Nov. 23, 2013
BOCA RATON, Fla. – Returning from a history making road win against Southern Mississippi a week ago, the Florida Atlantic University football team (5-6) won its third-consecutive game, 55-10, against the New Mexico State Aggies (1-10) putting the Owls just one win away from bowl eligibility. This is the first time FAU has won three-consecutive games since 2010.
Quarterback Jaquez Johnson, who led the Owls in rushing for the fourth-consecutive week, tallied 79 yards. His night included a career-long 60 yard gain. Jay Warren rushed for 63 yards and scored one of FAU’s eight touchdowns. The Owls ran for 256 yards and tallied 585 total offensive yards. NMSU posted less than half of FAU’s offensive yardage with only 278.
The Aggies’ starting offensive drive quickly realized what they were up against as FAU held NMSU to three plays for five yards. With the Owls in possession, Johnson hand-off to Warren on FAU’s first three plays to set-up Lucky Whitehead’s 26-yard yard touchdown run, his first career rushing touchdown. After two scoreless possessions, the Aggies attempted to punt from their own 17-yard line. The punt was blocked by FAU’s senior linebacker Randell Johnson allowing fellow senior Damian Fortner to scoop and score, improving the Owls’ lead to 14-0.
Johnson opened the second quarter setting two new records with a pass over the middle to Whitehead for a 64-yard touchdown. The sophomore quarterback now holds the 10th most career touchdowns responsible for with 17 and is tied for sixth most passing touchdowns with seven.
With 3:54 left in the second, FAU’s Johnson completed a pass to Daniel McKinney, who had a game leading 138 yards on five receptions, for 48 yards, presenting FAU with yet another scoring opportunity. Nexon Dorvilus collected a six-yard pass from Johnson in the end-zone extending the Owls’ lead to 28.
NMSU’s quarterback Andrew McDonald was held to 45 total yards by FAU’s defense in its first four possessions of the second quarter. The Aggies saw their first real scoring opportunity in their final possession of the second, starting at the FAU 47-yard line. McDonald completed three passes, the third for 24 yards, bringing NMSU to FAU’s one-yard line. Robinson Eugene and Shalom Ogbonda held New Mexico State in their first attempt at the one-yard touchdown but, the Aggies were able to capitalize on the next play to go into the half with FAU leading 28-7.
FAU held NMSU to 144-yards in the first half compared to FAU’s 280. FAU defensive lineman Trevon Coley led the first half defenders with six tackles, three solo, while Damian Parms and D’Joun Smith followed with five.
The Owls took possession to open the second half and the offense immediately continued its aggressive ground attack as Warren rushed for a touchdown in the first three minutes. NMSU’s struggles continued in its first possession of the half when FAU’s Cory Henry sacked McDonald causing a fumble that was recovered by Coley at the NMSU 33 giving the ball back to FAU. It took just one play for Johnson to complete a 33-yard touchdown pass, extending the Owls’ lead to 42-7. NMSU made good on a field goal in its next drive to end the third quarter down 42-10.
FAU would score two more touchdowns for its largest margin of victory against a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) opponent in program’s history. This margin of victory was set in last week’s 41-7 win at Southern Miss. Fortner collected his second touchdown of the game rushing for 26 yards. The Owls’ quickly got the ball back after Andrae Kirk and Andrew Stryffeler tackled McDonald for a loss of three yards. Tony Moore rushed up the middle for the Owls’ final touchdown and the game’s 55-10 final.
The Owls will host FIU in the final game of the regular-season 3 p.m., Friday, Nov. 29. Interim Head Coach Brian Wright, who improved his record to 3-0, will lead FAU as it looks to end the regular-season as a bowl eligible team. For tickets call 1-866-FAU-Owls.