Football: FAU now 0-10 after losing to Troy 34-7

Trojans+wide+receiver+Chandler+Worthy+drops+a+pass+that+would+have+been+a+touchdown+for+Troy.+Photo+by+Zack+Duarte.

Trojans wide receiver Chandler Worthy drops a pass that would have been a touchdown for Troy. Photo by Zack Duarte.

Zack Duarte

Trojans wide receiver Chandler Worthy drops a pass that would have been a touchdown for Troy. Photo by Zack Duarte.

TROY, Alabama — Alfred Morris continued his climb atop the FAU record books, surpassing DiIvory Edgecomb for career all-purpose yards, but it wasn’t nearly enough as FAU fell to Troy, 34-7.

Morris needed only 55 yards for the record and it was his by halftime, as he now has 3,562 career all-purpose yards.

“I’m thankful that I’ve had a successful career here, “ said Morris. “At the same time I’d trade it all in for some wins this year.”

The record was overshadowed by the Owls (0-10,0-7) poor display on the field.

Despite 101 yards on the ground from Morris, on only 22 carries, the Owls offense was suspect all game leaving the defense vulnerable time after time and eventually the Trojans would go on to run away with the game.

Scoreless after one quarter, the Trojans returned a Mickey Groody punt to the Owls 11 yard line, and settled for a Michael Taylor 27 yard field goal — a lead the Trojans would never relinquish.

Corey Robinson connected with Khary Franklin for a 14-yard touchdown pass, and Eric Thomas for a 57-yard score on consecutive drives to put Troy ahead 17-0.

Eric Thomas catches a 25-yard touchdown pass from Corey Robinson to put the Trojans ahead 31-7. Photo by Zack Duarte.

FAU delivered a punch of its own on a nine play, 72-yard scoring drive which featured Alfred Morris taking a handoff at the Trojans ten yard line and doing the rest of the work to pull the Owls within 10 with under a minute to play in the first half.

Morris had 16 carries for 78 yards at the half.

FAU had every chance to pull closer to Troy in the third quarter as the defense held the Trojans scoreless, but the offense once again went into hibernation and settled for three more Mickey Groody punts.

Groody tied an FAU record with 11 punts in the game.

At the start of the 4th quarter the Owls were still within striking distance trailing 17-7, but the inconsistency of the offense coupled with a tired and hurt defense opened the door for the Trojans to put the game away.

David Hinds was sidelined in the first quarter with an injury to his ankle. Hinds returned but was hobbled for much of the 4th quarter and remained on the bench. Safety Marcus Bartels injured his left ankle at the end of the third quarter and had his ankle wrapped in ice on the trainers bench to begin the fourth.

Also defensive end Kevin Cyrille suffered an undisclosed injury in the fourth quarter which appeared to be serious.

“I’m hoping it’s not above the neck,” said head coach Howard Schnellenberger.

The Trojans scored two quick touchdowns to start the fourth quarter and had FAU on its heels, 31-7.

The Owls punted on their subsequent drive, Groody’s 11th punt, and the Trojans used 14 plays and over eight minutes of game clock to end their drive with another Michael Taylor field goal and put the score at 34-7.

Quarterback Graham Wilbert finished the game completing 16 of his 29 passes for 157 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.

While the offensive numbers seem tolerable with Wilbert and Morris’s stats, the Owls were only 5 for 17 on third down conversions, converting less than 33 percent into first downs.

“We left the defense out hanging,” said Morris. “As an offense we don’t do our part enough, too many three-and-outs, too many turnovers that leave the defense on the field way too long.”

The Owls remain the only winless team in Division I Football and have lost 13 consecutive games dating back to 2010.

Their record falls to 0-10, Howard Schnellenberger’s first season as a head coach with double digit losses.

FAU has two more chances – against UAB and ULM – to post a victory and stay off the radar as the worst D-I college football team.