FAU loses third straight game, fall to North Texas 31-10


Jeremy Gaskins led the Owls in rushing despite just 38 yards on the day. Photo by Max Jackson

It was deja vu for the Florida Atlantic Owls, who struggled against the North Texas Mean Green in the same way that they did against Marshall and UAB in the last two games. The Owls (3-7, 2-4 C-USA) lost to North Texas (3-6, 1-4 C-USA) 31-10, in a game where FAU couldn’t get things going on either side of the ball.

Here are a few things you need to know about tonight’s game:

The Owls got off to a bad offensive start — again. The FAU offense failed to make steady progress during the first half, having only four first downs, 56 total offensive yards, and no touchdowns. Falling behind early 21-3. FAU’s only points of the first half came from a 41 yard field goal by kicker Greg Joseph. wide receiver Alex DeLeon scored FAU’s lone touchdown of the game on a 34 yard pass from quarterback Jaquez Johnson with 4:32 remaining in the third quarter.

FAU committed multiple penalties, uncharacteristic of their play this season. The Owls committed six penalties, for a total of 55 yards lost. Those penalties came back to hurt FAU, who often put themselves in bad position to be scored on and made it harder on themselves because of the calls. The Owls averaged 3.9 penalties per game (ranked sixth-best in the nation)  on the season before this game.

North Texas ran well against the FAU defense. Running back Antoinne Jimmerson ran for 117 yards and one touchdown. North Texas had a total of 236 running yards against the Owls, whose rush defense ( ranked 100th out of 126) has struggled in the last few games.

Multiple turnovers killed the offensive momentum for FAU. A fumble on a punt return by wide receiver Lucky Whitehead in the third quarter and an interception thrown by quarterback Jaquez Johnson in the fourth quarter stopped the Owls’ offensive progress and allowed the North Texas offense to manage the clock late in the game.

Today’s loss eliminates FAU from bowl contention. With the loss, FAU is no longer eligible for a bowl game. North Texas remains eligible, with three games left on their schedule.

FAU is still winless on the road this season (0-6) and look to bounce back with two games remaining. The Owls play Middle Tennessee on November 22 in what will be their final road game of the season.