Sept 8, 2001
DAYTONA BEACH, FL---The much younger and inexperienced Florida Atlantic University (1-1) entered the Daytona Beach Municipal Stadium, Saturday evening, eyeing Bethune-Cookman College (1-1), ranked no. 22 nationally. The Owls proved to be more composed, and as the final seconds ticked off the clock, a batted down pass in the end zone and a missed field goal attempt gave FAU a 31-28 victory. It marked the program's first victory, one over a program that has accumulated 331 victories since 1925.
"This victory will go in the history books and will mean more to this team and to the University than I can express," said FAU Head Coach and Director of Football Operations Howard Schnellenberger. "I expected to come in here and be competitive, but you can probably tell that I can't put into words what we take from this game."
Trailing 7-0 with 14:26 left in the 2nd quarter, the Owls got on the board when Taurian Osborne scooped up a loose ball and scampered 99 yards down the sideline to pull FAU to within 7-6.
"The fumble recovery (by Osborne) was more inspirational than anything that I could say," said Schnellenberger.
The Wildcats gave the ball up on the ensuing kickoff when Patrick Brown fumbled on the Bethune-Cookman 22 yard-line. That set up FAU's first offensive touchdown when Jared Allen ran in from seven yards out. An Allen pass to Thomas Parker on the conversion gave FAU a 14-7 lead with 12:05 left in the first half. Later in the second quarter, the Wildacts tied the score at 14 on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Allen Suber to Tarion Hubbard. The Owls proceeded to take a 17-14 lead into the break when Andy Rosas connected on a 33-yard field goal. It was a lead that could have arguably surprised the announced attendance of 7, 421, including an estimated FAU contingent of over 350.
FAU, which looked more composed and mature than its much older counterparts, continued to put points on the board in the second half scoring the first touchdown of the half on a 40-yard reception from Allen to Larry Taylor. That gave FAU a 24-14 advantage with 8:25 to play in the third. The lead dwindled to three with 0:31 seconds remaining in the period after the Wildcats connected on a 17-yard pass pulled in by a falling Shaun Ford from Allen Suber.
Bethune-Cookman regained the lead with 13:31 to play when Suber scrambled for a 24-yard touchdown run. Following the extra point, the Wildcats had a 28-24 lead.
Leading by four, the Wildcats looked primed to put the game out of reach before Suber fumbled at the FAU 11-yard line to give the Owls the ball back with 7:04 left in the game. On a third down and nine, Allen connected with Taylor on a 70-yard pass to give FAU a 31-28 lead with 5:31 left in the game.
"This team is good enough to win games," said Larry Taylor. "This team is not going to let down and will keep fighting."
Taylor caught two passes, both touchdowns, for 112 yards.
After the kickoff, the Wildcats marched 68 yards on eight plays before Marcus Goggins fumbled one yard short of the goal line. Todd Poitier picked up the ball with 1:24 left in the game.
B-CC had one more chance late in the game after an FAU punt, but a Danny Mathis field goal attempt from 48 yards came up short with three seconds to play, and FAU had completed the upset victory oper the no. 22 Wildcats.
"The defense played great," FAU quarterback Jared Allen said. Allen finished the game 11-of-24 for 210 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
"This is the worst defeat of my life," said B-CC head coach Alvin Wyatt. "This was worse than the licking we took from Florida A&M (two seasons ago)."
FAU recovered four of B-CC's six fumbles. The Owls, on the other hand, recovered both of their fumbles. In all, the Wildcats committed four turnovers to none for FAU. The Owls were outgained 525-277.
Bethune-Cookman's Allen Suber ran for 113 yards and two touchdowns in the losing effort. Suber passed for 321 yards and two touchdowns in 21-for-35 passing.
FAU next plays at James Madison September 15 at 6:00pm.
First game against a ranked opponent
First game in the rain.
First away crowd estimated attendance 366
First fumble recovery for a touchdown ( 2nd)
First offensive touchdown ( 2nd)
First two point conversion ( 2nd)
First PAT ( 2nd)
First halftime led 17-14
First time FAU led after the third quarter
First game FAU used just one quarterback.
First FAU victory.
Injury Report: Eddie Dunbar missed the game with a right knee injury. Dunbar may have his right knee scoped on Tuesday.
Taurian Osborne (concussion)
Coisge McCullough (concussion)
FAU will condition on Sunday and will have Monday off.