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Rice Owls Shock FAU Owls With A Come From Behind 27-26 Win

In the Conference USA home opener FAU displayed for three quarters that they will be a factor in the C-USA. Then in the fourth they reminded everyone that they actually won't.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

This game was over.

After Trey Rodriguez scored a nine yard rushing touchdown to give the Florida Atlantic Owls a 26-14 lead over the Rice Owls with 13:50 left in the fourth quarter the game was over.

All of the momentum was on FAU's sideline.

Fans began looking forward to the big game with Marshall at FAU Stadium next week.

And then a 90 minute lightning delay happened.

All of the momentum that was on FAU's sideline was zapped.

Once the storm clouds went away, so did any chance of FAU closing out Rice as the visiting Owls played like the more re-charged team coming out of the locker room.

With two weeks to prepare for the Rice, FAU would blow a 12 point lead in the fourth quarter and lose 27-26 as Driphus Jackson would connect with Darik Dillard for a game winning 14 yard touchdown pass with 2:44 left in the game.

On FAU's final drive, Jaquez Johnson would be sacked near midfield on a fourth down to end the game.

In his second start back since an ankle injury suffered against Miami (FL.) Johnson looked like the warrior Owl fans have been accustomed to seeing the last three years as he completed 15-29 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns,

What makes this loss so frustrating is that FAU did whatever they wanted with the Rice defense leading up to their last touchdown. After committing 15 turnovers the last three games, the offense had zero turnovers this afternoon for the first time since the opener against Tulsa.

The offense was humming as soon as the game started as FAU would respond to Rice's touchdown from Driphus Jackson to Zach Wright with a drive of their own as Johnson connected with Kalib Woods for an 11-yard touchdown pass to cap a 12 play 75-yard drive.

The offense would continue to click as Johnson hooked up with Kamrin Solomon for the longest play in school history on a deep post for a 94 yard touchdown.

Greg Howell and Marcus Clark combined for 111 yards on the ground but the emergence of speedster Trey Rodriguez gave the Owls another dimension as the freshman had 57 all-purpose yards.

Rodrguez's nine yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter should have been the nail in the coffin.

Instead the offense just sputtered.

In the three drives after the lightning delay FAU would run 12 plays for 47 yards with two first downs.


Rice began with a ton of success on offense but was bogged down for the majority of the contest until the lightning delay occurred.

FAU's defense would force Rice's offense to stall multiple times and up to the end of the third quarter FAU's defensive line had controlled game.

Trey Hendrickson, Brandin Bryant, and Trevon Coley could not be blocked by Rice's offensive line as they would lead FAU to five sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

For three quarters FAU looked the part of a good disciplined football team as they had zero turnovers and four penalties.

But games aren't played in three quarters.

They're played in four, so for the fourth time this season FAU loses a game in which they had a shot to win.

For the second time this season FAU held a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter and lost.

And for the final time this season I will stop getting my hopes up that this time FAU football will be different.