Nov. 26, 2011
BOCA RATON, FL - Florida Atlantic University's football team notched its first victory of the 2011 season and first victory in the University's new on-campus stadium with a 38-35 victory over UAB.
The Owls, which are 3-1 all-time versus UAB, got on the board early when sophomore Treon Howard snatched the ball out of the air on UAB's first play of the game and returned it 23 yards for a touchdown to put the Owls on the scoreboard. It was Howard's first career interception and the Owls first defensive score of the 2011 season.
UAB matched the score five minutes later and went up by seven in the opening drive of the second quarter.
Alfred Morris, who had a game-, career- and program-high 198 yards, would then end a 12-play scoring drive with a one-yard run to even the game. It was Morris' 24th rushing touchdown, giving him sole possession of the program's rushing touchdown record. The senior would go on to add three more rushing touchdowns in the game to match a program game-high four individual scores.
The Owls, 1-10, were not done with first-half scoring. Randell Johnson, who had 10 tackles on the night, sacked Jonathan Perry on the UAB 12 yard line and forced a fumble. Freshman Andrae Kirk, who had a team-high 12 tackles, recovered his first collegiate fumble, giving the ball to the FAU offense at the UAB nine yard line. The Owls converted the turnover into a Vinny Zacarrio 28-yard field goal to go up 17-14 at the half.
UAB outscored FAU 14-7 in the third quarter and took a 28-24 lead into the final quarter. Morris' third score of the night put the Owls up 31-28 with 11:27 remaining in the game. He would score once more with 1:38 remaining from the nine-yard line to give the Owls a much needed 10-point lead.
The Blazers responded with an eight play, 92 yard drive to pull within in three with 33 seconds remaining in the game. The on-side kick bounced out of bounds untouched to give the Owls the win.
FAU will host to Sun Belt Conference member ULM, on December 3 at 4 p.m. The game will be the final contest for 17 seniors and will culminate a 52-year coaching career of FAU Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger. The first 10,000 fans who enter the stadium will receive a poster to mark the occasion.
Alfred Morris had a record night, finishing with a career-, program-high 38 carries.
Morris rushed for 198 yards, a personal and program-single game record.
Morris rushed for four touchdowns, the first time he has recorded more than two in a game, and tied a program high with four.
Morris' four touchdowns also gave him the outright record for rushing touchdowns in a career with 27. He also holds the record for combined rushing and receiving touchdowns.
Morris surpassed the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the season, becoming the fourth player to accomplish the feat in Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger's career. He became the first player to rush for over 1,000 yards twice under Schnellenberger.
Treon Howard recorded his first career interception on the opening UAB drive and returned it 23 yards for the score. It was the first defensive score of the season for the Owls.
Willie Floyd had three kick returns and became the program's all-time kick return attempts leader. He now has 89.
Mickey Groody attempted just one punt. The last time Groody punted less than two times was the season opener at Nebraska in 2009.
Marcelo Bonani had seven kickoffs, a career high for the freshman.
Cary White had a career-high 21 yards and it was on just one carry.
FAU was 5-for-5 in fourth down conversions.
FAU now leads the all-time series versus UAB 3-1.