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Game 2 Preview: Miami Hurricanes Football Looks to Go 2-0 Vs FAU

Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Last week UM stormed out of the gates, and took down BCU 45-0 from the friendly (and now snazzy) confines of Sun Life Stadium.

Tonight (8PM EST FOXS1), things will be a little different as they hit the road and take on a slightly tougher Florida Atlantic squad.

The Owls did lose their opener, 47-44 to Tulsa.

But Charlie Partridge's squad has made some improvements the last few years (particularly in recruiting) and their offense led by QB Jacquez Johnson and a diverse running game,  can really put some points on the board.

All in all, a more complete Miami team should nonetheless dominate.

But if FAU keeps it competitive for a few quarters, do not be shocked. Partridge's  loves to call trick plays and could throw the kitchen sink at the 'Canes.

The Hurricanes will also have to make do with out injured WRs Braxton Berrios (knee) and Stacy Coley (hamstring) as well.

Here's a closer look at what to expect:

When Miami has the football:  On the one hand, minus Berrios and Coley you might think that UM would be more prone to run the ball with sensational freshman Mark Walton and rising sophomore Joe Yearby.  However, the secondary is a real weakness for the Owls. They had tons of busted coverages last week and if Tulsa can light up Florida Atlantic for 424 yards through the air, imagine what Brad Kaaya can do to them.  Look for lots of targets to Rashawn Scott (100 yard receiving in the opener) but also for Herb Waters, Malcolm Lewis, and freshman Lawrence Cager to be heavily involved in the passing game.  In the red zone improving TEs Standish Dobard  and David Njoku are weapons that should be too much to handle for Cre'von LeBlanc and the FAU secondary (the D as a whole will also be missing top defender Robert Relf). And Walton and Yearby can also make plays out of the backfield. I expect Kaaya to be protected well and  have a break out performance, and also spread the ball around to Miami's many weapons.

When FAU has the football:  Johnson can move a little (he also wears #32), but looks very comfortable in the pocket as well and throws a pretty deep ball.  Their other main weapon is a speedy bowling ball of a back in 6'1 205 pound Coconut Grove product Greg Howell. UM's front 7 led by LBs Jermaine Grace and Raphael Kirby need to do a good job wrapping up Johnson, back up RB Jay Warren,  and Howell on early downs. If they do they will be able to send some blitz's Johnson's way, but also hopefully generate pressure with the front 4 led by Ufomba Kamalu, Chad Thomas, and Al-Quadin Muhammad (returning from suspension).  Jenson Stoshak is a talented senior WR, but Artie Burns and/or Corn Elder should be up to the challenge of covering him.  FAU will try to play fast, and run a lot of plays, so the Miami defense will need to substitute liberally to stay fresh. Do not expect a shut out in this one!

Prediction:  Florida Atlantic starts the game fast and finds some success against the UM D.  They'll empty the play book to try and get their sell out home crowd excited and maybe put some doubt in the mighty 'Canes. But their D is just not stout enough to keep Miami from answering repeatedly behind Kaaya and Walton.  Eventually Al Golden's defense produces a few timely stops, and the Hurricanes pull away to a 45-24 win.

Enjoy the game 'Canes fans.