Sept. 13, 2003
It was a game that would highlight the air attack for both teams, but on Saturday night in Orlando, UCF's assault proved more lethal and the Knight's edged out with a 33-29 victory. FAU fell to 1-2 on the season while UCF improved their season mark at 1-1.
"I have never been more proud of a football team than this football team tonight," said FAU head coach Howard Schnellenberger. "I've been proud of a lot of football teams for a lot of decades teams that have reached the pinnacle at every level, but I'm not any less proud of this team. In our situation, it is not always about winning. It is about developing growing, coming of age and being able to do things you have never done before against talent that you haven't match-up with before. They (FAU) won the game going away from that standpoint. We won the battle, not of the score, but our internal battle."
Both quarterbacks threw for record yards. FAU's Jared Allen and the University of Central Florida's Ryan Schneider set new passing records for their respective universities in a game that concluded with the Owls final pass attempt batted down in the end zone and a 33-29 UCF final, Saturday night.
Allen, a junior from Edmond, OK, threw for a school record 352 yards, 40-26-0, and two touchdowns. Schneider was 52-37-2 for 497 yards and three TDS.
Similar to the season opener against MTSU another D I-A opponent, Allen began an 81-yard drive with 2:26 left on the game clock. He drove the team down the field culminating in a five-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Anthony Crissinger-Hill and followed with a two-point conversion pass to Roosevelt Bynes. All of which, pulled FAU to within four at 33-29.
FAU then attempted a on-sides kick that the Owls recovered on the FAU 44 with 0:33 remaining. Allen's first pass was complete to Brittney Tellis for 12 yards and a first down. He then threw to Bynes who could not get out of bounds forcing FAU to use its last timeout, but gained six-yards on the play. Allen's final two plays and the attempt to snatch a second game from a D I-A opponent in less than four weeks ended with an incomplete pass to Bynes and a ball that was knocked out of the hands of Crissinger-Hill by UCF's Marcus Glover.
The game's first score was an Allen five-yard pass to Ben Coker. It was Coker's first reception on the season and matched a similar feat from a year ago when his first reception was a TD in the home season opener for USF, also an NCAA Division I-A opponent
UCF scored just four minutes later on a 29-yard pass from Schneider to Brandon Marshall and took a seven-point advantage with just under three minutes remaining in the half when Schneider connected with Luther Higgins for 16 yards.
Crissinger-Hill, a Tampa native, had his best game of the season with five receptions for 83 yards in the first half, including a 40-yard connection with Allen, with just 27 seconds remaining in the first half. For the night he tallied eight receptions for 135 yards, his longest was 40 yards, and a program tying two TDs.
"I was able to get open and Jared (Allen) was finding me, but it just enough," said Crissinger-Hill. "I'm the type of player that expects every ball thrown to me to be caught. I'm very disappointed that last ball wasn't caught. We just came up short this time on a play here they got a hand on it and hit me both. It was a football play."
Junior Mark Myers, also playing the closest game to his hometown of Rockledge, remained perfect in extra point attempts for the season at seven to even the score at 14 for the half, despite an off sides assessment which forced him to repeat his second attempt of the game. He ended the evening a perfect three for three.
The only score of the third quarter was a 43-yard field goal by UCF's Matt Prater with 4:41 remaining in the quarter, a 17-14 advantage and the Owls offense was held scoreless in the third quarter for the third-consecutive game.
The Knights followed with their third field goal and third of the night to take a 20-14 advantage.
FAU's sophomore full back Aaron Sanchez responded by ending a six play, 80-yard drive with a two-yard run to give FAU its final lead of the game at 21-20.
UCF would score twice more to take a 33-21 advantage and earn all the points they would need before staving off FAU's comeback.
Notes: Florida Atlantic University is played its 24th game in the program's history. Central Florida hosted its 25th home season.
It was FAU's first game of the season with no give a ways.
FAU out ran the Knights 102-68
The Owls were 2 of 2 in fourth down conversions and 3 of 3 in red-zone chances.
FAU and UCF compete in the Atlantic Sun Conference in all sports other than football.
Defensive End William Gray, who started today after Johnnie Sloan moved to the left-side due to an injury to Ramon Rickards, suffered a strained back in the third quarter and did not return.
Strong Safety Christian Amaya also left the game in the third quarter with a left knee injury and did not return. Amaya's replacement was Ertwyn Henry who saw his first action of the season, excluding special teams play.
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