Football: Battle of the Owls: FAU loses 27-26 to Rice

An hour and a half weather delay led to two uncontested Rice touchdowns and the Owls fourth loss of the season.


Brandon Harrington

Sophomore Kamrin Solomon is tackled in the endzone after a 94-yard touchdown run during the second quarter of Saturday’s 27-26 loss versus Rice. Solomon’s touchdown was the longest in program history. Photo by Brandon Harrington.

Josh Talero, Contributing Writer

After a hour and a half weather delay along with two uncontested scores against them to end the game, Florida Atlantic football suffered a 27-26 defeat Saturday to Rice University.

“Obviously a disappointing and heartbreaking loss, there were times where it looked like we had a chance to be a good football team,” said head football coach Charlie Partridge on the team’s loss.

After Rice’s initial possession led to the first score of the game, FAU’s found a quick reply.Redshirt senior quarterback Jaquez Johnson led the offense on a 75-yard drive, finishing with an 11-yard pass to redshirt sophomore receiver Kalib Woods for a touchdown to tie the game at 7.

Johnson’s performance included a 94-yard touchdown pass to sophomore receiver Kamrin Solomon to tie the game again at 14 with 5:56 left in the second quarter .

The completion was not only the longest of his career, but was also the longest receiving touchdown in program history.

Johnson finished the game completing 15-of-29 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns.

The defense failed to initially establish itself, allowing back-to-back touchdowns on Rice’s first two drives. Rice senior quarterback Driphus Jackson proved to be elusive against the Owls, contributing 311 yards of offense and all four of his team’s touchdowns (three pass, one rush.)

“We just didn’t have a feel for him at first. Once we got the feel, we were able to get to him,” senior defensive lineman Trevon Coley said. Coley had six tackles in the game and half a sack.

After giving up the first two scores, FAU’s defense held Rice scoreless until the 7:21 mark of the fourth quarter.

FAU took a 17-14 lead over Rice on their first possession of the second half after a 27-yard field goal by junior kicker Greg Joseph.

After blocking an FAU punt deep in their own red zone with 5:51 left in the third quarter, Rice was threatening to either tie or take the lead midway through the third quarter.

But FAU’s defense made another stand once again, sacking quarterback Driphus Jackson on two consecutive plays and forcing Rice to attempt 38 yard field goal that was unsuccessful.

The missed field goal was Rice’s second of the game.

FAU’s offense capitalized on the following drive by way of a 40 yard run by redshirt sophomore running back Marcus Clark. The offense also received help from a Rice pass interference penalty.

The drive finished with a 20-yard field goal by Greg Joseph, giving FAU a 20-14 lead with 1:23 left in the third quarter.

On the following drive, Rice quarterback Driphus Jackson was sacked by junior defensive end Trey Hendrickson. In the process, Hendrickson forced Jackson to fumble the ball, causing the game’s first turnover. Senior left tackle Trevon Coley recovered the fumble, giving FAU excellent starting field position going into the fourth quarter.

Redshirt freshman Trey Rodriguez found the endzone on a 9-yard rush on the following drive, giving FAU a 26-14 lead over Rice before lightening in the area caused a weather delay that lasted over an hour.

Once play resumed, FAU’s defense picked up where they left off as they forced the Rice offense to turn the ball over on downs. However, Rice’s next drive resulted in a touchdown on a 21-yard run by quarterback Driphus Jackson.

Perhaps it was the rain delay taking the wind out of FAU’s sails, but Rice was able to move the ball commandingly against FAU’s defense as the fourth quarter went on.

Rice capped  their final drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Driphus Jackson to running back Darik Dillard, giving Rice a lead 27-26 with 2:07 left in the fourth quarter

That final score would prove to be the game winner, as Jaquez Johnson was sacked on 4th and five on his team’s final drive to give Rice the ball back and the win.

With the loss, FAU fell to 1-4 and currently are winless at home for the season. Rice improved to 3-3 (2-1 C-USA).

The Owls will face Marshall at home next week on Saturday Oct. 17 at noon.

Video by Mohammed F. Emran

Josh Talero is a contributing writer for the University Press. To contact him on this or other stories, he can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter.