Football: Owls fail to become bowl-eligible with 38-14 loss to MTSU

Franco Panizo

FAU and Middle Tennessee State squared off in a must-win Sun Belt Conference game on Saturday, and the result was not one Owls fans will be proud of.

MTSU quarterback Dwight Dasher threw for two touchdowns and rushed another two as the Blue Raiders disposed of FAU 38-14 at Floyd Stadium in Murfreesboro, Tenn., on Saturday, Nov. 27.

FAU (4-7, 3-4 Sun Belt) lost any chance of reaching a bowl game as the defeat guaranteed a sub-.500 season for the second straight year. MTSU (5-6, 4-3) is still in the hunt for a bowl game with the win.

The Owls scored on the opening drive through a 32-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jeff Van Camp to wide receiver Lester Jean. That promising start would be as good as it got for FAU.

Middle Tennessee responded by scoring 31 unanswered points, making the Owls look inept both offensively and defensively.

FAU’s offense only racked up 256 total yards and committed three turnovers through Van Camp interceptions.

The Owls’ defense surrendered 445 yards and could not contain Dasher. The unit also suffered blows through injuries to cornerback Tarvoris Hill and defensive linemen Jamere Johnson and Martin Wright. Cornerback Winfred Strickland left the game early with turf toe.

FAU wide receiver Lester Jean was one of few Owls who enjoyed strong performances. Jean made eight grabs for 100 yards and two touchdowns. The two touchdown catches moved him into second place on the Owls’ all-time scoring list.

FAU will attempt to close out its 2010 season on a positive note on Dec. 4 against Sun Belt Conference foe Troy.