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FAU Owls vs WKU Hilltoppers Recap 2014: Owls pull off the comeback, 45-38

Florida Atlantic came from behind to beat Western Kentucky, 45-38, in Boca Raton. The Owls move to 2-1 in the conference, while the Hilltoppers have yet to secure a victory in Conference USA.

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Florida Atlantic beat Western Kentucky on Saturday afternoon, 45-38. The Owls totaled more than 600 yards en route to a comeback victory in Boca Raton.

Jaquez Johnson found Lucky Whitehead for a 61-yard touchdown with less than two minutes to go to lead FAU to their second conference win. The shifty Whitehead was all over the field, compiling eight catches for 125 yards and two touchdowns.

While the veterans were visible for Florida Atlantic, it was the newcomers that showcased their worth. True freshman Greg "Buddy" Howell ran for 118 yards off 21 carries in his first career appearance. On top of Buddy's stellar performance, new starter Kalib Woods reeled in four catches for 83 yards and a touchdown.

Western Kentucky moved the ball in the first half and entered the halftime break ahead, 31-14. WKU quarterback Brandon Doughty finished the day with 28 completions for 338 yards and three touchdowns. The Hilltoppers proved unstoppable in the first half and running back Leon Allen capitalized their dominance with a 1-yard touchdown run ahead of his 58 rushing yards on the day.

WKU brought their 120th ranked defense into Boca Raton and allowed the Owls to convert 8 of 18 third downs and 6 of 6 on fourth down.

FAU moves to 2-1 in C-USA play ahead of next week's matchup at perennial conference favorite, Marshall. The Owls are 3-0 at home and are continuing to display their late game heroics under first year head coach Charlie PArtridge. WKU has yet to win a game in Conference USA this season and welcomes Old Dominion to L.T. Smith Stadium next weekend.

Game Notes:

  • Lucky Whitehead is the man. That's it. I can't say anything else. 125 yards on eight catches was pretty cool, but the way he racked up those yards was truly telling. Whitehead is a lightning bolt in the slot and has made teams pay for leaving him open underneath. We are all so "lucky" to see Lucky play like this.
  • When the coaches said that Greg Howell would play this week, I assumed the true freshman would get a few touches in lost drives and allow starter Tony Moore to catch a breather. What happened instead was remarkable. The young running back out of Coral Gables ran for 118 yards in his first career game and while he did put the ball on the ground once, he was electric and dominant after contact. BIG THINGS AHEAD.
  • Trevon COLEY. Wow, did he show up today. The defense as a whole was fairly unspectacular in the first half, but the second half was a completely different story. Coley had a slew of timely stops and picked up a LARGE sack on Brandon Doughty late in the game. I'm extremely glad to see him pick up the slack for Brandin Bryant.
  • Andrae Kirk, Joe Henry and Trey Hendrickson combined to provide incredible stops for the Owl defense in crunch-time. Kirk picked up another interception, while Henry was rampant throughout the WKU backfield in the fourth quarter. Hendrickson sealed the game with a sack in the winding moments of the game and I'm curious to see his development as a full-game impacter.
  • 3-0 in Boca Raton. That's huge. Keep up the solid performances, win at home and the fans will come.