For the first time this year on the road FAU came out of the locker room with a sense of urgency. FAU scored on their first three possessions. On the game’s first play from scrimmage, Lucky Whitehead took a jet sweep and raced 80 yards for a touchdown. The next possession, FAU got in the red zone and Greg Joseph made a 25 yard field goal. On the Owls’ final possession of the first quarter, Jaquez Johnson ran through MTSU defenders to punch it in from one yard out. Three possessions. Three trips in the red zone. 17 Points.
The 17 points scored in the first quarter were the most FAU has scored all season on the road. For a team that has had difficulty starting games fast, it was nice to see the players and coaching staff rectify a problem that’s plagued the team all season long.
Jay Warren’s Return
Two carries. Six yards. That was Jay Warren’s stat line before last night’s game. Fumbling issues forced him to the bench which paved the way for others to be the feature back. However, Warren was given the ability to be the lead back once again and looked good in his return. After missing the last two games with an apparent head injury, Warren carried the ball 26 times, for 95 yards. His longest carry was a 22 yard gain in which he displayed quick agility and toughness, running through arm tackles to get to the next level of the defense.
Productivity has never been Warren’s problem. Despite missing three games and being barely used in one, the sophomore running back still leads the team with 536 rushing yards. If Warren has gotten over his fumbling issues, and Howell returns from his hamstring injury, the two can provide a nice one-two punch for the Owls in the next several years.
Bottom of the Pack
When rebuilding a program, a coach will go through many battles and experience many lows during his first year. With some coaches, such as Charlie Strong at Texas, its winning over the locker room and getting players to buy in. For others, its getting players over the mental hurdle and getting them to believe that they can win games. Count head coach Charlie Partridge in the latter. FAU’s one point loss to MTSU is now their third one possession loss on the road this year. With the loss, FAU will now finish the season having lost all seven of their road games, and finish last in C-USA East whether they defeat Old Dominion in the home finale next week or not. With another heartbreaking loss, Partridge hopes that next year the coaching staff, himself, and the players, will have learned from their mistakes in close games to be a better team.
- Lucky Whitehead’s (photo above) 80 yard rushing touchdown is FAU’s longest run from scrimmage in history.
- The scamper was also the fastest score in FAU history, taking only 18 seconds off the clock.
- DB Cre'von LeBlanc (photo top) registered his third straight contest with nine tackles, and also led the team in the category.
- FAU led MTSU for 59 minutes and 23 seconds.
- The Owls have lost five games by four points or less in their last 20 games.
- Jenson Stoshak had a game high nine catches, and also led both teams in receiving yards with 93.
- FAU has now lost four straight games in a season for the sixth time in seven years.