Lane Kiffin has not proven than he can be a head football coach, and last week did nothing to suggest he is ready. Navy ran the Owls off the field in a 42-19 blowout. It could have been worse, but a lengthy rain delay took the air out of the last 10 minutes of the game. I think if there weren’t any delays, Navy would have tacked on another score. The rain broke their stride in a sense.
FAU faces another running beast in Week 2 against the Wisconsin Badgers. Wisconsin and Navy both run the ball effectively, but go about it in entirely different ways. Navy operates out of the triple-option, as it gets defenders out of position with multiple misdirections and trickery in the backfield. Wisconsin, though, chooses to just run you over.
The Badger offensive line sets up and just outmuscles the guys on the other side. This has been the mantra at Wisconsin. Even when Russell Wilson started here for a year, they stuck to that philosophy and plowed over teams on the ground. Wilson is long gone, but Wisconsin is still running the ball effectively. The Badgers haven’t had a quarterback as effective as Wilson since he left. Nevertheless, if Alex Hornibrook shows improvement, Wisconsin will have an offense that is difficult to slow down.
Hornibrook appeared in 12 games a year ago as a redshirt freshman and there were some mixed reviews. He wasn’t expected to torch the field with his arm, but he could have had a better touchdown to interception ratio at 9:7. However, Hornibrook really got off to a fast start last week, looking like a totally different quarterback. He threw for 3 touchdowns and no interceptions with 244 yards.
The offense was stale in the 1st quarter, actually putting up no points and only 10 in the second quarter. Once things came together, the Badgers were feeling it with 49 points in the second-half alone. There were four different Wisconsin running backs that hit the end zone.
For FAU, they had their hands full against the Navy rushing attack, allowing Zach Abbey to rush for a whopping 235 yards and 2 touchdowns. In total, Navy gashed the Owls for 416 yards on the ground. We’ll see if they can improve on defending the run in Week 2. Head below for our free FAU vs. Wisconsin pick for early Saturday afternoon.
FAU Owls vs. Wisconsin Badgers Betting Odds:
vs. Wisconsin -31.5(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
FAU vs. Wisconsin Pick:
FAU must find a way to plug up several holes against Wisconsin or it’s going to be a long day at the office. The Owls’ defense has to be gassed from trying to run down Navy last week, and now they have a mountain of an offensive line across from them. Yeah, it’s only Utah State, but if the Aggies are known for anything it’s the defense. They typically have a defense that gets the job done, but they were worn out as the game went on.
Last year the Owls surrendered 513.8 yards per game and 39.8 points. It doesn’t figure to get any better. They wanted to run a 4-3 defense originally, but didn’t have enough personnel at linebacker to make it work. FAU’s career sack leader, Trey Hendrickson, left for the NFL to leave yet another void on their defense. They were one of the worst defenses a year ago, so the idea was that they have to improve. I’m not so sure they’re going to improve at all, though.
They are not going to improve against this Wisconsin offense this week. I think right out of the gate Wisconsin is going to play well on offense, unlike against Utah State. You have to think coaches were drilling it into their heads that they can’t have another slow start. Against a good team, that could have resulted in a loss.
Lane Kiffin is an offensive mind, so if anything, the offense will get better before the offense does. They scored just 19 points last week, but bad weather played some of a role. Kendal Briles, the son of Art Briles, is the offensive coordinator. Kendal brings some of the elements of the Baylor offense over to Boca Raton, but I expect it to take some years to blossom.
FAU will be playing in nice weather on Saturday, but are up against a pretty good Wisconsin defense now. If they play reasonably well, FAU should hit 15-20 points. Problem being, Wisconsin should be able to slice through this defense for 50+ points. The spread in this game might be tight, with perhaps the opportunity for a backdoor. Nevertheless, Wisconsin is going to pummel the FAU defense and it should get uglier than last week. As I said, the spread might be iffy, but there should be enough points here to put it OVER the number.
PICK: OVER 59 (-110)