FAU (1-2, 0-1) struggled in a 21-17 loss against the University of North Texas (1-3, 1-0) on Saturday, Sept. 25. A loss that was in all honesty, shocking.
Given the fact that FAU had just come off a bye week, you would think they did extensive work to make sure their next game would result in a win. I don’t know what they actually did on that off week, but it sure wasn’t anything useful. FAU was completely at the mercy of the North Texas offense on third down. They couldn’t stop the running game at all, and once again struggled to contain the quarterback. The Owls offenseive game plan was baffling. Running back Alfred Morris was only given 17 carries. His only shining moment came on the first drive of the game where he ran for a one yard touchdown.
FAU held a 10-7 lead early in the second quarter after a 30 yard field goal. Things were looking good for the Owls as the defense forced two turnovers midway through the quarter. Cornerback Tarvoris Hill picked off a Dodge pass in the end zone, and Malik Eugene forced a fumble, which was recovered by defensive back Marcus Bartels. However, the celebration was short-lived, as tight end Darian Williams fumbledon the first play, giving North Texas the ball again. Mean Green took advantage of the turnover as quarterback Riley Dodge passed to wide receiver Darius Carey for a 46-yard touchdown. The FAU defense allowed Dodge to rush for 67 yards.
If the Owls did their homework, they would have known that Dodge is a scrambler. The Owls defense seriously looked surprised by the athletic ability of this backup quarterback. That’s right, he is the second string.
After a blocked field goal by linebacker Michael Lockley and a failed FAU 30-yard field goal attempt by kicker Ross Gornall, North Texas extended their lead to 21-10 in the fourth quarter on a 32-yard rushing touchdown by running back James Hamilton. FAU made a late comeback attempt, scoring on a 36-yard touchdown pass from Jeff Van Camp to tight end Rob Housler. That would be as close as the Owls would get, as a late drive ended in turnover on downs, giving North Texas the 21-17 victory.
Bottom Line: Third down conversions. The Owl defense was absolutely useless on third down.They need to do extensive work on their run defense, because the D-line can’t seem to contain anything that comes their way. This was a game that should not have been lost. Perhaps the fact that FAU had never lost to North Texas made them a little too confident going into this match up.
For more on this game, visit: upressonline.com
About the Author
Written by Mark Gibson
Mark Gibson is a senior media communications major at Florida Atlantic University. He is a staff reporter who covers sports and entertainment for the FAU student Newspaper, University Press. He also runs a podcast and website that reviews video games and new electronics. On his downtime, he loves playing his guitar and currently plays bass in a local band.