Lightning Strikes in Owls' Loss to Cardinals
With back-to-back weather delays starting off the Owls' Saturday evening affair with Ball State, one quickly began to wonder what the night would entail.
Although not officially credited by the coaching staff when all was said and done, they at least played a part in disrupting momentum as Florida Atlantic (1-3) lost another late lead, and a 31-27 ball game to visiting Ball State.
After a fifty three minute inital setback was out of the way, concerns seemed quickly relieved as Jason Driskel promptly took advantage of a solid opening performance, prompting one score by foot and one through the air to give FAU a 14-0 lead just before the end of the first quarter.
The Cardinals (3-1) answered the Owls' surge with two straight scores of their own before FAU ended the first half with a 10-3 scoring edge and a 24-17 lead.
Driskel was 14-of-18 for 245 yards in the half, one of his best performances as an Owl.
"Driskel did a lot of things with a lot of confidence", said head coach Charlie Partridge. Ball State ran a a lot of blitzes, more than most".
However, the second half saw another weather delay and like last season the opponent cashed in, as Ball State evened the contest with a 29 yard touchdown pass late in the third period.
FAU received a jolt of their own in the form of Greg Joseph's leg, which produced a 41 yard field goal for the go-ahead score and a 27-24 edge.
But even more weather strangeness would occur, and afterwards Ball State struck for good with a 10-play, 70-yard drive capped by a 2-yard TD run that give the Cardinals their first lead at 31-27 and one that would not be overcome.
"We come here to win games, wish we did not accomplish here tonight", said Partridge.
Florida Atlantic had one shot left with 1:47 to play, but Driskel was sacked on third down presenting a long 4th down attempt that was picked off to close out the game.
Kalib Woods (photo) led the corps of 11 receivers with four catches for 108 yards, and Azeez Al-Shaair, Jalen Young and Nate Ozdemir each recorded 10 tackles for the defense.
The Owls will now turn their attention to rival Florida International in what will be Shula Bowl XV in Miami next weekend. They are hopeful to rebound quickly and avoid another close loss.
"It's got to be a part of your makeup, anywhere I've been", Partridge said. "We had tough streaks and we had good streaks, you have to move on that's the way this game is."
Kick-off is set for 7:00 p.m. and the game will be carried on upstart station beIN.
Additional Game Coverage
VIDEO: FAU vs Ball State Post Game Interviews - 09/24/16 - FAU Owl's Nest
Photos: FAU vs. Ball State • Sept. 24, 2016 • FAU Stadium • Boca Raton, Fla. - FAU Owl's Nest