Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Sloppy Weather and Special Teams Mistakes Bring FAU to 0-2

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State’s Justin McKinney returned the opening kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown to lead the Wildcats to a 45-0 win in front of 43,953 fans at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

In its first game last week, FAU gave up a punt return for a touchdown against Clemson. Together, those returns were a first in the Owl football program’s six-year history.

On Kansas State’s second offensive drive, Yamon Figurs ran 38 yards for a touchdown. It looked as if the Wildcats would immediately put the game away after they drove down to the five-yard-line, where FAU stopped them on third down and five on an incomplete pass.

On the next play, Kansas State’s Jeff Snodgrass missed a 22-yard field goal. Before the game, Owls’ Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger was uncertain about the Wildcats, saying, “We play another very good team in Kansas State. We have to go out there and I don’t know what tradition lies awaiting for us there.”

The pattern seemed to be big plays for Kansas State. Two first-quarter scores – the 88-yard return and a 38-yard touchdown – put the score almost out of reach at 14-0.

After the game, Schnellenberger said his team was overmatched: “Obviously we ran into a motivated football team tonight who certainly played an outstanding game from a weaker opponent.”

Quarterback Sean Clayton felt his team struggled all night. “They brought more people than Clemson,” he said.

Before the game, local meteorologists in the Manhattan, Kansas, area predicted an 80-percent chance of rain. Halfway through the first quarter, the heavy rain came and seemed to slow down the Wildcats.

At the end of the first quarter, the referees called a 38-minute weather delay. (This was the third weather delay for FAU: Nicholls State, South Florida and last week’s game at Kansas State.) FAU’s offense took over after Kansas State missed another field goal, this time from 49 yards. Quarterback Rusty Smith came in, and on his first play threw an interception. The mistake resulted in a touchdown pass for the Wildcats, making the score 21-0.

After two personal fouls, the offense had gotten into Wildcat territory for the first time in the game. At third down and five from the 41-yard-line, FAU committed two false start penalties, then fumbled a punt to give the ball back in FAU territory. The miscues resulted in the first field goal of the evening to make it 24-0 at the end of the first half.

Special teams weren’t the only problem, according to junior defensive end Josh Pinnick. The defense had problems, too. “We’re not very good now,” he said. “We need to fix a lot of mistakes.”

Starting the second half, freshman kickoff return man Avery Holley fumbled the kickoff before recovering at the Owls’ six yard line. That drive resulted in a fourth and one from the FAU 41-yard-line.

Senior fullback Aaron Sanchez plowed through for three yards. A few plays later, Sanchez caught a pass on fourth and one. The catch put FAU at the 34-yard-line, the deepest they had driven all day.

On a third fourth down, the Owls failed to convert and the Wildcats took over. Kansas State’s Thomas Clayton scored on a two-yard run to make it 31-0. With the score 38-0, Owls’ linebacker Cergile Sincere intercepted a pass at the Kansas State 42-yard-line.

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