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FAU spoils an ODU bowl bid; Wins 33-31

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

After losing on senior day last year to Old Dominion in heartbreaking fashion, Florida Atlantic was able to return the favor and defeat the Old Dominion Monarchs 33-31 behind a Greg Joseph 29-yard field goal. The win keeps the Monarchs from reaching their first bowl game ever.

With nothing to play for FAU played aggressive all day as they went for in on fourth-down and converted three times, which included a 4th & 1 rush by Jason Driskel from their own 41-yard line to milk more time off the clock.

If not for Trey Hendrickson, Old Dominion would be going to a bowl game this year. Hendrickson was a force today as he finished with four sacks and setup the go-ahead Joseph field goal with a trifecta strip-sack and fumble recovery.

After giving SEC East Champion Florida all it can handle last week, FAU walked onto Foreman Field and were absolutely dominating ODU in the first half.

If Owl fans were left wondering whether FAU would start slow following the narrow defeat to Florida those answers were put to rest on FAU's first drive as Jay Warren would score from two yards out to cap a nine-play, 54-yard drive to give FAU a 7-0 lead.

The Owls would lean on the rushing attack once again as Marcus Clark would score from 15 yards out for his first ever touchdown in an Owl uniform to give FAU a 14-3 to close the first quarter.

With less than a minute before halftime Jaquez Johnson rushed for a one yard touchdown to give FAU a 24-3 lead. The game, it appeared, was over. ODU had yet to surpass 150 total yards of offense and the Owls were dominating the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball

What happened next was all too familiar for Owl fans.

After having no success through the air Shuler Bentley would find Zach Pascal for a 45-yard touchdown pass to trim the deficit to 14 before the half. The score would spark a 28-3 scoring for the Monarchs.

After Bentley hooked-up with Pascal for their third touchdown of the day ODU was up 31-27 at the conclusion of the third quarter.

In a blink of an eye a 21-point lead became a four-point deficit entering the fourth quarter.

Second half adjustments has been an issue for Charlie Partridge and the coaching staff all season and for it to rear its head in the season-finale is kind of a let down despite the win.

With a ton of momentum from the near-upset last week and to win in this fashion against an Old Dominion team FAU clearly had more talent than leaves me feeling lukewarm.

Alas, a win is a win and its nice to see our seniors go out with a victory especially after they had to witness ODU celebrate at FAU Stadium in last year's season finale.

However, I can't help but wonder a lot more wins were left on the table this season through no fault of the players.

With another 3-9 season in the books its time for Partridge to hit the recruiting trail hard once again in preparation for what will be a pivotal third season for the head coach.