FAU Football: Game-winning field goal dooms Owls in 24-21 loss at UTEP

The loss makes the Owls 0-4 on the road this season.

Matthew Vogdes, Staff Writer

The FAU football team (3-5, 2-2 C-USA) fell just short on the road against the University of Texas at El Paso Miners (4-4, 2-2 C-USA), losing 21-24 on Saturday night. The loss makes the Owls 0-4 on the road this season.

“When you’re on the road, you got to take advantage of those opportunities,” said head coach Willie Taggart. “From an offensive standpoint, we didn’t step up or make the plays that this football team needed to make.”

After both offenses started out slow, UTEP got on the scoreboard first thanks to senior kicker Gavin Baechle converting a 29-yard field goal with 11:55 left in the second quarter. 

The Owls quickly got into the redzone on the following drive but quarterback N’Kosi Perry committed a fumble near the goal line which gave the ball right back to the Miners.

With 2:33 left in the second quarter, junior running back Larry McCammon III rushed for 32 yards into the endzone to get FAU its first touchdown of the game. 

UTEP answered back with Baechle firing a 33-yard field goal to make the score 7-6 heading into halftime.. 

FAU failed to take advantage of great field position after a short punt and an unsportsmanlike conduct call on UTEP, as junior kicker Morgan Suarez missed a 52-yard field goal with 8:21 to go in the third quarter. 

The Owls extended their lead with 5:22 left in the third when redshirt junior safety Teja Young intercepted a pass and ran it back 72 yards for a touchdown. This marks the Owls’ third pick-six of the season.  

UTEP responded with its first touchdown of the night with 3:57 remaining in the third, as redshirt junior quarterback Gavin Hardison ran the ball in for the score. Following the score, Hardison threw a solid pass to senior tight end Trent Thompson for a two-point conversion to tie the game. 

With 12:11 to go in the fourth quarter, the Miners took their first lead of the game on a four-yard touchdown pass to redshirt senior running back Reynaldo Flores.

FAU marched down the field and tied the game up with 4:36 left in the fourth quarter. Redshirt senior tight end Austin Evans caught a 17-yard pass from Perry over a defender to tie the score at 21 apiece. 

The back and forth game came to a conclusion as UTEP went down the field and Baechle hit his third field goal of the night as time expired to seal the win for UTEP.

FAU returns home to Boca Raton next week to face the University of Alabama at Birmingham on Saturday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m. CBS Sports Network will broadcast the game.

Matthew Vogdes is a staff writer for the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories, email him at [email protected] or DM him @mattvogdes