Owls squeak by Blazers in season opener 32-31

Mark Gibson

FAU started its season off with a win as it pulled off an impressive comeback victory over University of Alabama at Birmingham on Thursday, Sept. 2, at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama.

The first quarter of play did not go well for FAU. The very first snap of the game, quarterback Jeff Van Camp was sacked. The Owls rounded out the quarter by surrendering 14 unanswered points.

The Owls’ first score came on a 25-yard pass by quarterback Jeff Van Camp to wide receiver Lester Jean. UAB managed to block FAU’s extra point attempt, which proved to be a challenging deficit to overcome throughout the game. Van Camp went 14-24 for 254 yards and three touchdowns.

Jean was the star of the second quarter as he made a spectacular one-handed catch on a 77-yard touchdown pass, which brought the score to 14-12 after a failed two-point conversion. UAB responded quickly, ending the first half with a 21-12 lead.

Coming into the second half, the Blazers continued to build on their lead as quarterback David Isabelle rushed for a one-yard touchdown. Isabelle went 9-19 for 79 yards and one touchdown but led the team in rushing with 214 yards and three touchdowns.

Safety Brentley Harstad managed to make an interception in the third quarter and run it back for a 38-yard touchdown, sparking a rally for FAU. The Owls narrowed the Blazers’ lead to 28-26 after a screen pass to Willie Floyd turned into a 43-yard score.

In the fourth quarter, trailing 31-26, running back Alfred Morris, who rushed for 103 yards on the day, broke for a 38-yard touchdown run, giving the Owls the lead for the first time in the game.

The Owls would have to avoid a late scare as the UAB offense marched down the field and got set for a short field goal attempt with five seconds left on the clock. On the kick, FAU linebacker Michael Lockley managed to get a hand up to block the attempt, giving the Owls a 32-31 victory and a 1-0 record in 2010.

FAU travels to Detroit to play Michigan State on Saturday, Sept. 11, at noon.