FAU Football: Owls lose 31-14 to UAB in a disappointing road defeat

The Owls remain winless in three games on the road this season.


Eston Parker III

Photo by Eston Parker.

Kevin Garcia, Staff Writer

The Florida Atlantic Owls (3-3, 1-1 C-USA) lost their third straight road game of the 2021 season in Birmingham, Ala. as they suffered a crushing 31-14 loss to the UAB Blazers on Saturday. 

The game was fairly competitive up until the second half with the Blazers scoring the final points of the game with 2:50 left in the third quarter to take a commanding 17-point lead.

“The pick six took a lot out of us before the half, but I thought at halftime, our guys had their mind in the right spot,” head coach Willie Taggart said. “We did a horrible job running the ball.”

FAU struggled in the running game, having just a total of 52 rushing yards in the evening. Quarterback N’kosi Perry did not look sharp either, posting 193 yards on 16 completions with three interceptions. In FAU’s five prior games, Perry had only one interception. 

“I thought those first couple of plays by itself kind of spooked him and kind of got him out of whack,” Taggart said of Perry’s performance. 

The offensive line for FAU struggled mightily against the defensive front of UAB, surrendering six sacks. These struggles afforded little time for Perry to work in the pocket and contributed to the tough day the offense had overall. 

With 30 seconds left on the clock in the first half, Perry threw a 100-yard interception. This was the turning point of the game and signaled the end for the Owls. Perry’s struggles continued and Taggart eventually pulled him from the game after tweaking his ankle. Perry also played with a glove on his throwing hand. 

Taggart attributed these injuries as to why Perry was pulled from the game, indicating that his benching was not performance-related. “He was beat up [on] his ankle, he couldn’t run around and again, we weren’t blocking anybody and I think he reopened the stitches on his hand so that was the reason,” Taggart said.

Both teams went to work defensively in the second half as only seven points were scored by either team. Backup quarterback Nick Tronti struggled to get anything going for the offense once he subbed in.  

FAU’s struggles on the road continued, dating back to last season, they have lost their last five games on the road. Their last road win came on Nov. 13, 2020 against FIU. 

“I think if this football team can just play consistently whether at home or away then we’ll get those, but we haven’t played consistently enough to play that way. Again if we want to be a championship team, we [have] to learn to do that,” Taggart said. 

FAU will have a bye week, giving the team time to rest and prepare for their next game on Thursday, Oct. 21 on the road in Charlotte, N.C. against the Charlotte 49ers. That game will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network and Fox Sports 640AM South Florida.

Kevin Garcia is a Contributing Writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email him [email protected] or follow him on twitter @kevingar658