BOCA RATON – FAU’s 34-31 loss at Buffalo highlighted some of the areas where FAU is struggling – both offensively and defensively.
Not all is bad, however.
Heading into Conference USA several FAU players can be found near the top of several statistical categories within the conference.
Start with the running backs, where three FAU ball carriers are among the Top 11 in yards per carry.
Texas-San Antonio’s Brett Winnegan leads the Conference USA chart by averaging 15.8 yards per carry, but he only has six carries on the season. Among those with at least 15 carries FAU running back Buddy Howell leads the way with a 12.1 average.
Kerrith Whyte averages 6.5 yards per carry, which places him tenth in the league, sixth among those with at least 15 carries. One spot behind Whyte is FAU’s lead back, Devin Singletary, who is averaging 6.4 yards per carry.
Singletary, sophomore, is also second in both total rushing yards, 359, and rushing touchdowns with five, despite only seeing a handful of carries in the Owls’ season opener.
“Outside of the one fumble, he’s played as well as anybody on our team, certainly offensively,” FAU coach Lane Kiffin said. “It’s been great to see. He had a great first year last year and think he’s even gotten better like most people do in their first or second year.”
Despite what Kiffin considered to be a subpar game against Buffalo, wide receiver DeAndre Johnson remains second in Conference USA in average receiving yards per game with 74.5. With two TD receptions, McNeal is tied for fifth in the conference.
Defensively, linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair is third in the conference in tackles per game with 9.7. Not playing against Buffalo didn’t count against his average.
Cornerback Chris Tooley’s two interceptions are tied for the most among C-USA defenders.
FAU as a team doesn’t lead any of the important statistical categories, but the Owls are last in two telling ones.
The 259.5 rushing yards per game they’ve surrendered this season are the most in the conference by more than 50 yards (viewed a different way, that makes FAU the leader in rushing yards allowed) and FAU only averages 23:33 of offensive possession in a game. That’s the least in Conference USA.