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


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


FAU Football: Owls beat Charlotte 38-16 on the road

Junior quarterback Daniel Richardson’s three TDs in the first half help lead the Owls to victory.
FAU Athletics
FAU junior wide receiver LaJohntay Wester (#1) pointing to family in the crowd after scoring his first touchdown of two on a career-high 149-receiving yard night against the Charlotte 49ers. The Owls won 38-16 on the road against the 49ers on Friday, Oct. 27, 2023.

The Florida Atlantic Owls (4-4, 3-1 AAC) defeated the University of North Carolina at Charlotte 49ers (2-6, 1-3 AAC) 38-16 on the road Friday night.

“It feels really good. We had a really bad taste in our mouth for six days, really bad, and we should’ve,” stated head coach Tom Herman. “We were embarrassed. I was embarrassed, as a head coach. I could count on one hand how many times I’ve felt the way I’ve felt coming off that field against UTSA.” 

Just a week before, the Owls were trounced 36-10 and held to no touchdowns on offense hosting the University of Texas at San Antonio. On Saturday, their offense came alive with 349 total yards and five touchdowns for their third victory in conference play.

“It was nice to exorcise some demons, especially doing it on the road,” said Herman. “We hadn’t won a road game outside the state of Florida here in two years, and to do it on a short week against a team coming off a big win of their own and to be such shorthanded defensively, just really proud of the way our guys responded.”

The Owls’ defense was off to a slow start, allowing the 49ers to run seven minutes off the clock on the first drive, resulting in a field goal. The Owls defense made a stand to stop Charlotte. 

FAU’s offense came out hot: five plays for 75 yards, ending the first drive with a touchdown thrown by junior quarterback Daniel Richardson to freshman tight end Zeke Moore to lead the game 7-3.

Following another stop by the Owls’ defense, the offense drove down the field, ending with a  21-yard touchdown pass from Richardson to junior wide receiver LaJohntay Wester.

Wester ended the game with a career-night 149 receiving yards for two touchdowns.

“I think we got one of the best receivers in the country, if not the best,” Herman said when praising Wester. “I’ll die on that hill, proclaiming our enjoyment–and we lean on that guy quite a bit–so enjoyment of coaching him and just to be around him, the impact that he has on every single football game has been fun to be a part of.”

Charlotte was held to just two field goals in the first half, following another touchdown pass from Richardson to Wester for 26 yards. 

Coming out of halftime up 21-6, the Owls continued to fire on all cylinders. The offense had three plays for 57 yards that ended with a 19-yard touchdown run by redshirt junior quarterback Michael Johnson Jr. The Owls extended their lead to 28-6.

On the 49ers’ first drive of the second half, the 49ers scored their first touchdown of the game with a 10-yard pass from redshirt sophomore quarterback Trexler Ivey to junior tight end Jake Clemons, shrinking the Owls’ lead to 28-13. 

The 49ers’ offense failed to capitalize after Richardson’s interception, which resulted in another Owls touchdown by senior running back Larry McCammon. FAU ended the game, winning 38-16.

“These guys never cease to amaze me the way that they respond to adversity and really do embrace being the next man up and preparing–if I’m a backup, preparing as if I am a starter,” said Herman. “Although it didn’t look pretty at times, my hats off to the defense. We gave them two short fields by the special teams in the second half. Other than that, we got to get off the field.”

The Owls will face the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Blazers (2-6, 0-4 AAC) on Nov. 1 at 3 p.m.

Chris Smith is a Staff Writer for the University Press. Email [email protected], DM via Twitter @chris_smith_35 or Instagram @Chris_smith_4 for information regarding this story or others.

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