Florida Atlantic Football Predictions

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Florida Atlantic Football Predictions

Florida Atlantic finished just 3-9 overall and 2-6 inside the Sun Belt in the first season under head coach Carl Pelini. While the record doesn’t look great the Owls made a lot of progress in 2012. After getting out-gained by nearly 128.9 ypg in conference play in 2011, Florida Atlantic actually out-gained opponents by an average of 11.0 ypg last season.

Pelini welcomes back 15 starters, but will have to replace key players on both sides of the ball. Offensively they must replace starting quarterback Graham Wilbert, who played exceptionally well for a team that won just three games. Wilbert completed 64.4% of his attempts for 2,819 yards with 18 touchdowns to just six interceptions. Given the improvements Wilbert made in the first season of the new system installed by offensively coordinator Brian Wright, there’s reason to be optimistic. Defensively they get back nine starters, but lose their top two tacklers in Brent Harstad and David Hinds.

Overall the Owls should be a better team than the one that took the field in 2012, but they could find it difficult to match last year’s win total. Florida Atlantic will be taking a big step up in competition, as they get ready to play their first season as a member of Conference USA.

Last Season
Sun Belt
Record
ATS Record
Over/Under
Points For
Points Against
T-8th
3-9
8-4
5-6
20.5
30.8
Key Numbers for 2013
Returning Starters
Returning to Offense
Returning to Defense
4 Year Recruiting Rank
Strength of Schedule
15
6
9
N/A
116th
126th
Head Coach Carl Pelini
Overall
ATS
Home
Home ATS
Road
Road ATS
3-9
7-4-1
2-3
1-3-1
1-6
6-1
Bowl Games
Bowl Games ATS
Off of a Bye
Off of a Bye ATS
Off of a Loss
Off of a Loss ATS
0-0
0-0
0-2
1-1
2-6
6-1-1
2013 Schedule
2013 Florida Atlantic Owls Schedule
Date Opponent
Spread (Est.)
Win Chance
8/30 @ Miami (Fl)
+34
0.00
9/5 @ East Carolina
+15
0.00
9/14 @ USF
+15
0.00
9/21 Middle Tennessee
-3
0.57
9/28 @ Rice
+10
0.23
10/5 @ UAB
+7
0.30
10/12 Marshall
+10
0.23
10/26 @ Auburn
+28
0.00
11/2 Tulane
-3
0.57
11/16 @ Southern Miss
+7
0.30
11/23 New Mexico St
-7
0.70
11/29 FIU
-3
0.57
Estimated Wins: 3.47

The Owls will once again play a brutal non-conference schedule, as they must go on the road to play Miami, USF and Auburn. They do get a winnable game at home against New Mexico State, but that doesn’t come until the second to last game of the season.

Playing on the road will be the theme for this team, especially early on. Florida Atlantic will open 2013 with five of their first six games on the road and will have just five home games all season. One of those home games comes against in-state rival FIU where there really isn’t much of a home-field advantage.

There’s a good chance the Owls will be sitting at 0-10 heading into their final two games of the season. Considering they are just 3-10 on the road over the last three seasons inside the Sun Belt, you can pretty much chalk up a loss in their seven road games in 2013. They figure to have little to no chance of beating Marshall at home and while they are expected to be favored against Middle Tennessee and Tulane at FAU Stadium, I have a hard time seeing them win either of those games.

Odds
Regular Season Win Total
C-USA Championship Odds
National Championship Odds
3.5
30 to 1
9,900 to 1
Odds Courtesty of Bovada
Season Predictions

The schedule simply doesn’t allow Florida Atlantic the opportunity to improve on last year’s win total. Even if they pull off an upset at home against Middle Tennessee or Tulane and close out with back-to-back wins over New Mexico State and FIU that still leaves them sitting at 3-9. That’s arguably the best case scenario for this team. If they do indeed start the season 0-10 they could easily throw in the towel and finish the year at 0-12.

I was impressed with the improvements Pelini made in his first season and I think he’s going to turn this program around in time, but there’s a lot of ground to be made up before they will be a competitive force in C-USA. The talent level just isn’t there right now and with a new starting quarterback I think the Owls are going to struggle to keep games close in 2013.

Even with all the struggles the Owls will likely encounter in the first two months of the season, I like their chances of closing out with a win over FIU to avoid the basement in the East.

2013 Projections
C-USA (East)
C-USA Record
Overall Record
Win Total Prediction
6th
1-7
2-10
Under (3.5)
Florida Atlantic Football Resources
More Florida Atlantic Football Predictions

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Conference USA
East
East Carolina Florida International Florida Atlantic Marshall
Middle Tennessee Southern Miss UAB
West
Louisiana Tech North Texas Rice Tulane
Tulsa UTEP UTSA
Conferences
ACC Big 12 American Athletic Big Ten
Conference USA Independents MAC Mountain West
Pac-12 SEC Sun Belt

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