Nov. 16, 2013
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – In its final road game of the 2013 regular-season, the Florida Atlantic University football team recorded its second-consecutive win with a 41-7 blowout against the University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles at M.M. Roberts Stadium. The victory marked the Owls largest margin of victory against a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent in the program’s history and its first back-to-back wins since 2010.
Quarterback Jaquez Johnson set a school record with his tenth rushing touchdown of the season, the most ever by an FAU quarterback. Johnson led the Owls’ ground attack with 111 rushing yards. Jay Warren followed, rushing for 105 yards. Saturday's game was only the second time in FAU history that the team has had two 100-yard rushers and they came just two yards shy of three players breaking the 100-yard plateau with Damian Fortner contributing 98.
The Owls held USM to just 189 yards of offense and recorded two interceptions, both grabbed by Christin Milstead who returned one for a 61-yard score.
Senior Damian Fortner put FAU’s first points on the board, rushing up the middle from the one-yard line for his first touchdown on the season. Milstead ended USM’s only real threat with an interception on the six-yard line with 1:55 left in the first quarter.
Mitch Anderson extended FAU’s lead to 10 with a 40-yard field goal one-minute into the second quarter. On Southern Miss’ next possession, FAU senior linebacker Adarius Glanton stripped the ball away on a gang tackle to give the Owls the ball on the Golden Eagle 34-yard line. Southern Miss’ defense held the Owls to 18-yards setting up an Anderson 33-yard field goal which gave FAU a 13-0 lead with 10:33 remaining in the first half.
The Golden Eagles dropped Anderson’s kick-off deep in their own territory as USM opened the drive on their three-yard line. Three plays later Damian Parms recorded his first career sack for a loss of nine yards. With FAU in possession, Warren rushed up the middle for 33-yards, and then rushed for an additional two, bringing the Owls five-yards from the goal. Johnson then took control of the ground attack sweeping past USM’s left tackle to put the Owls up 20-0 with 5:06 left in the half. Milstead’s pick-six sent the two teams into the intermission with the Owls leading 27-0.
In the Owls first possession of the second half, Warren rushed up the middle in five consecutive plays and got as far as the one before Johnson punched it in for his 10th rushing TD of the season and his FAU career. Southern Miss was held to just four plays and 22-yards in its next possession, still unable to score. FAU would post its largest lead of the game with 41 unanswered points, behind Fortner’s second rushing touchdown.
Avoiding a shutout, Southern Miss managed to capitalize in the fourth quarter as Nick Mullens completed an 88-yard scoring drive with a one-yard touchdown for the game’s final, 41-7.
The victory extends FAU’s record to 4-6 and 3-4 in Conference USA play. Southern Miss fell to 0-10 on the year and 0-6 in C-USA play. Interim Head Coach Brian Wright, who recorded his first win on Nov. 2 against Tulane, improved his record to 2-0.
FAU will return home to play host in its final two games of the regular-season. The Owls will face New Mexico State on Saturday, Nov. 23 and FIU on Friday, Nov. 29. Kickoff for both games is scheduled for 3 p.m.