Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


FAU loses season opener to UF 41-3



GAINESVILLE — It took deep into the second quarter for FAU to finally get their first first-down as a team. Over 26 minutes into the game to be exact.


The University of Florida entered the Will Muschamp era, and took down FAU by a humbling 41-3 count.


The Gators sustained two 12-play drives in the first quarter and took a commanding 10-0 lead. Meanwhile, the Owls began the game with four consecutive three-and-out series. FAU finally had a first down with 4 minutes remaining in the second quarter on a drive that began due to a Marcus Bartels interception.


The Owl’s managed to score a field goal on the drive making it 24-3. On the Gators’ next offensive play, quarterback John Brantley’s pass was deflected and intercepted by linebacker Toney Moore.


Just as the Owl’s seemed to have been gaining momentum, kicker Vinny Zaccario missed a 34-yard field goal that would have made the score 24-6 going into halftime.


At the half, the Gators managed 264 yards of offense while the Owls only had just 62.


The Owls offense began the second half in similar fashion to how it ended the first, moving the ball in small doses and gaining momentum by keeping the Gators defense on the field.


But on fourth down, a bad snap to punter Mickey Groody allowed Gators sophomore Solomon Patton to block the punt which was recovered by Chris Rainey and returned 22 yards for a touchdown to make the score 31-3.


All momentum the Owls had was now gone.


To start the 4th quarter, the Gators made it clear they weren’t done yet.


With 11:18 remaining in the game running back Jeff Demps scampered into the endzone for a 20 yard run which put the count at 38-3.


Demps finished the game with 105 yards on only 12 carries and two touchdowns.


The other Gators running back, Chris Rainey had three touchdowns in the game, all in a different style. Rainey had a touchdown run, touchdown reception and also scored six points when he recovered the Groody blocked-punt in the third quarter.


In a game in which the Owls struggled a great deal, the Gators as a team showed that they are national championship contenders once again.


“This team will be in the hunt for the national championship and will have a chance to win it,” said Owls head coach Howard Schnellenberger. “We knew we were going to play one of the best football teams in America and we certainly did.”


The time of possession was evenly split in the game as the Owls had the ball for 28:39 and the Gators for 31:21 but that was the only part of the game that was close.


The Gators finished with 468 yards of total offense and 30 first downs in the game.


“We didn’t learn much,” admitted safety Marcus Bartels. “about how well we could be.”

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