Losing Streak Continues as Owls Drop Close Contest to Marshall
FAU football ran for a season high 281 yards, surpassing their previous performance of 236 against Florida International set in Shula Bowl XV, but could not stop Marshall late as the Herd pulled out a 27-21 victory over the Owls on Saturday night in Huntington.
"We're four possessions away from being a 5-2 ball team, we've just got to find a way to get there", said Head Coach Charlie Partridge.
Running backs Devin Singletary and Buddy Howell each passed the century mark in the contest with performances of 111 and 109 yards respectively, and quarterback Jason Driskel added a career best 57 yards.
Driskel's season long 18 yard run capped the Owls' first score before Marshall countered on the ground, taking it in from 30 yards out.
Singletary ran for a career long 48 yards on the Owls' second touchdown that was set up by a pair of third down conversions led by Daniel Parr, who checked in for Driskel in FAU's third series of the game.
Florida Atlantic (1-6, 0-3) looked to be on the way to another score until Howell fumbled, prompting up a 65 yard touchdown pass by Marshall. They would miss the extra point however, and led 16-14 early in the 2nd quarter.
Howell (pictured) got a chance at redemption later in the period and cashed in by bulldozing off right tackle to put the Owls back up 21-16 - a mark they would enjoy at intermission.
The Owls had a chance to expand their lead to eight points midway through the third quarter with a 35 yard field goal but opted to go for it on fourth down and could not convert. However Marshall would not opt for the same play choice given their chance, and booted it through the uprights to pull within two points.
Scoring came to a halt until late in the fourth when Marshall landed a deciding second score via the ground that sucked 6:31 off the clock.
The Herd converted a third and ten situation for 29 yards to the FAU five yard line before Keion Davis crossed the goal line two plays later. A two point conversion put the Owls behind 21-27 with 1:53 to play.
With time winding down and a start at the herd 50, Driskel connected with target Kalib Woods for 33 yards placing FAU in striking range. Four plays later, the two hooked up again, for an 11-yard gain, moving the ball to the Marshall 10 with 1:15 remaining. But the ensuing pass play, on 4th-and-3, fell to the turf incomplete, ending the drive and the FAU comeback attempt.
It was the second straight week in a row that a failed pass play arguably cost the team a victory. Last weekend the game winning throw against Charlotte as time expired was ruled incomplete upon an official video review.
"We've just got to find a way to fight for that big moment that's coming", Partridge said. "To see our offense go down and almost make a catch on the five that's how close we are."
Woods ended the game with 100 yards even on five catches, the fourth time heís hit that plateau this season. Defensive back Jalen Young and linebacker Nate Ozdemir registered a career high 16 tackles each and linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair added 15 which was one shy of tying his personal best.
Florida Atlantic moved to 0-4 all-time against Marshall (2-4, 1-1), who snapped a four game losing streak while the Owls saw their's expand to six games. FAU is now 4-12 over the last two seasons in one possession games.
The Owls will enjoy a much needed bye week before next taking on Western Kentucky at Schnellenberger Field on October 29th at 3:30 PM.