FAU Football: Owls lose on the road to No. 22 Marshall, 20-9

Marshall snapped FAU’s eight-game win streak dating back to last season.


QB Nick Tronti stands in the shotgun against Marshall on October 24th. Photo courtesy of FAU Athletics.

Trey Avant, Contributing Writer

FAU (1-1, 1-1 C-USA) suffered a tough loss on the road against No. 22 Marshall (5-0, 3-0 C-USA), losing 20-9. The loss is FAU’s first loss since Oct. 18 of last year, which was also to Marshall. FAU is now 1-7 all-time against the Thundering Herd.

Head coach Willie Taggart was disappointed at the outcome of the game.

“I thought our guys played hard. We left some points out on the field, we had too many penalties in the game. When you’re playing a ranked team like Marshall you just got to be disciplined when playing a team like that,” Taggart said. “Offensively we just couldn’t sustain drives and we just didn’t execute well at all.”

FAU was without 43 players for the game with 28 of those inactives being COVID-19 related.

The offense for FAU struggled to get in a rhythm for most of the game. The Owls played without their two starting offensive tackles, BJ Etienne and Marquice Robinson, and the result was the offensive line giving up five sacks.

While the offense had a hard time getting things going, running back Malcolm Davidson rushed for 62 yards and a touchdown on eight attempts. Running back Larry McCammon III also pitched in 36 yards before suffering what seemed to be a sprained ankle. 

McCammon III was seen on crutches during the fourth quarter.

“I want to say it’s a sprain, we’re not totally sure yet. The trainer said they think it’s a sprain but we’re going to get an MRI on it to try to make sure,” Taggart said.

Quarterback Nick Tronti did what he could against a stout Marshall defense. He completed 18 of his 30 passes for 148 yards and an interception.

Wide receivers Jordan Merrell and TJ Chase both turned in solid performances. Merrell recorded five catches for 48 yards and Chase had four catches for 46 yards.

FAU’s defense played admirably against a Marshall offense that averaged 37.3 points per game coming into the game. Defensive backs Jordan Helm and Teja Young forced Marshall quarterback Grant Wells into throwing two interceptions while linebackers Chase Lasater and Ahman Ross each recorded 13 and 11 total tackles, respectively.

While FAU was able to limit Marshall’s potent offense, Wells did a nice job spreading the ball around to his receivers. Wide receiver Corey Gammage caught six passes for 79 yards while wide receiver Artie Henry caught five passes for 75 yards and a touchdown.

Wells completed 18 of his 31 passes for 251 yards and two touchdowns.

Marshall running back Brenden Knox proved especially difficult to contain as he ran the ball 25 times for 102 yards and had two catches for 55 yards and a touchdown.

FAU looks to bounce back from this loss, Saturday, Oct. 31 at home against the UTSA Roadrunners. The game will be broadcast at 12 p.m on Stadium.

Trey Avant is a contributing writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @TreyAvant3.