rusher and a pass-catcher.
Defense: Middle Tennessee. Neither unit is very good, but FAU is giving up a whopping 491.7 yards per contest.
Special Teams: Even. The Blue Raiders’ Canon Rooker is 16-of-19 on field goals, while the Owls’ Greg Joseph is 10-of-14 on the year.
Coaching: Middle Tennessee. Stockstill has become a name brand in Murfreesboro.
Intangibles: Middle Tennessee. It’s a home game for the Blue Raiders, and Stockstill’s squad is the more talented bunch.
Matchup To Watch
Urzua vs. FAU secondary
The Blue Raiders’ freshman signal-caller has thrown for 737 yards since replacing Stockstill, but he has tossed eight interceptions over the last three games. Mistakes will happen for a young player, but this is a home game against a pass defense that is allowing 269.0 yards per game. This offense is quarterback-friendly—so the mistakes should be limited.
Spread: Middle Tennessee -13.5
Middle Tennessee vs. FAU Prediction
The Owls should get another productive day on the ground from Singletary and Howell Jr., while Driskel should find some mild success through the air. But Urzua will continue to grow in this offense, as the Blue Raiders start to pull away late in the third quarter of a win.
Middle Tennessee vs. FAU Score Prediction: Middle Tennessee 37, FAU 24