Football: Missed opportunities doom FAU in sixth straight loss

The Owls lost their fourth one-possession game of the season.


Devin Singletary ran for a career-high 252 yards against Rice. Ryan Lynch | Editor in Chief

Christopher Libreros, Contributing Writer

In what started as a shootout against conference foe Marshall University, Florida Atlantic University’s inability to capitalize on scoring opportunities turned the momentum and doomed the Owls in their sixth straight loss, 27-21.

With one final chance to take back the lead in the game’s final two minutes, FAU’s offense was unable to convert on fourth down at the Marshall 10-yard line, as the Herd completed its second-half shutout of FAU.

The Owls (1-6, 0-2 Conference USA) jumped out to a lightning-quick start in the game’s opening drive, scoring a touchdown in four plays. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Jason Driskel aired a 26-yard pass before rushing the ball 18 yards across the goalline.

FAU showed its strength in the running game, as junior Greg Howell and freshman David Singletary each ran the ball for 100 plus yards, including a Singletary 48-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter.

Howell, who also scored a touchdown in Saturday’s match, inched to within five rushing touchdowns of Alfred Morris’ school record of 18.

The FAU defense showed its big-play capability, but also showed glimpses of vulnerability. In the game’s closing minutes, the Owls were unable to shut the door on Marshall’s running game in crucial third and fourth down situations, ultimately setting up the game-winning touchdown for head coach Doc Holliday’s Marshall squad.

Yet it was two FAU missed opportunities that came back to cost the Owls their chance at a second victory of the season. Following a clutch interception by sophomore safety Jalen Young in the end zone as Marshall was threatening to score right before halftime, Jason Driskel put his team in scoring position following several key throws with a chance to cushion the lead.

He then returned the ball back to Marshall with his sixth interception of the season.

In the third quarter, the Owls choice to go for it on fourth-and-1 at the Marshall 20-yard line cost them a potential three points that could have increased the FAU lead to eight. This decision would come back to haunt the Owls as the potential chance of needing a game-tying field goal in their final drive was transformed into a touchdown-or-bust situation.

Young and redshirt junior linebacker Nate Ozdemir finished with a team-high 16 tackles each —  both a career high. Senior defensive end Trey Hendrickson added to his program record with two sacks.

The Owls are headed back home in hopes righting the ship with their first bye week. They will next play against Western Kentucky University on Oct. 29 at 3:30 p.m. at FAU Stadium.

Christopher Libreros is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him at @ChrisIsAirborne.