Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


FAU Football: Owls dominate in season-opener, beat Monmouth 42-20

FAU ended their home opener with a commanding 42-20 victory over Monmouth
Ravindra Thorupi
The FAU Owls lining up against the Monmouth Hawks early in the Owls Week 1 game. The Owls won the game 42-20.

The FAU Owls (1-0, 0-0 AAC) opened their season by thrashing the Monmouth University Hawks (0-1, 0-0 CAA) in a 42-20 victory on Saturday night.

With new coach Tom Herman at the helm, the Owls played well in their first game under his leadership. It was an excellent start for them with a lot of confidence and strength.  

“I was really happy with what I felt like we had taken the last months and applied everything that we’ve been teaching,” said Herman when discussing his feelings towards the game.  

The defense were able to stop the last year’s Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) leading rusher, Monmouth’s junior running back Jaden Shirden to 66 rush yards on 24 carries.

In the opening drive of the game, the Owls’ defense stopped the Hawks in their tracks to give the offense the opportunity to score a touchdown on their opening drive. The Owls were led by senior running back Larry McCammon when he scored a six-yard touchdown only four minutes into the game. They went on a five-play, 80-yard drive that started with McCammon’s 40-yard run.

Graduate quarterback Casey Thompson led the offense on another touchdown drive after the defense forced another punt on the ensuing drive. Thompson’s nine-yard touchdown pass gave the Owls a 14-0 lead with 6:46 to go in the first quarter, and marked his first passing touchdown in an Owls uniform.

Monmouth finally scored, after being shut out for the first two drives, on a rushing touchdown from graduate running back Sone Ntoh at 1:53 in the first quarter to make the score 14-7.

After a great receiving gain from Thompson and McCammon for a 55-yard completion, the Owls quickly responded with another impressive drive. As the second quarter ended, Thompson connected with junior wide receiver LaJohntay Wester for a two-yard passing touchdown, putting the Owls back up two touchdowns early in the second quarter.

Later on in the second quarter, following a bad punt from Monmouth, Thompson and FAU scored again. Thompson connected with redshirt senior wide receiver Je’Quan Burton for his third passing touchdown of the game, extending their lead to 28-7.

After a long drive by Monmouth, it seemed they were fighting back as they scored another touchdown. Graduate quarterback Marquez McCray threw a 27-yard touchdown to senior wide receiver Assanti Kearney to put the Hawks back within two touchdowns heading into halftime. 

Coming out of halftime, FAU was surprisingly slow on offense, going three-and out on their opening drive. However, the Owls picked it up on their second drive with a 35-yard touchdown from another connection between Thompson and Burton. That was Thompson’s fourth touchdown pass in his Owls debut, and Burton’s second receiving touchdown of the game. 

Close to the end of the third quarter, Thompson threw a deep pass to redshirt sophomore Tony Johnson, who caught the 72-yard touchdown, his second of the game to put the Owls up 42-14. 

Despite the Owls being up four scores on the Hawks, the Hawks fought back to put up another touchdown making it 42-20 in the middle of the fourth quarter. 

The Owls will now get ready for their second home game of the season against the Ohio University Bobcats on Saturday, Sept. 9. The game will take place in Boca Raton, Fla. ESPN+ will begin airing the game at 6 p.m. 

Anthony Brown is a contributing writer for the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories, email @[email protected] or DM him @popular_vlone.

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