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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 eliminated from bowl contention with 24-8 loss to Tulane

FAU was held to just a single touchdown for the fourth time this season as they fell 24-8 in their home finale to the Tulane University Green Wave.
Gasner Delvarin, Jr.
FAU freshman tight end Zeke Moore (#48) and another player celebrating with junior wide receiver Devin Price (#7) after Price caught a pass by junior quarterback Daniel Richardson for a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter. FAU lost their final home game of the season to No. 17 Tulane, 24-8, on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023.

There have been 1,060 days that have passed since December 23, 2020, when the Florida Atlantic Owls last appeared in a bowl game. After suffering a 16-point defeat at the hands of the Tulane University Green Wave in their home finale, that streak won’t end anytime soon. 

As the offensive struggles that have characterized a better part of their season continued, the Owls, now losers of three straight, fell 24-8 to the 17th-ranked Green Wave Saturday afternoon at FAU Stadium. 

The loss eliminates FAU from bowl game eligibility for the third consecutive season.

“We didn’t play well, we didn’t execute,” said head coach Tom Herman. “And when you’re playing the fourth best run defense in the country, a 9-1, Top 25 team, you’ve got to play really, really well. Not just hard, well, and we didn’t do that to their level.”

The Owls, 11th out of 14 conference teams in total offense, were held to a single touchdown for the fourth time this season and struggled in late downs, converting just three of their 14 third-down attempts. Junior quarterback Daniel Richardson finished the game by completing 77% of his passes for 202 yards, a touchdown and an interception while taking a season-high five sacks.

“I haven’t watched the film but I felt like a lot of those were, for one reason or another other than the offensive line,” said Herman. “When you’re dropping eight because they’re behind the sticks, that’s a difficult place to be against a team like them that can rush the passer fairly decently with just three guys.”

Though they’d struggled in the past couple of weeks, the Green Wave offense, led by senior quarterback Michael Pratt, picked apart the Owls’ defense for 336 yards of total offense on their way to their ninth straight win. 

Pratt, a Boca Raton native, finished the afternoon completing 75% of his passes for 252 yards and three touchdowns in his homecoming.

“We played well enough on that side of the ball,” said Herman of the defense’s performance. “Obviously, the big plays and third downs early in the game hurt, but we played well enough on that side of the ball.”

Meanwhile, after fumbling the ball away on their opening drive, Tulane strung together back-to-back scoring drives in the first half, both of which ended in touchdown passes thrown by Pratt.

Pratt found senior tight end Chris Carter for a nine-yard touchdown with 5:10 in the first quarter before tossing another touchdown pass a minute into the second quarter, putting the Owls down 14-0 leading into halftime. 

“Some of our warts on defense got exposed by a really good quarterback that could find some missteps,” said Herman of Pratt. 

Down 14-0 going into the second half, the woes that plagued the Owls offense in the first half worsened. 

After tallying 137 yards of total offense in the first half, Tulane held FAU to negative nine rushing yards and just 97 total yards in the second half. 

As the offense struggled, Tulane’s offense went back to scoring in the third quarter. First on an 11-play, 55-yard drive ending with Pratt’s second touchdown pass to Carter, then again on a field goal on the following drive, putting them ahead 24-0. 

FAU’s lone touchdown came with time waning in the fourth quarter, as Richardson led the offense on a 75-yard drive that ended with a touchdown pass and successful two-point conversion, finally putting the Owls on the board with 8:58 in regulation. 

“We don’t need to be perfect,” said Herman of the offense’s struggles. “There’s nobody on our schedule that dictates that we need to be. But, we do need to execute offensively at a much higher level of consistency.”

With their chances of a bowl game gone, Herman, who will now miss a bowl game for the first time in his head coaching career, will prepare to travel to Houston, Texas. The Owls’ head to season finale on the road against the Rice University Owls on Saturday, Nov. 25.

“This is uncharted territory for me as a head coach,” said Herman. “So I just told them after the game what was on my heart, which was, ‘We all got a job to do.’ My job is to get up tomorrow, evaluate what we did well and didn’t do well, and make sure we enhance the things we did do well and correct and improve the things we didn’t do well.”

Cameron Priester is the Editor-at-Large for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @PriesterCameron.

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Cameron Priester, Editor-at-Large
Cameron Priester is an Editor-at-Large for the University Press. Having served as Sports Editor for the 2022-23 academic year, he is a multimedia journalism major and intends on pursuing a career in sports journalism. He can be found on Twitter @PriesterCameron and you can email him at [email protected].

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