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Florida Atlantic Owls preview

Defensive tackle Brandin Bryant, who tore an ACL last season, is expected to have a big role in 2015. David Manning/USA TODAY Sports

The Owls play a pair of formidable in-state foes in Florida and Miami. That won’t help the win column much in ’15.

Offense

How the Owls beat you: Coach Charlie Partridge foresees designed runs for senior Jaquez Johnson in ’15 (46.6 rush ypg, No. 21 among FBS QBs), especially with four O-line starters back.

How you can beat the Owls: FAU stalls often (42 three-and-outs in ’14). Last year’s top WR is gone, so Partridge hopes soph TE Dustin Bowens emerges as a third-down guy.

Defense

How the Owls beat you: Partridge calls senior DT Brandin Bryant an “NFL candidate” when healthy. Bryant’s return from injury will bolster a pass rush that recorded only 23 sacks in ’14.

How you beat the Owls: With MLB Andrae Kirk gone and FAU’s penchant for the nickel, offenses might steamroll again via big runs (25 rushes of 20-plus yards allowed).