FAU held scoreless against Alabama, lose second consecutive game

Jay+Warren%2C+running+back%2C+taking+a+handoff+from+QB+Greg+Hankerson.+%5BMax+Jackson+%7C+Photo+Editor%5D

Jay Warren, running back, taking a handoff from QB Greg Hankerson. [Max Jackson | Photo Editor]

Tuscaloosa, Ala. — Last season, a collarbone injury held starting quarterback Jaquez Johnson out of a game versus Rice University. In his place, Greg Hankerson led the Owls to what looked like an almost inevitable win over Rice before falling apart down the stretch.

His two turnovers — one fumble, one interception — were converted into Rice touchdowns, and FAU lost by a score of 18-14.

Playing in front of a near capacity crowd at Bryant-Denny Stadium is a different animal altogether, and this time, the game was never even in doubt. Alabama scored on their first three possessions, quickly revealing the discrepancy in talent between the two teams. The Crimson Tide’s backup quarterback, Jake Coker, was warming up before the first quarter even ended.

“Every defense has its weaknesses,” said safety Christian Milstead. “They were exploiting ours.”

Hankerson had serious trouble finding soft spots in the Alabama defense. The sheer speed of the Tide personnel and Hankerson’s inexperience combined for a rough afternoon for the sophomore from Lauderdale Lakes, Fla. Hankerson finished with 12-19 for 88 yards.

“He’s just learning,” wide receiver Lucky Whitehead said of Hankerson. Whitehead led the team with 42 yards receiving.

Hankerson said that he didn’t even know that he would be starting until today, because the team did not know if Jaquez Johnson would play. He mentioned that he did feel prepared to perform.

“I’ve been practicing the whole spring. I felt like I was ready to play,” he said.

FAU didn’t get into Alabama territory until very late in the second quarter. They managed just six first downs in the first half, and headed into halftime down 31-0 after accruing a mere 76 yards of total offense. By comparison, the Crimson Tide managed 419 total yards by halftime.

Starting their second drive following halftime, FAU showed some signs of life. Jay Warren, always an extremely physical runner, ran over a Tide linebacker and gained 32 yards, his longest run of the day.

In the very next play, wide receiver Jenson Stoshak made a difficult back shoulder catch advancing the Owls sixteen more yards. The drive stalled after a botched screen pass fell harmlessly to the turf, ending the most successful drive of the game for the Owls.

The skies opened during the third quarter, and the slick conditions slowed the Alabama Crimson Tide some. They scored just once in the third quarter, and after the FAU Owls surrendered a 70 yard punt return by Cyrus Jones, UA stood just ten yards from the end zone.

Just before launching their fourth down play, while looking at a fourth down and goal, lightning flashed. Because it was within ten miles of Bryant-Denny Stadium, play was suspended. The lightning did not subside, and both athletic directors agreed to end the game. The final score was 41-0 in favor of the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Patridge acknowledged that his team might just have been overmatched. “We had some true freshman on the field against some of the best players in the country,” Patridge said. “You can do your calculations from that.”

Max | Jackson Receiver Lucky Whitehead led the team with 42 yards against Alabama. He is only Owl to have scored a touchdown this season. [Max Jackson | Photo Editor]   Receiver Lucky Whitehead led the team with 42 yards against Alabama. He is only Owl to have scored a touchdown this season.
 

Kiki Baxter | Managing Editor [Kiki Baxter | Managing Editor]  

Kiki Baxter | Managing Editor [Kiki Baxter | Managing Editor]  

Kiki Baxter | Managing Editor [Kiki Baxter | Managing Editor]  

Kiki Baxter | Managing Editor [Kiki Baxter | Managing Editor]  

Kiki Baxter | Managing Editor [Kiki Baxter | Managing Editor]  

Kiki Baxter | Managing Editor [Kiki Baxter | Managing Editor]  

Kiki Baxter | Managing Editor [Kiki Baxter | Managing Editor]  

Kiki Baxter | Managing Editor  FAU fans chanted "one million dollars" from the stands during the away game vs Alabama on September 6. [Kiki Baxter | Managing Editor] FAU fans chanted “one million dollars” from the stands during the away game vs Alabama on September 6.
 

Kiki Baxter | Managing Editor [Kiki Baxter | Managing Editor]  

Kiki Baxter | Managing Editor [Kiki Baxter | Managing Editor]  

Kiki Baxter | Managing Editor [Kiki Baxter | Managing Editor]