FAU earns 41-37 comeback win over UTSA


Ryan Murphy

Jaquez Johnson threw for 295 yards and three touchdowns on the day. Photo by Ryan Murphy

Though the opponent was different, the FAU offense started the game the same way they finished the previous one — a fumble on the very first play of the game by Jaquez Johnson.

Head coach Charlie Partridge took Johnson aside after the fumble and tried to steady him. “Quez is a darn good football player,” said Partridge. “I wanted him to know that I believed in him.”

Johnson redeemed himself during the rest of the afternoon, finishing with 295 yards and three touchdowns. “I always had confidence that me and the offense would come out and make plays,” Johnson said.

FAU outgained UTSA 126 to 52 in the first quarter, but still found themselves on the wrong end of the scoreboard as UTSA led FAU 10 to 7.

A 76-yard interception by Cre’von LeBlanc — the first of LeBlanc’s three-year career — gave the Owls a 17-14 lead. The return is the second longest interception return in school history.

“[LeBlanc] played as a true freshman, and he was a stud,” said Christian Milstead. “I was just waiting on it to happen.” LeBlanc mentioned that he felt his interception was a play that changed the momentum of the game.

Another interceptioN by Andrae Kirk with 1:20 left to play in the first half gave FAU the ball back. Johnson scored a 24-yard rushing touchdown to give FAU the lead and complete the comeback, sending a rapturous roar through the crowd.

When Johnson threw the 15-yard touchdown pass to Nate Terry with 20 seconds left to play, the consensus was that the game was virtually in the bag. FAU took a 37-34 lead. The reception was the first of Terry’s career.

“It feels amazing,” said Terry. “For my first reception to be a touchdown, and for it to be a game winning touchdown, it feels amazing.”

“[The play] came, and he made it,” Johnson said of the true freshman Terry. “I’m proud of him.”

A 67-yard return on the ensuing kickoff placed UTSA at their 7-yard line with just seconds remaining. Cre’von LeBlanc broke up a pass on the very last play of the game to secure the win.

FAU heads Miami to face Florida International University on Oct. 2.