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

UNIVERSITY PRESS

FAU Football: Owls take down Tulsa in AAC debut

The Owls broke their three-game losing streak and dominated the run game to defeat the Golden Hurricane 20-17
Graduate+running+back+Kobe+Lewis+%28%235%29+breaks+through+Tulsas+defense+for+an+FAU+first+down+at+Howard+Schnellenberger+Field+in+Boca+Raton%2C+Fla%2C+on+Oct.+7%2C+2023.
Erika Fletcher
Graduate running back Kobe Lewis (#5) breaks through Tulsa’s defense for an FAU first down at Howard Schnellenberger Field in Boca Raton, Fla, on Oct. 7, 2023.

The Florida Atlantic Owls (2-3, 1-0 AAC) defeated the University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane (3-3, 1-1 AAC) 20-17 at FAU Stadium on Saturday evening in their American Athletic Conference debut.

“We’re gonna celebrate the hell out of this,” head coach Tom Herman said after the game. “This is the first win in our program’s history in this conference, and that’s something to be celebrated, especially against a team that has resided in this conference since its inception.”

This was the Owls’ first time winning in their conference debut.

Although Herman described it as an “ugly win,” it was a win that ended FAU’s three-game losing streak, nonetheless. The Owls’ ground game was one of the significant contributions to this win as the Golden Hurricane struggled stopping the run, despite ranking third in the AAC in rushing defense. FAU senior running back Larry McCammon ran for a career-high 130 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

“It feels good, but I can’t take all the credit,” McCammon said. “I told y’all before, we got the best O-line in the country and I’m gonna stand on that.”

On Tulsa’s game opening drive, FAU redshirt sophomore cornerback Jayden Williams picked off redshirt freshman Cardell Williams’ pass at the FAU 15-yard line. This interception was Williams’ college career first, and it gave the Owls a confident start to their first AAC game. 

The FAU offense capitalized on Williams’ interception and drove all the way into Tulsa’s territory, setting up McCammon’s first touchdown of the game.

McCammon ran 10 yards for his second touchdown, untouched by the Golden Hurricane’s defense. This extended FAU’s lead 14-0 within the final few minutes remaining in the first quarter.

The Golden Hurricane was able to find its footing in the second quarter. Redshirt freshman quarterback Cardell Williams rushed seven yards for Tulsa’s first touchdown. This play still left Tulsa trailing behind FAU 14-7 in the second quarter, but also gaining momentum. 

With only five minutes left in the first half, Tulsa’s redshirt senior safety Jaise Oliver intercepted FAU junior quarterback Daniel Richardson’s pass off a tipped ball.  This was Oliver’s 5th career interception.

Near the end of the second quarter, the Owls could not convert on third down, but settled for a field goal. This extended their lead over Tulsa 17-7 going into halftime. 

On Tulsa’s first drive of the second half, FAU graduate strong safety Jarron Morris intercepted an overthrown pass intended for Tulsa’s sophomore wide receiver, Braylin Presley. However, Tulsa came back strong on defense as redshirt freshman defensive lineman Vontroy Malone sacked Richardson. 

After an offensive standoff, Tulsa scored first in the second half with a 36-yard field goal, making it a 17-10 game with 7:09 in the third quarter

As rain began to pour late into the second half, the Owls’ run game continued to dominate. With little time left in the third quarter, FAU graduate running back Kobe Lewis ran for 58-yards through the middle, continuing to wear down Tulsa’s defense.

Early in the 4th quarter, the Golden Hurricane came away with a big stop in the red zone, sacking Richardson at Tulsa’s 16-yard line. With this, FAU settled for a field goal to extend their lead 20-10. 

FAU attempted another field goal from the 27-yard line in their next drive, which fell short of the goalpost. This mistake gave Tulsa hope, resulting in a 20-yard touchdown pass to freshman tight end Luke McGary. With about five minutes left in the game, the Golden Hurricane had now crept up on the Owls, who led by a mere three points. 

Richardson was sacked on the following drive, forcing the Owls to punt it back to Tulsa, leaving them with the ball inside their own 10-yard line and an opportunity to take the lead. 

With less than a minute and a half left in the fourth quarter, Tulsa had failed to convert on third down, and had no other option than to go for the first down on 4th and 8. Upon dropping back in the pocket, Williams was bombarded by a blitz and sacked by graduate linebacker Jackson Ambush—sealing off the game for the Owls.

The Owls will travel to Tampa to face the University of South Florida Bulls (3-3, 2-1 AAC) on Oct. 14 at 3:30 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN 2.

Kristan Reynolds is a contributing writer for the University Press. Email her at [email protected] or DM her via Instagram @kristanreynolds_.

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Erika Fletcher, Lead Photographer
Erika is a junior majoring in multimedia studies with a minor in photography. She loves shooting sports and street photography and in her free time, she enjoys drawing, skateboarding, playing soccer, listening to music, and being with her friends and family. She joined the UP on a whim to make new friends and to get better at photography. In her time here, while not long, she's made connections and learned so much about herself already and can't wait to continue her journey with such great people.

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