FAU Nips UTSA 41-37 With Late Game Heroics
Every quarterback dreams of a chance to lead his team for a game winning touchdown drive. With 93 yards to go and a little over 2 minutes left, Jaquez Johnson got that chance.
And boy did he deliver.
Trailing 34-37 late in the fourth quarter, Johnson executed the two-minute drill to perfection, connecting with four different receivers before hooking up with true freshman Nate Terry (photo center) on a 15 yard fade route for the game winning touchdown with 20 seconds left to win the game.
Nate Terry recorded his first career reception on a game winning touchdown. A rare feat.
"We run it all the time in practice," said Terry of the play called his way.
"It takes a lot of courage by Brian Wright," said Partridge of the offensive coordinator. " We see Terry make those plays in practice so give him that recognition to make that play call and Terry for making a tremendous play."
If Terry and Johnson are the heroes, Greg Joseph is the unsung hero, as he made a play not with his leg, but with a tackle to prevent Roadrunner Brady Jones from returning the sequential kickoff for a touchdown, tackling him at the 13 yard line.
"Biggest tackle of my career," said Joseph. "If Joseph doesn't make that tackle the game is over," said Johnson.
From there the defense took over. With 13 seconds left the Owls forced two incompletions to end the game and give the Owls their second win on the year, opening the conference slate at 1-0 for the first time in eight years.
Redemption for Greg Joseph, who missed an extra point earlier in the game.
Redemption for Johnson, who followed up last week's performance with four total touchdown and nearly 300 passing yards.
Redemption for the defense, as they allowed the game winning drive last week against Wyoming.
The game started slow for the Owls as they faced a 10 point deficit after two straight possessions to start the game ended with turnovers. FAU finished the first quarter scoring as Johnson connected with Jenson Stoshak on 47 yard touchdown to trim the deficit to three.
The Owls continued to battle back as Cre'von Leblanc returned his first career interception 76 yards for a touchdown. After Andre Kirk, who finished the game with a career high 13 tackles, intercepted a pass, Johnson gave the Owls the lead after a 24 yard rushing touchdown.
The lead was short-lived as UTSA quarterback Tucker Carter connected with Kenny Harrison for a 53 yard touchdown pass with 4 seconds left in the second quarter to give the Roadrunners a 24-20 lead before the half.
FAU trailed for a majority of the game but continued to fight, scoring the game's final 14 points over a 4:20 time span and finishing the contest with 409 total yards on offense.
"There could have been that 'Here we go again' response, and there was not that tonight" said Partridge. "The players and the assistant coaches deserve all of the credit."
"We survived tonight," said Johnson.
Now at 2-3 overall, FAU is hungry to get to .500 and help their post season chances. But they will have a shortened prep period, as they go up against long time rival Florida International next Thursday in Miami.