FAU Football: Owls obliterate FIU 52-7 to win sixth straight Shula Bowl

This is the largest margin of victory ever recorded in the Shula Bowl.

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Nicholas Windfielder

Freshman outside linebacker Jaylen Wester returning an interception on the first play of the game against FIU on Nov. 12, 2022.

Kevin Garcia, Staff Writer

The FAU Owls (5-5, 4-2 C-USA) blew out the FIU Panthers (4-6, 2-4 C-USA) 52-7 on Saturday night to mark their sixth straight victory in the Shula Bowl. 

“I’m really excited by how our entire football team played, that was by far our best game that we played this year as an entire unit,” said head coach Willie Taggart.

In a game that was not close from the start, FAU closed the first quarter with a 21-0 lead. Graduate quarterback N’Kosi Perry scored the first points of the game on a one-yard run less than a minute into the game.

Freshman linebacker Jaylen Wester got things started with a great interception on the first play from scrimmage, as it set the tone for the Owls early on. This was key in taking pressure off of Perry, who hurt his hand prior to the game.

Perry rushed for another touchdown and threw one to junior wide receiver Je’Quan Burton to account for the rest of the first quarter points. The Owls’ defense caught two interceptions in the first quarter.

FAU went into the locker room with a 31-7 lead at halftime. A field goal from kicker Morgan Suarez and a rushing touchdown from junior running back Johnny Ford occurred throughout the second quarter.

A key heading into Saturday’s contest was the Owls’ lack of execution in the second half. These worries were put to rest for this week, as they scored 21 points and shut out the Panthers’ offense in the second half.

By game’s end, backup quarterback and Taggart’s son, sophomore Willie Taggart Jr., saw game action. He utilized his feet to score on a 12-yard rush early in the fourth quarter.

Once the game concluded, FAU’s 45-point victory was the largest winning margin either side ever recorded in the Shula Bowl.

FAU will head back on the road, this time to Murfreesboro, Tenn., for a matchup with the Middle Tennessee State University Blue Raiders. The game is set for Saturday, Nov. 19, at 3:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN+.

Kevin Garcia is a staff writer for the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories, email him @[email protected], or tweet him @kevingar658.