UTSA at FAU
Saturday, 5:00 PM CT on ESPN+
We close with a pair of teams that had fairly high expectations coming into the season and for various reasons, haven’t quite delivered on said expectations. But they’re starting to figure things out. UTSA and FAU both moved up to the AAC this season from Conference USA with hopes of contending for the league title.
That was particularly true for the Roadrunners, after winning at least 11 games the last two seasons. Their hopes at another massive season were slightly derailed early on with star QB Frank Harris missing time due to injury. But their AAC title hopes aren’t shot yet. All three of their losses came out of conference. Harris is back healthy now, and UTSA has begun to look like the team we thought they’d be. Their offense has scored at least 41 points the last two weeks. If the Roadrunner defense can start to settle in, they could certainly move back into AAC contention.
FAU as a AAC contender was more of a dark-horse projection. The Owls had a ton of production back from a team that was probably better than its 2022 record indicated. With former-Texas HC Tom Herman taking over and transfer QB Casey Thompson leading the offense, FAU seemed poised for a nice coming out party in their new conference.
But like UTSA, they took some lumps early on in the non-conference slate and were dealt an injury to their starting QB. But unlike Harris at UTSA, Thompson’s injury has knocked him out for the year. Central Michigan transfer Daniel Richardson has stepped in and been solid in his three games as a starter. He’s got an outstanding weapon to throw to in WR LaJohntay Wester, who already has 62 catches for 622 yards this season. And the Owls have been sneaky solid on defense.
These teams are rounding into form at just the right time. While I’d be surprised at this point to see either playing for the AAC championship, these are still two of the better teams in the league. This should be an entertaining game.