FAU Football: Owls get past Rice 17-14 to keep bowl game hopes alive

Jahmal Edrine scored the game-winning touchdown to snap FAU’s three-game losing streak.


Paul Leachman

Redshirt junior running back Johnny Ford catches a pass while warming up for the matchup vs. Rice on Oct. 15, 2022.

Richard Pereira, News Editor

The FAU football team (3-4, 2-1 C-USA) kept their hopes for a bowl game alive after taking down Rice University (3-3, 1-1 C-USA) 17-14 Saturday night at Howard Schnellenberger Field.

“That was a great win against a good football team,” said head coach Willie Taggart. “It was good to see our guys make some improvements in some areas that we needed to make improvements in [and] we got the result that we were looking for.”

Rice opened up the scoring with junior quarterback TJ McMahon throwing a 78-yard touchdown to redshirt senior wide receiver Bradley Rozner less than five minutes in.

With 3:21 remaining in the first quarter, Rice extended its lead thanks to a three-yard rushing touchdown from redshirt junior running back Ari Broussard.

FAU got on the scoreboard less than three minutes into the second quarter. The offense completed the 72-yard touchdown drive with junior running back Larry McCammon III rushing for five yards into the endzone.

Even as junior cornerback Romain Mungin made a solid interception, FAU was unable to take advantage after redshirt freshman kicker Morgan Suarez missed a 42-yard field goal before entering halftime.

Suarez made sure his second attempt counted more than six minutes into the third quarter, converting a 34-yarder to have the score at 14-10.

Keeping Rice scoreless for the third quarter, FAU took the lead 3:38 into the fourth. Graduate quarterback N’Kosi Perry nailed a solid 18-yard pass to redshirt freshman wide receiver Jahmal Edrine for what ended up being the game-winning touchdown.

“Today, to finally be the one to step up means so much,” Edrine said. “And for my guys to come out and win this game, I felt even better.”

Rice tried to make a comeback, but threw two consecutive interceptions. FAU’s Dwight Toombs II and Armani Eli-Adams contributed to those moments.

“My man blocked so I became free on that play,” Toombs II said describing his interception. “Just looked for some help, read the quarterback’s eyes, saw the ball get tipped, and I went for it.”

Taggart credited the defense for shutting down Rice’s offense, keeping them scoreless after the first quarter. Rice only had 64 rushing yards for the entire game in contrast to FAU’s 185 yards.

“They did a great job stopping the run [and] did a great job standing the gaps and not giving up too many big run plays,” Taggart said. “That’s something we shoot for every game and it was great to see that guys go out and get it.”

Contributing to the defense was sophomore defensive lineman Evan Anderson. After missing several weeks due to injury, he assisted on three tackles against the Rice offense.

“We’re excited to have him back,” Taggart said. “It brings excitement to everyone and I think that played a big part in our defense playing the way that they did.”

FAU will head to El Paso, Texas, to face the University of Texas at El Paso on Saturday, Oct. 22, at 4 p.m. The match will be broadcast on ESPN+.

Richard Pereira is the News Editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @Rich26Pereira.