Playing from behind for most of the contest, Florida Atlantic's performance on Sunday only confirmed what everyone has been thinking the past few weeks - the Owls are in trouble.
A last-second Hail Mary to Kamrin Solomon looked to seal the battle against Charlotte for the The Owls (1-5, 0-2) but the play was overturned upon review, giving the 49ers the win.
"Proud of how hard our kids fought, but we came here to win and didn't get it done", said Charlie partridge, who moved to 7-23 all time as the Owls' head coach.
Heading into the tilt against Charlotte, which had to be moved due to Hurricane Matthew, FAU was nearly a two touchdown favorite against the 49ers.
However, in the story which has become a continual tale of disappointment, the team once again could not get things done defensively, allowing an upstart UNCC (2-4, 1-1) crew to leave Boca Raton in the high side while romping for 442 total yards in a balanced attack.
FAU opened the game scoring with a 33 yard field goal by Greg Joseph. The teams then exchanged leads until Charlotte took a 21-17 edge in the locker room at halftime.
The 49ers built on that advantage at 28-17 until running back Greg Howell brought the owls to within five points. However a two point conversion pass from Henry Bussey failed to find it's target resulting in the game's final tally.
Florida Atlantic's final attempt at the end-zone resulted off a 49er fumble ending an extended drive of just over five minutes that almost killed any chance at a comeback attempt.
"There was over six minutes left with three timeouts….but they were able to get a few first downs, which left us with less time than we anticipated having" Partridge said of the decision not to go for it on fourth down before Charlotte began the consuming drive.
The Owls took over on their own 28-yard line with 40 seconds left. With no time outs, quarterback Jason Driskel (17-30, 162 Yds, Int) heaved a 38-yard attempt into the endzone where Solomon laid in wait.
Initially the catch was ruled a touchdown, before eventfully being overturned upon further review.
Howell (pictured) netted all three touchdowns for the Owls on the ground as part of his 100 yard outing, matching a feat last set by FAU running Alfred Morris back in the 2011 season.
Back-up quarterback Daniel Parr saw time on a few of the Owls' drive, finishing out 5-10 for 50 yards.
"Decided to put him (Parr) in the third quarter because I wanted to get him some game experience", Partridge said while deferring to comment on whether the playing time would continue.
Kalib Woods led the receiving corps with 105 yards on 11 catches, becoming the first FAU receiver to grab double-digit catches since Lucky Whitehead recorded 11 against Marshall in 2014.
Defensive end Trey Hendrickson tallied two sacks and three tackles for loss, bringing his career-record sack total to 23.
The Owls will next travel to Huntington, WVA to face Marshall on Saturday. Kick-off is scheduled for 7:00 PM and the game will air on the American Sports Network.
More Game Coverage & Discussion
FAU vs Charlotte 2016 Post Game Conference - Charlie Partridge - FAU Owl's Nest
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Charlotte @ FAU Game Thread - October 8th, 2016 - FAU Owl's Nest