Senior WR Avery Holley has a career high 129 yards, and the Owls' lone score, in 44-7 loss to Trojans on senior day
It was Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger’s 300th career game, and it was Florida Atlantic’s final football contest at Lockhart Stadium, but the result is one that many would like to forget. The Owls 4-8 (3-5) fell 44-7 to conference rival Troy 7-5 (6-2) Saturday afternoon and ended the season with their third straight loss, by the worst margin in team history. Previously, that resided in the program's inaugural game against Slippery Rock (40-7).
“Obviously we’re very disappointed, we didn’t make a match out of it at all and we played poor football,” Schnellenberger said.
Both coaches and players failed to execute on the field against Troy, and the visitors jumped all over those mistakes, propelling themselves to their seventh victory in the last eight meetings between the programs.
The Trojans came into the matchup with the Sun Belt Conference’s leading passer in quarterback Corey Robinson, and his arm was on display as soon as the game kicked off. The quarterback helped the offense amass 307 total yards in the first two quarters and build a thirty-point halftime lead.
FAU’s quarterback senior Jeff Van Camp and the Owls offense on the other hand, weren’t finding similar success. The unit was held scoreless through the first three quarters and failed to convert on two trips into the red zone.
“When the offense wasn’t moving the ball, I feel like that’s what killed the momentum,” Van Camp said of the loss.
Multiple times throughout the game the quarterback was able to connect with one of his receivers for big yardage, but he could never manage to put a scoring drive together until the final period of play when the game was out of reach. Van Camp threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Avery Holley and the two gave the Owls their only points of the afternoon.
Holley had his best performance of the career, finishing with a game and career high 129 receiving yards in his last outing in a FAU uniform.
“Coming into this game I had in my mind that I was going to go out and give my best effort, for the seniors and the other guys on this team, because I feel like it is very important for us to come out try and get a win as you go out. I was told you’re only as good as your last performance,” Holley said.
While the passing game had some success with Van Camp’s 302-yards through the air on 21 completions, the run game could be credited with numerous problems. FAU was held to only 69 rushing yards and running back Alfred Morris was limited to 3.5 yards per carry.
Morris also committed one of the three turnovers for the afternoon, fumbling a hand off to end one of the red zone bids. Troy capitalized on the mistake and produced a touchdown for themselves and added to a lead that eventually reached 37-points.
The Trojans were able to produce 483 yards of total offense while scoring six touchdowns in the process. The yardage and points were the second highest totals FAU’s defense had allowed all season and the secondary had its worst showing to date.
Robinson totaled 305 yards passing with touchdown passes of 35, 38 and 72 yards. The three touchdown strikes were the most the school had given up since last year’s loss to Troy.
“We’re definitely going to take this taste into the off season and use it as some motivation for next year,” safety Marcus Bartels said.