The Owls played in perhaps the most memorable game in FAU Stadium, defeating the Roadrunners of UTSA 41-37 with a game winning touchdown pass from Jaquez Johnson to Nate Terry in the game’s final seconds. The contest was full of momentum shifts as both traded big plays, trying to start conference play with a win.
Here are my notes from the press box:
Jaquez Johnson Bounces Back
Last week Johnson played arguably his worst game as an Owl going 14-29 with 99 passing yards, and zero touchdowns. With the Owls ahead in the final minutes of the game, Johnson committed a costly turnover, fumbling inside the red zone. Wyoming then connected for a huge gain and kicked the game winning field goal.
“As one of the leaders of the team, they put the ball in my hands and I failed,” said Johnson on the fumble from last week.
The ball was in Johnson’s hands once again this week with the game on the line. On FAU’s final drive Johnson ran the ball three times for 15 yards, and went 5-6 with 80 passing yards and the game winning touchdown pass.
“I felt like I owed them that,” said Johnson on the game winning drive. “I came into this week with kind of a chip on my shoulder to prove to myself that they can lean on me.”
“I feel like I did a pretty good of it today.”
I’d say so too. Johnson went 24-35 for 295 passing yards, with three touchdowns through the air and one touchdown on the ground.
Cre’von LeBlanc’s Career Night
Before the season started the secondary was dubbed the defense’s strongest unit. Everyone talked about the playmaker D’Joun Smith, the hard hitting Damian Parms, and the steady and reliable Christian Milstead.
No one talked about Cre’von LeBlanc.
“This year was a big year for him,” said Milstead. “I felt like this year would be his coming out party.”
Down 10 with UTSA driving, LeBlanc recorded a 76 yard interception return for a touchdown in the second quarter.
“It bounced off the receiver’s chest, I looked the ball all the way in this time. I saw it was just me and the quarterback,” said Le’Blanc on his pick six. “I felt like that was a momentum changer for us to get back in this game.”
“He’s one of the best DB’s I’ve seen. His instincts. His ball skills. I was just waiting on that to happen,” said Milstead on Le’Blanc’s interception. “When he caught the pick six we wasn’t surprised.”
With UTSA down four, and time left for just one play, LeBlanc finished his career night with a pass breakup to seal the win for FAU.
“As soon as he caught it I was just like ‘No.’ I ran in there full speed and put my helmet right on the ball and he just let it go,” said LeBlanc.
LeBlanc added a career high seven tackles and two pass breakups to go with his first career interception and pick six.
“This can be the day that everybody starts to respect FAU,” said LeBlanc.
- LeBlanc’s 76 yard interception was the longest return in FAU history since joining the FBS, formerly known as Division 1.
- Seven different receivers caught a pass.
- Three different receivers caught a touchdown
- Andre Kirk had a career high 13 tackles
- Damian Parms tied his career high tackles with 11.
- FAU had the lead for 38 seconds.
- Including this year, FAU is now 4-8 in one possession games over the last four years
- FAU won their conference opener for the first time in seven years