FAU Football: Owls win the Shula Bowl for the fourth consecutive year

The Owls are on a four-game winning streak after defeating the FIU Golden Panthers.


Quarterback Javion Posey broke the FAU record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 182 yards in the Owls’ 38-19 win over FIU. Photo Courtesy of FAU Athletics.

Bryce Totz, Staff Writer

FAU (4-1, 4-1 C-USA) beat FIU (0-4, 0-2 C-USA), 38-19, Friday night in the 19th annual Shula Bowl. This was their first road win of the season. 

Head coach Willie Taggart won his first Shula Bowl, as FIU’s Butch Davis continues to struggle against the Owls. 

“I didn’t want to be that first coach to lose,” Taggart said. “I didn’t want to be that coach to lose this game.” 

FAU’s defense played strong, allowing 348 yards and two touchdowns. The defense also sacked FIU’s quarterbacks a total of five times. 

The Owls’ dominance on defense forced the Panthers to bench starting quarterback Stone Norton for Max Bortenschlager in the third quarter. 

The defense was not perfect though, as FIU had a couple of explosive plays including a 77-yard touchdown run by senior running back D’Vonte Price in the second quarter. 

“We can’t give up explosive plays for touchdowns,” Taggart said. 

This was the highest-scoring game this season for FAU. They scored 24 points in the first half Friday night. 

FAU’s offense was able to attack FIU all night with its ground-game. They had a total of 52 carries for 382 yards and three touchdowns.

“It was really good to see our offense put something together and try to establish an identity, something we really haven’t done all year,” Taggart said. “Running the football is something we wanted to do coming into the season.” 

Last week, redshirt freshman Javion Posey replaced junior quarterback Nick Tronti in the fourth quarter, playing in his first game this season. 

In the first half, Posey broke the school record for rushing yards by a quarterback in a game with 117. Jaquez Johnson was the previous record holder with 111 yards. He finished the game with 182 yards on 18 carries and added a rushing touchdown. Posey completed 10-16 passes for 80 yards and two touchdowns. 

This week, Taggart decided to start Posey based on what he saw last week against Western Kentucky and in practice. The decision to start Posey wasn’t made until the day before the game. 

Although Tronti was benched, Taggart says he still supports the team. Taggart said the team is like a “Band of Brothers” the way they support each other. 

Junior running back Malcolm Davidson also had success Friday night, he had nine carries for 88 yards and a touchdown. 

The only turnover of the game was when Posey fumbled the ball in the second quarter. Posey did not let that shake his confidence though. 

“He carried the ball a lot tighter after that when he ran with it,” Taggart said. “When things go bad he doesn’t get down.” 

The Owls will play at home next Friday night against the University of Massachusetts. Kickoff is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 20 at 8 p.m. and will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network. 

Bryce Totz is a staff writer for the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @brycetotz.