Football: North Texas defeats FAU for first time ever

SPORTS

FAU struggled in a 21-17 loss against the University of North Texas on Saturday, Sept. 25,at Lockhart Stadium.

The game, which was the first Sun Belt Conference match for both teams, marked the first time North Texas had beaten FAU in team history. 

FAU (1-2, 0-1) got things started with a one-yard touchdown run by running back Alfred Morris after marching down the field with relative ease.

North Texas quickly answered on the ensuing drive with a 23-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Riley Dodge to wide receiver Darius Carey, making the score 7-7.

FAU followed with a 30-yard field goal in the second quarter, giving them a 10-7 lead.

Things were looking good for the Owls as the defense forced two turnovers midway through the quarter. Cornerback Tarvoris Hill picked off a Dodge pass in the end zone, and Malik Eugene forced a fumble, which was recovered by defensive back Marcus Bartels.

The celebration was short-lived, as tight end Darian Williams fumbled, giving North Texas the ball again. 

Mean Green got points off the turnover and took its first lead as Dodge passed to Carey for a 46-yard touchdown, giving them a four-point advantage over FAU. Dodge finished the day 10-15 for 146 yards and two touchdowns. 

After a blocked field goal by linebacker Michael Lockley and a failed FAU 30-yard field goal attempt by kicker Ross Gornall, North Texas extended their lead to 21-10 in the fourth quarter on a 32-yard rushing touchdown by running back James Hamilton. Dodge also contributed to the run, rushing for 67 yards.

“The quarterback found a way to scramble,” said Michael Lockley. “It really hurt us on key third downs.” 

FAU made a late comeback attempt, scoring on a 36-yard touchdown pass from Jeff Van Camp to tight end Rob Housler. That would be as close as the Owls would get, as a late drive ended in turnover on downs, giving North Texas the victory.

“We are disappointed in how inept we were both on defense and offense,” said head coach Howard Schnellenberger. “We have a lot of work to do.” 

FAU will travel to Tampa to play the University of South Florida on Saturday, Oct. 2, at 7:00 p.m.