Oct. 5, 2002
THIBODAUX, LA---Florida Atlantic University's football team battled a no. 24 Nicholls State University (5-1), Saturday evening, a team that survived a tropical storm a week ago, this week stared down Hurricane Lili and now they can add a 33-22 victory over the Owls (0-5).
"Our football team continued to battle through the entire game," said FAU Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger. "There were more positive things in this game. Offensively, the running game and the protection of the quarterback were good things for us to take and get ready for the next game."
FAU won the toss, but saw little else go their way in the opening four minutes of the game. Between penalties, an injury to starting tailback Anthony Jackson and great field position in the Colonels first possession the Owls quickly found themselves trailing 7-0. The touchdown pass was a departure from the Colonels playbook, which had Nicholls averaging 241.3 yards on the ground and just 65.6 yards through the air.
FAU marched down the muddy field in a rare fashion themselves, via the run, and appeared to have scored the team's first rushing touchdown of the season before a fumble gave the ball back to NSU at their won one-yard line.
The Owls held the Colonels to three-and-out and then used a 27-yard touchdown pass to Larry Taylor, his first of the season and his longest reception of the year, to pull to tie the game at 7-7.
Nicholls, an option team, equaled its season total of two touchdown catches with 4:17 seconds remaining in the first quarter when Yale Vannoy connected with Vince Butler for a 36-yard TD pass. The point after was no good. The two teams would end the first quarter of a game with Nicholls holding a 13-7 advantage.
The Colonels returned to the running game in the second quarter ending with a three-yard rushing touchdown by Travis Felder, with 11:21 remain in the half. Nicholls' place kicker James Wilcox entered the contest a perfect 19-for-19 in point after attempts. He connected on his first, but missed the following two as well as his following two field goal attempts.
Nicholls wasted little time in regaining a commanding lead with a 4-yard TD carry for a 26-10 advantage.
FAU went back to an air attack that was actually set-up by a 67-yard punt which gave Nicholls the ball on its five. Following a three-and-out series, FAU used five plays, drove 41 yards in just 2:29 to pull within 10 at 26-16.
Nicholls continued to pass setting up a 1-yard run. The drive was set-up by a 44-yard punt return. It was a three-play 32 yard drive that too just a 1:04. With the touchdown and point after, Nicholls more than doubled the score at 33-16.
FAU put the final points on the board with a 6-yard run by Daveon Barron. The score was the first on the ground for the Owls.
Notes: Daveon Barron had 13 carries and a total of 49 yards, surpassing his season net yards total.
The second quarter was delaye 46 minutes at the 1:09 mark due to a lightening. It was the second weather delay of the season and surpassed the season opening delay against the University of South Florida.