Owls Fall 34-6 at Miami
Carl Pelini preached it all week in practice.
If FAU wanted to compete with Miami, they were going to have to limit the big play.
Friday night, that wasn’t the case as the Owls yielded 503 yards of offense en route to a 34-6 loss.
“It’s a discipline issue,” Pelini said after the game. “That’s something that we worked hard on throughout camp, and it’s disappointing to see that happen.”
It was a theme that started early in the first quarter, and wouldn’t end until the final whistle. The Owls failed to contain their gaps and allowed running back Duke Johnson to rack up a career-high 186 rushing yards. Johnson gashed FAU for 38-yards on his first carry, and would later scamper 53-yards for a touchdown.
FAU’s trio of touted linebackers didn’t have much of an answer for Johnson, and when Miami went to the air, they found just as much success.
“All of their big plays came from our mistakes, we just have to grow from it,” linebacker Andrae Kirk said.
Miami opened the scoring with a field goal in the first quarter and followed it up with Johnson’s electrifying run in the second. FAU responded with three points of their own, while juggling a trio of quarterbacks.
Jaquez Johnson started the first game of his career, but he rotated with freshmen Greg Hankerson (pictured) and DJ Juste. The Owl’s offense was at it’s best when all three took snaps, and that’s when a 16-yard rush from Juste set up a 25-yard field goal from Mitch Anderson.
FAU looked primed to make it a contest, but another string of long gains resulted in a quick ten points for the Hurricanes.
Kirk opened the second half with an acrobatic interception –– however the magic of playing three quarterbacks soon faded. Hankerson (pictured) left the game with a rib injury, which handed the quarterbacking duties to Johnson. The sophomore carried the Owls down to the Hurricane’s five yard line, but a false start penalty forced Pelini to settle for a field goal.
“We did some adjusting on the sideline and I thought they all handled the management of the offense ok, but neither one of them really could let loose,” Pelini said of his quarterbacks.
Miami’s Herb Waters reversed the field for a 63-yard touchdown a few minutes later, and FAU’s fate was sealed.
“That was very disappointing,” Pelini said. “I thought there were a couple of things –– that penalty was especially costly along with the reverse. Against a team like Miami, you just can’t hurt yourself and make mistakes.”
In all, the Owl’s surrendered six plays of 20-yards or more.
Johnson finished the night 11-of-20 passing for 83 yards. Johnathan Wallace led FAU with 34 rushing yards, as the team produced just 250 yards of offense – their lowest total in nine games. The Owls played without five individuals who were suspended before the game.