Sept. 21, 2013
BOCA RATON, Fla. - The first home game of the year for the Florida Atlantic University football team proved to be thriller, but Middle Tennessee State University stopped the Owls 42-35 in FAU Stadium's first overtime game and first home Conference USA contest.
FAU posted its best offensive performance of the season with 503 yards on the day, despite committing five turnovers. Johnson went 31-of-50 for 321 and three touchdowns and two interceptions. His 31 completions and 50 attempts are second-most in a game in FAU history, trailing Rusty Smith's 35-of-54 vs. ULM in 2007. Johnson's 65 offensive plays also broke a school record, shattering Smith's previous record of 54. Four of MTSU's scoring drives were for 64 yards or longer, including a 10-play, 72-yarder for a touchdown in the first quarter.
FAU's D'Joun Smith and Damian Parms then intercepted the Blue Raiders on each of their next two drives. Smith picked off MTSU's Austin Grammer in the end zone to kill a potential scoring drive. Parms returned his interception on the next possession to the MTSU ten-yard line, setting up a Johnson touchdown pass to William Dukes to tie the game at seven.
After MTSU scored to take a 14-7 lead, FAU's final drive of the first half was halted on a Johnson fumble in the Blue Raider red zone. Johnson responded to open the second half, leading the Owls on a 77-yard drive and finishing it off with a seven-yard touchdown run to tie the game.
Another FAU turnover set the Blue Raiders up for a 36-yard scoring drive to retake the lead at 21-14.
The Owls tied it again on an 80-yard drive that saw Johnson rush or pass on seven-consecutive plays, including the rushing touchdown late in the third quarter. The two teams swapped scores once more, with Johnson tossing a touchdown pass to Daniel McKinney to knot it up at 28 with just 3:50 remaining in regulation.
FAU's defense forced a three-and-out on MTSU's next possession, setting up a potential game-winning drive. After working their way into Blue Raider territory, however, the Owls were intercepted again. On the first play from scrimmage after the turnover, MTSU's Reggie Whatley broke off a 64-yard touchdown run to put the Blue Raiders on top 35-28 with 1:32 on the clock.
Johnson led the Owls into MTSU territory before throwing three-straight incompletions to the end zone. After both teams took timeouts, the sophomore quarterback launched a fourth-down touchdown pass to Lucky Whitehead to tie the game with three seconds remaining.
In overtime, the Blue Raiders scored on a third-down pass to the end zone, forcing the Owls to try to match it. FAU worked its way to the MTSU nine-yard line before Johnson threw an interception on fourth down that sealed the win for the visiting Blue Raiders.
The Owls return to action on Sept. 28 at Rice. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Cre'von Leblanc had his first kickoff return of the season.
Stern Vile played center for the first time this season.
Darion Howard had career highs in catches (five) and yards (40)
FAU had a season high 503 yards of total offense
Lucky Whitehead's touchdown catch at the end of regulation was the first of his career.
This was FAU's first overtime game since Oct. 20, 2012 at South Alabama.
Today was the first overtime game at FAU Stadium.
Jacquez Johnson threw for a career high 321 yards.
Jacquez Johnson's 50 attempts and 31 completions are the most in either category by an FAU quarterback since Rusty Smith went 30-for-50 vs. ULM on Sept. 26, 2009.
Daniel McKinney had a career high nine receptions.