Sept. 29, 2013
BOCA RATON, Fla. (September 28, 2013) - Florida Atlantic University's football team stumbled in the first battle of the Owls after the Rice University Owls mounted a fourth-quarter comeback to take the win, 18-14.
FAU racked up 366 yards of offense while holding Rice to just 273, on the night. FAU's Greg Hankerson, who drew his first collegiate start, went 22-of-46 for 272 yards through the air with two touchdowns.
D'Joun Smith lit up the stat sheet once more with his third-consecutive game with an interception. He also recorded three pass breakups on the night. Senior Cory Henry picked up a sack and a pair of pass breakups. With the sack, Henry moved into second place as the program's all-time sack leader with 11.5
The Rice Owls jumped on the board first with a 45-yard field goal with 6:40 remaining in the first quarter. The two teams would exchange possessions, both being stopped on three and outs, before Hankerson returned under center. Hankerson found Dukes on the first play of the drive. Dukes fumbled but recovered the ball and continued the one-play, 58-yard drive with a score and the game's lead at 7-3 with five minutes to play in the first.
Rice would pull within one, 7-6, with five minutes to play in the first half with a 47-yard field goal completing an 11-play 56 yard drive.
The FAU Owls took the 7-6 lead in the half after the defense held Rice to just 52 passing yards.
The two teams returned to the field with FAU taking the opening second-half kick. Nine plays and 51 yards later the FAU Owls attempted a 42-yard field goal that sailed right and gave the Rice Owls the ball, for their first drive of the half on the Rice 24.
After both teams were stymied in the third quarter FAU extended its lead to 14-6 with just more than six minutes left. A 54-yard rush by Jonathan Wallace setup a 15-yard touchdown pass from Hankerson to Nexon Dorvilus.
On FAU's next drive, a Hankerson fumble was scooped up by Rice and returned for a touchdown to cut the lead to two. Rice's two-point conversion attempt was broken up by Christian Milstead in the end zone.
FAU's next play was an interception that gave Rice the ball at the FAU 26-yard line after a 22-yard return. Rice took the lead on a 20-yard touchdown rush to go up 18-14 with 3:35 remaining, but failed another two point conversion.
The Rice defense held strong as FAU's next drive was ended by an interception. The FAU Owls drove into Rice territory on their final possession, but were unable to complete a fourth-down conversion, allowing Rice to run out the clock. FAU remains on the road next week as it faces UAB in Birmingham, Ala. on Oct. 5. Kickoff is slated for 3 p.m. ET.
Sean Kelly's first punt of the game was a 63-yard boot. A career long for the sophomore. His previous long was a 62-yard punt at USF, Sept. 14, 2013
Freshman quarterback Greg Hankerson got his first collegiate start under center. Hankerson was in a two-man rotation the first two weeks of the 2013 season.
Hankerson's TD pass to William Dukes is the second for the freshman quarterback. His previous was at ECU and also was to Dukes.
Robert Lohnes's 47-yard punt return was the longest of his career.
Nexon Dorvilus recorded his first TD of 2013 and the 10th of his career.
Cory Henry's sack moved him to 11.5 career sacks which is second all-time for FAU.