Scouting Report: FAU Offense

FAU is a team that throws it (271) a lot better than they run it (120). They average about 27 points a game, but scored just six against Oklahoma State and 17 against Kentucky. They did rack up 42 points on Minnesota and scored 23 on a pretty good South Florida defense.

Quarterback --- The key guy for FAU is their quarterback, Rusty Smith who is a big, typical pocket passer type. The 6-5 sophomore has been solid all season and has some pretty good numbers (56 percent, 2,441 yards, 20/7). The interception/turnover ratio is pretty darn good. He doesn't move well, having gained just 20 yards running, but he hasn't been sacked a lot, either.

Running back --- Their top runner is Charles Pierre (547, 4.6, 6) who seems like a solid back without much big play potential. His back up, Di Ivory Edgecomb gives them a speed threat, but has been more effective as a receiver (18, 19.1, 3) than a runner (34-91, 2.7, 1). They make good use of their fullback, Willie Rose (47-232, 4.9) who is also a pretty good receiver as well (26, 6.8, 6). They like to throw too him around the goal line, as evidenced by the six touchdown receptions.

Receivers --- FAU's top receiver is actually an undersized tight end, Jason Harmon (44, 13.5, 3). Harmon reminds me a little of Kirk Kirkpatrick of the Gators in 1990 as a guy who takes advantage of favorable match ups on the inside. Cortez Gent (43, 14.2, 5) is the best outside guy and they also make use of Chris Bonner (18, 15.7, 1).

Offensive line --- The FAU offensive line is just alright, nothing special there. The best player is probably the left tackle, Brandon Jackson. The center, Nick Paris is pretty good as well and like most centers is the guy making the calls and setting the tone. They are somewhat undersized compared to what UF is used to.

Overall, this offense is not one that should give the Gators too much trouble, but will have some success on Saturday. They are very much like Western Kentucky and Troy in that they have a couple of decent receivers and a capable quarterback who can hurt you if you let him. Florida needs to establish control of the line of scrimmage from the very first snap and play more like they did against Vanderbilt in terms of aggressiveness on the underneath routes. Five different FAU receivers have caught passes of 45 yards or more, so the Gators also need to avoid giving the Owls anything easy. Florida held Western Kentucky to just three points, but Troy scored 31. Look for FAU to do something about halfway in between.

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Larry Vettel


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