Notebook: FAU-New Mexico State
FAU dominated New Mexico State on Saturday and has now won three straight. The Owls got strong performances from quarterback Jaquez Johnson and tight end Nexon Dorvilus, who combined for a total of five touchdowns. While the win keeps FAU’s dream of a bowl game alive, it should also be noted that the team has outscored opponents 130-34 over the last three games with interim head coach Brian Wright at the helm.
Here’s our notes from the press box…
Quez shows he can do it all..
It’s hard to look back at the start of the season and reflect on the once deployed two quarterback rotation. Saturday against New Mexico State, Jaquez Johnson racked up 400 yards of total offense and threw three touchdown passes.
We all believed that Wright’s offensive scheme was built for a player like Johnson, but the quarterback finally confirmed that hypothesis with his own words.
"I feel like the offense was made for me,” Johnson said after the game.
Johnson (pictured) tied a personal-best with 321 yards passing against the Aggies and accounted for another 89 yards on the ground. The junior college transfer has now led the Owls in rushing each of the past four games and has two performances on the year with over 400 yards of offense.
Wright – who has always been high on Johnson – credited the sophomore’s dedication to his recent success.
“He’s getting better every week. When you have a smart, tough, talented football player, all he needed was some reps early on,” Wright said. “I told him a while ago ‘we will go as you go.’”
Johnson’s 64 yard touchdown strike to Lucky Whithead was the longest of his career. His 60-yard run in the third quarter, was also a career long.
- Andrew Ivins
Dorvilus returns to action…
After missing last Saturday’s win against Southern Miss, tight end Nexon Dorvilus gave FAU’s home crowd a show.
The red-shirt senior hauled in four passes for 61 yards, and two touchdowns.
Dorvilus has not seen much action in recent weeks, recording only two catches since the home loss to Marshall, but that wasn’t the case against New Mexico State.
“I don’t care if we throw the ball, I can have zero catches, like I said before I just want to win,” the senior said.
Though passing the ball is what seemed to be the game plan for the Owls. Quarterback Jaquez Johnson tied a career high 321 yards and three touchdowns, finding Dorvilus in the end zone twice.
Despite scoring the fourth touchdown of the first half, it was Dorvilus’ third quarter score that extended FAU’s lead to 42-7 that retired the Owls passing game.
Next week’s game against FIU could be the tight end’s last game in an Owl uniform.
“This one is personal, real personal.” Dorvilus said.
- Jake Sansom
-Brian Wright remained the only active FBS head coach with a perfect winning percentage after Saturday’s victory. Wright is 3-0 with an offense that is averaging 43.3 points per game. The Owls averaged 20.25 points per contest during the Pelini era.
-DE Cory Henry picked up his sixth sack of the season against the Aggies. Henry has now managed 13.5 sacks over his four-year FAU career and is two sacks away from the program record set by Ramon Rickards in 2004.
-The blocked punt returned for a touchdown was the school’s first special teams touchdown since 2003.
- CB D’Joun Smith recorded his 12th pass break up of the season. As of Saturday night that number was good enough to rank seventh in the country.
- For the second straight game FAU’s defense held the opposing quarterbacks to below a 40 percent completion percentage. New Mexico State’s quarterbacks completed just 32.4 percent of their passes.