Owls grab easy win over hapless Southern Miss squad, bowl game dream still intact

Wesley Wright

 

FAU cornerback Christian Milstead grabs the ball for his first interception during Saturday afternoon's game. Milstead ran the interception 61 yards for a touchdown. Photo courtesy of Josh Fryd.
FAU cornerback Christian Milstead grabs the ball for his first interception during Saturday afternoon’s game. Milstead ran the interception 61 yards for a touchdown. Photo courtesy of Josh Fryd.

The Owls of Florida Atlantic University grabbed an easy road win against the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles, a 41-7 victory that preserved the goal of postseason play for the Owls.

A 12 play, 83 yard drive ended with a one yard TD run by Damian Fortner. Fortner now has scored in two straight games and did an impressive job splitting carries with freshman Jay Warren.

Running back (and starter) Jonathan Wallace practiced this week, but was held out of the game with a nagging leg injury.

An interception by cornerback Christian Milstead set up a forty yard field goal by kicker Mitch Anderson. On the next FAU drive, Mitch Anderson would add a 33 yard FG to put the Owls up 13-0.

A long run by Jay Warren would put the Owls in the red zone on their next drive. Jaquez Johnson would then convert a 5 yard run that made it 20 unanswered points for Florida Atlantic.

Southetn Miss finally found some rhythm on their next drive, but Christian Milstead would intercept another pass from quarterback Nick Mullens and return it sixty one yards for a touchdown. Just before halftime, the Owls found themselves with a comfortable 28 point lead.

Florida Atlantic amassed 228 total yards in the first half (203 rushing) while holding Southern Miss to negative two yards rushing.

The second half was more of the same. Jaquez Johnson would score another touchdown of the ground, and after the extra point, the scored was 34 to 0 in favor of the road team.

Johnson would finish with 111 rushing yards. Damian Fortner and Jay Warren rushed for 105 and 98 yards, respectively. The 331 total yards from the Owls is a new team record.

Damian Fortner scored his second rushing touchdown of the game to give the Owls a 41-0 lead, and with the game fully in hand, Brian Wright put in the backups.

Southern Mississippi scored late on a rushing touchdown by Mullens, who had for just 69 passing yards and 2 interceptions.

The 41-7 final score translated to a 34 point win that set a new record for margin of victory by the Florida Atlantic Owls.

Interim head coach Brian Wright and his coaching staff had their personnel ready to play today, and the win preserves the bowl aspirations for his team. Next weekend, the Owls are back at home to play a one-win New Mexico State team (3 PM, radio coverage on ESPN 106.3, TV coverage TBA).