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UTEP at FAU: First Look At The Owls

Quick look at the Miners next opponent: the FAU Owls.

NCAA Football: Florida Atlantic at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The main struggle

FAU's main struggle has been the lack of efficient work on both sides of the ball.

The Owls rank 101st in the nation in offensive efficiency, and teams have a 46.7 percent success rate in driving efficiently against their defense.

Big runs from Greg Howell have been their main source of points or offensive success as he is averaging 5.1 yards per carry, and 6.9 yards per big run breaking those chunk yards 31.4 percent of the time.

Protecting quarterback Jason Driskel has also been an issue as he's been sacked 17 times, but again the big play in the passing game has also helped their offense.

FAU has big play ability on offense, but sustaining drives could be an advantage for a UTEP defense that doesn’t give up big plays too often.

Watch those running backs

Greg Howell can ball, and freshman Devin Singletary is starting to become a major factor in FAU's running game.

Howell has four-100 yard rushing games this season, and has only been slowed down twice against Kansas State, and WKU a few weeks ago.

While he's not a burner, the physical 6'1, 215 pound back is always moving forward and will test UTEP's toughness inside their front seven.

Singletary ran wild over struggling Rice last week, putting up 252 yards and three touchdowns and has had a nice stretch as of late. In his last 71 carries, Singleton is averaging 5.8 yards per carry, and has been the perfect complement along with Howell.

Trey Hendrickson is a future NFL-er

The preseason C-USA Defensive Player of The Year is having another solid season, and will be a major factor Saturday.

Hendrickson owns a number of FAU records and sits atop the following categories: tackles for a loss (37), yards from TFL (195), QB sacks, yards from sack (169), forced fumbles (T1 with8), QB hurries (20). He needs two blocked kicks to tie for the lead of five in that category and already has blocked three kicks this season.

He's currently second in the conference with eight sacks, and tied for second with 11.5 TFL's on the season. Along with linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair, these two could be the best defensive players UTEP will face down the final stretch of the season.

Musical chairs along the offensive line

In FAU's previous eight games this year, the Owls have used a different offensive line combination in each game due to an abnormal amount of injuries upfront.

Byers Hickmon (projected starter) was lost for the season in preseason then Reggie Bain was lost for the season one week prior to the opener. Antonyo Woods missed the opener and returned in game two and has played RG, RT and now LT. Both Roman Fernandez and Kelly Paritt suffered an injury in the Miami contest. Fernandez returned two games later and moved from center to left guard.

Brian Beck was the most consistent starter but was lost with a season ending injury, and it's been a revolving door even before the season started.