Running Backs Carry the Load

FAU running backs shoulder the load

Offensively the Owls were impressive running the ball with Charles Pierre, B.J Manley, and Willie Rose leading the way for the ground attack. Pierre started strong in the first quarter scoring on a one-yard touchdown run. Willie Rose showed a burst of speed up the middle for 20- yards in the first quarter. B.J Manley had a 22-yard run up the middle in the second quarter, but his best was yet to come. Manley ran up the middle for a 23-yard gain in the third quarter. That gain helped the offense to a touchdown on the drive. Pierre ended any hope of a Middle Tennessee comeback with a 27-yard gain late in the fourth quarter to seal the win. Pierre Finished with 16 carries for 95 yards and a touchdown. Manley had 8 carries for 64 yards, and Rose had 53 yards rushing on 8 carries. Overall, FAU ran the ball for 216 yards on 42 carries, an average of 5.14 yards per carry.

Smith has the early jitters, but finishes strong

Quarterback Rusty Smith started this game on slow, and looked confused with his receiving targets. There were incomplete passes to wide receiver Cortez Gent, tight end Jamari Grant, and receiver Chris Bonner. In the first half Smith was 6-18 for 36 yards, and it appeared that the Owls passing game would be in for a long day. Smith settled down in the second half and possibly found a new weapon on offense.

Tight End Jason Harmon helped Smith ease into the game with a 15-yard catch as he leaped over a Middle Tennessee defender for a first down which certainly had the home crowd pumped up. Smith connected to Harmon again this time for a 42-yard touchdown hook up. Smith now teeming with confidence connected with Dilvory Edgecomb for 36 yards, and completed a pass to wide receiver Cortez Gent for 14 -yard touchdown pass. Helping Smith was receiver Conshario Johnson with a 27-yard catch, and Chris Bonner with a 25-yard reception. Overall Smith had a better second half, and would finish 12-26 for 195 yards, and two touchdowns.

Special Teams excite with early energy

FAU special teams made some noise of their own when they recovered the opening punt from Middle Tennessee and repeated the performance recovering a kickoff return for Middle Tennessee. The special teams’ pressure kept the FAU defense and MTSU offense off of the field until 7:24 was left in the first quarter. Recovering the punt was linebacker Michael Lockley and linebacker Malik Eugene recovered the botched kickoff.

Fact of the day

FAU defense held Middle Tennessee to 18 rushing yards on 32 carries today. The Offensive line held preseason All Sun Belt Defensive Lineman Erik Walden without a quarterback sack. Walden is the all time sack leader, with 20.5 sacks for Middle Tennessee. He is third all-time in the Sun Belt Conference.