Football: FAU drops last home game of season after second-half collapse

The Owls finish the season with a record of 2-4 at home.


Freshman running back Devin Singletary scored two touchdowns in the Owls 42-24 loss to Old Dominion on Saturday night. Alexis Hayward | Staff Photographer

Brendan Feeney, Sports Editor

Florida Atlantic football carried an eight-point lead into halftime, but a strong Old Dominion third quarter ultimately proved too much as the Owls lost their last home game of the season 42-24 on Saturday night.

Old Dominion (8-3, 6-1 Conference USA) took the first possession of the third quarter 69 yards before facing a fourth-and-3 at the Owls 6-yard line. Monarchs quarterback David Washington found Jonathan Duhart in the end zone to convert the fourth down attempt before scrambling for the game-tying two-point conversion.

The touchdown marked Old Dominion’s third successful fourth-down conversion of the game, the previous two leading to its first touchdown of the game.

After an FAU (3-8, 2-5 Conference USA) punt, Washington found Zach Pascal 45 yards downfield to capture a 28-21 lead, the Monarchs first of the game. On their next drive from scrimmage, Old Dominion responded to an FAU field goal with a touchdown, but not without some help from the Owls defense.

The Monarchs offense would have been stopped for a fourth down, but an illegal-hands-to-the-face penalty gave them a fresh set of downs. A few plays later, after a defensive pass interference call placed the ball at the 2-yard line, Washington and Duhart reconnected to stretch their team’s lead to 35-24.

“That was a back breaker,”  head coach Charlie Partridge said. “They were able to finish that drive and make it an 11-point game and we could never recover.”

Washington finished the game with 416 passing yards and five touchdowns, three of which went to Duhart. Pascal contributed with 178 receiving yards and a touchdown of his own.

“I think that’s arguably the best wide receiver core we faced in the league,” Partridge said. “They had a ton of explosive plays there in the second half.”

Old Dominion totalled 623 yards in the game, compared to just 363 for FAU.

Before halftime hit, it appeared that the Owls momentum from their previous two wins would carry over. Junior running back Greg “Buddy” Howell scored his 12th touchdown of the season, breaking Alfred Morris’ program record of 11.

Freshman running back Devin Singletary — who accounted for 397 rushing yards and five touchdowns over the previous two games — scored two touchdowns of his own to go along with 90-first-half rushing yards.

The duo combined for 115 rushing yards in the first half, but were limited to 26 in the second.

“It’s a consistency thing,” redshirt sophomore quarterback Jason Driskel said. “Obviously our guys have the ability to make plays, we’ve done it. It’s just doing it on a consistent basis, the teams that win, they make plays consistently.”

Junior wide receiver Kalib Woods recorded his sixth 100-yard receiving game of the season. Prior to this year, he never had more than 330 yards in a season.

The loss prevents the Owls from winning their third straight game after losing seven in a row. It also limits them to only one more chance to pick up their fourth win of the season, which would be the most under Partridge.

Their last chance to pick up that fourth victory will be at Middle Tennessee, next Saturday, Nov. 26, at 5:30 p.m.

Video by Mohammed F. Emran | Staff Photographer

Brendan Feeney is the sports editor of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @feeney42.