Football: FAU dominated by Texas, 51-17

Ryan Cortes

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Going into Saturday afternoon’s tilt with the University of Texas, FAU was pegged as a 21.5-point underdog. The Owls did their part to ensure that the line was too low.

FAU was overwhelmed throughout the game, ending the night with a 51-17 loss at the Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.

The Owls had trouble right from the start, as Texas was able to march the ball down to the Owls’ 1-yard line on their first possession.

But after four consecutive failed run attempts from a yard out, the Owls gained a turnover-on-downs as they stopped Texas from punching the ball into the end zone.

FAU quarterback Jeff Van Camp promptly threw an interception to linebacker Blake Gideon on the ensuing drive, however.

This time around, faced with yet another fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line after three unsuccessful runs, Texas coach Mack Brown was able to call a successful play, as Cody Johnson scampered in for the touchdown to put Texas ahead 7-0 early.

After trading punts for multiple possessions, the Owls were able to strike gold when Van Camp connected on a 57-yard strike to tight end Rob Housler to tie the game at 7 with under two minutes in the opening quarter.

Early in the second quarter the Owls got the ball back, only to see kicker Ross Gornall have his 45-yard field goal attempt blocked by defensive tackle Kheeston Randall.

The play immediately following the blocked kick saw quarterback Garrett Gilbert complete a play-action pass to wide receiver James Kirkendoll to place Texas ahead 14-7.

Kirkendoll found himself behind corner Tavious Polo multiple times throughout the game, burning FAU’s defense for four catches for 123 yards and a touchdown.

Just before halftime, with the Owls down 17-7 and faced with a fourth-and-34, the Owls elected to go for it and could not convert the first down. The Longhorns took over with under a minute to play, advancing the ball to midfield with four seconds remaining and time for one last play in the half.

Gilbert was able to find Malcolm Williams deep in the end zone for a 47-yard touchdown on a Hail Mary as time expired in the first half of play. FAU entered halftime down, 24-7.

Texas continued to dominate after the half, aided by three field goals from kicker Justin Tucker.

The game was sealed early in the fourth quarter as Van Camp had a pass intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Emmanuel Acho.

Van Camp finished the game with 210 yards and two touchdowns.

FAU fell to 4-6 with the loss and cannot lose either of its remaining two games if it wants to reach a bowl game this season.