Oct. 12, 2013
BOCA RATON, Fla. - The Florida Atlantic University football team was defeated by Marshall University on Saturday in Conference USA action in front of the second-largest attendance in FAU Stadium history.
The crowd of 19,760 was the largest at FAU Stadium since the facility made its debut on Oct. 15, 2011 against Western Kentucky University when 29,103 fans were on hand.
The Owls (2-5, 1-4 C-USA) took a 23-14 lead with just more than ten minutes to play, but were unable to hold on for the victory. The Thundering Herd (3-3, 2-0 C-USA) scored ten unanswered points, including a game-winning, 42-yard field goal by Justin Haig as time expired to take the road win.
FAU quarterback Jaquez Johnsonthrew 16-of-28 for 187 yards and a touchdown with one interception. Johnson also tacked on a team-high 78 yards and a score rushing.
Jonathan Wallace ran for 75 yards on 20 carries and was not stopped behind the line of scrimmage a single time. Freshman Jay Warrencarried ten times for 55 yards and a score, including a 30-yard rush to setup FAU's final touchdown.
Marshall struck first on a 77-yard punt return by Devon Smith early in the second quarter. That marked the first punt-return touchdown FAU has allowed since 2011 against FIU on Nov. 12.
After missing a 40-yard field goal in the first quarter, FAU's Mitch Andersonconnected on a 26-yarder with 11 seconds left in the second to cut the Herd lead to 7-3. That kick capped a 44-yard drive that consisted of 11 plays in only 1:39.
The Owls opened the second half with another impressive drive, marching 75 yards on just four plays to take the lead. Johnson followed up a 22-yard rush with a 40-yard completion to Dukes. A pass interference call on the Herd moved the ball to the two where Wallace punched it in to put the Owls on top 10-7.
Marshall responded on its next drive, going 78 yards with Kevin Grooms running it in for the touchdown.
Following a three-and-out on their next possession, the Owls pieced together another long drive late in the third quarter. Johnson passed for 43 of his yards on the 10-play drive, including a five-yard touchdown toss to Dorvilus to put FAU back up 16-14. The extra point attempt was no good.
Warren's 30-yard run got FAU down to the four-yard line on its first possession of the fourth quarter. The freshman got the call again, pushing his way down to the one-yard line where Johnson took it in for the insurance points.
Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato led the Herd 88-yards, including a 41-yard touchdown pass to Gator Hoskins to cut the FAU lead to two with 6:47 remaining.
The Owls chewed up 4:41 on its next drive, making their way down to the Marshall 36-yard line and forcing the Herd to call all three of its timeouts. An incomplete pass on third down stopped the clock, forcing FAU to give the ball back to Marshall with just more than two minutes to play.
The Herd then embarked on a nine-play, 67 yard drive to get to the FAU 24-yard line where it was stopped with six seconds on the clock. Haig drilled a season-long 41-yard field goal as time expired to give Marshall the 24-23 road win.
FAU has a bye week before traveling to face SEC foe Auburn on Oct. 26. The start time has not yet been announced.