The non-conference schedule has not been kind to Lane Kiffin’s Florida Atlantic Owls. They opened against Oklahoma and future number one pick Kyler Murray last year and against #5 Ohio State and talented freshman Justin Fields this year.
Both times they were beat badly on national television.
These “money” games are also called “opportunity” games by those coaches who want to motivate their charges with this kind of thinking. When an upset happens, we are all excited for it, but when the team gets beat down looking a clear second-best on the day? Well, it makes everyone question why they do it in the first place.
FAU is still talented for CUSA, but not anything comparable to the nation’s best teams. This is nothing shocking, but it adds to the poor showing overall for the league. Bowl wins are nice, but non-conference play is when most people are paying attention.
FAU will be fine — they dominated the league after a poor non-conference showing a couple of seasons ago, but the is not the most moralizing start. They take on UCF next week.
The defense looked unprepared, leaving wide open receivers to start the game before setting in for a bit. The offense looked overmatched until Ohio State let up late. Kiffin has a week to get his guys ready for the next one.