FAU is off to a hot start, can Willie Taggart keep them rolling against rival FIU?
In his return to South Florida, Taggart has inherited a talented team from Lane Kiffin and is making the most of this unconventional season. Despite the loss of star QB Chris Robeson, FAU has continued their winning ways with Nick Tronti under center. The Owls sit at 3-1 overall but have not faced much stiff competition. Their wins have come over (2-3) Charlotte, (4-4) UTSA, and (2-6) Western Kentucky with the sole loss being to #16 Marshall. Is FAU for real or just the benefactors of an easy schedule?
Florida International on the other hand, is pretty bad. Butch Davis up to this year has done a remarkable job building a program at FIU, taking the Panthers to a bowl game each of his 3 years. FIU started out the year with a 2 point loss to Liberty, a loss that has looked increasingly better throughout the year. From there it has been all downhill. The Panthers followed this up with two embarrassing losses to Middle Tennessee and worse, FCS Jacksonville State. A win tonight though could be a huge morale boost though as Butch Davis has never beaten FAU in his 3 year tenure at FIU. Look for RB D'vonte Price to have a big game tonight against FAU's defensive front.
Florida Atlantic is 13-5 all time vs Florida International in the Shula Bowl. This year should be no different as FAU rolls to 4-1 keeping FIU in the CUSA East cellar and taking its 4th straight Shula Bowl victory.