Badgers Start Fast, Hang On to Topple Owls
FAU football dropped a 31-14 contest to #9 Wisconsin on Saturday afternoon in Madison.
The Owls fell behind 14-0 just 6:40 into into the contest as Wisconsin (2-0) went to the ground game.
“We got off to a slow start, and we expected to come up here and win the game", said Head Coach Lane Kiffin. "Versus a top-10 team, a very well-coached team like this with a lot of great players, if you go down 14-0, it's going to be tough."
The Owls' defense did fair better than last weeks showing of 416 yards rushing allowed against Navy, but Wisconsin still enjoyed 357 yards there while seeing two backs go past the century mark.
The Badgers held a 29-9 edge in first downs, and held the ball 17 minutes more than thier sunshine state compeition. The Owls were just 2-of-14 on third down, making it tough to sustain momentum.
"For our defense being put out there again, and again, and again…I feel bad for them", Kiffin said. "This really should have been a game that went down to the wire and (could have) gone either way."
FAU answered the Badger's quick start with a 63 yard strike from Daniel Parr to DeAndre McNeal (photo) to cut the deficit in half.
The catch was the second in as many weeks between the duo that went for over 60 yards and marks McNeal's longest career catch as well.
"The corner bit and came up and (DeAndre) slid past the safety", Parr said. "He was open, so I just put the ball on him and we scored."
Parr was 9-19 for 192 yards and the score on the afternoon, and McNeal led all receivers with a game high 103 yards.
Florida Atlantic (0-2) would get back to within a touchdown after the Badgers found Troy Fumagalli giving them just a 21-14 advantage.
Devin Singletary (17 carries, 68 yards) took the ball in from a yard out, giving FAU thier final score on the afternoon.
Wisconsin connected for a 20 yard field goal just before intermission and scored the games final points in the third as A.J. Taylor landed his third rushing touchdown.
Taylor was stopped on fourth-and-inches at the FAU one yard line by Andrew Soroh and Josea barnwell during a drive in the second quarter, the highlight defensive series of the day.
The Owls went on to net just 50 total yards on 21 plays in the second half.
"I'm disappointed where we're at offensively two games into the season, Kiffin said. "This is actually supposed to be more of an offensive team."
Punter Ryan Rickel was busy on the afternoon for FAU with 11 punts that averaged out to 40.2 yards a piece.
Jalen Young posted a contest best 14 tackles, and Azeez Al-Shaair had the second best effort with 10, with each player netting eight solo efforts.
The Owls will return to Boca Raton after an extended stay in Madision due to hurricane Irma. They will host Bethune Cookman next Saturday at 6:30 PM.