You may remember from my ESPYs trip a few years back, that I was posted on the red carpet next to Joey Brander, a 15 year old sports broadcaster/journalist that runs www.gbsnsports.com. The following Fall, I had him on the Other Sideline for the Florida Atlantic game because he said he was a fan of the Owls and had covered them for years. I had him on again this summer.
Well now Joey is all grown up, and at 17 is an award-winning sports broadcaster/journalist. In September 2012, he became the youngest ESPN Radio host in the country, hosting his own show (The Joey Brander Show) on ESPN Radio in South Florida. He has previously worked for CBS and Radio Disney. Follow him on Twitter: @JoeyBrander.
1. What is a FAU fan’s first thoughts of Auburn football right now?
An FAU fan’s first thought of Auburn is what it should be, that they are one of the top teams in the country, and certainly a tough test to say the least for the Owls. Auburn has earned this respect from their opponents this season.
2. What has been the storyline for the Owls’ season so far?
The Owls have been up and down so far this season. The defense has been solid, as it was thought to be coming into the season, but the play of new Owl quarterback Jaquez Johnson has surprised some. He has been efficient throwing the ball and is second on the team in rushing. He adds a new dimension that the Owls have not previously had at the quarterback position.
3. How has the post-Schnellenberger era been in general?
The post-Schnellenberger era has been a disappointment for Owl fans record wise, however Schnellenberger’s final major accomplishment, the new on-campus stadium, has began its job of attracting fans and recruits alike.
4. Name two Owls that have shown out this year and should worry Auburn fans.
Jaquez Johnson, as previously mentioned, has made the Owls offense significantly more dynamic. His dual-threat ability has also opened up running lanes for tailback Jonathan Wallace, who is averaging close to five yards per carry. FAU’s problems over the past few years have never come from the defense, but rather from an inability to score, a problem that seems to be on the path to being solved.
5. Name two Auburn Tigers that worry you and why.
Tre Mason came into the season being heralded as one of the best running backs in the country, and he has been as good as advertised. Dee Ford has had five sacks in the past three weeks, and could be the difference maker when it comes to stopping the Owls running game.
6. What positional matchups will give FAU the most trouble?
In general, FAU will be outmatched by a bigger, stronger, faster SEC team. The Owls will have their hands full around the field.
7. What positional matchups will give Auburn the most trouble?
Nick Marshall has been inconsistent at quarterback for the Tigers, so the stout Owl defense could pose a problem for him. And not to be repetitive, but I really think Jaquez Johnson will be the difference maker for the Owls. If he is efficient, doesn’t turn the ball over, and opens up the field for his teammates, FAU might now get blown out.
8. What’s your score prediction for the game?
I think Auburn will win handily. I’m going with 35-10 Tigers.
9. Where will FAU and Auburn end up this season?
Auburn has proven that they can beat the top teams in the country, and could very well finish the year inside the top ten, with the Alabama game determining just how high they finish. FAU will not be bowl eligible by any means, but they have shown improvement in their quest to rebuild.
10. Is it true that Florida Atlantic was named by an Alabama fan? F-AU?
Haha, I’ll have to find out about that one.