Trailing 24-27 following a lengthy weather delay, Ball State had the ball at their own 30-yard line with just under five minutes play.
For the FAU fans who endured several weather delays to make it towards the end, the conclusion was all too familiar. In less than four minutes Ball State would march down the field for a 10-play drive that culminated in Riley Neal scoring from two-yards out to give the Cardinals the game-winning touchdown.
There was still 1:47 left in the game but you knew FAU wasn’t going to score. Three plays later Jason Driskel would throw his first interception of the game and it was over.
Against even competition the offense looked better as they gained 445 yards on the night, but the defense let them down. With the game on their shoulders FAU’s vaunted pass defense allowed Riley Neal to go 4-5 for 45 yards on Ball State’s game-winning scoring drive.
For the first time in Charlie Partridge’s career as FAU’s head coach the fan base is fed up with his team. The loss to Ball State makes Charlie Partridge’s record in one-possesion games 4-9. A stat that is sure to define his tenure as the Owls head coach.
At 1-3 for the season, FAU must figure out how to salvage their season. Conference USA is so bad right now that a postseason appearance is still on the table.
Next up for the Owls is conference play as FAU will travel to Miami for the Shula Bowl against downtrodden FIU. Both programs are experiencing their seasons spiral out of control, as Ron Turner is winless this year and is under a lot of pressure to win just like Partridge.
The pressure for Partridge to produce wins is getting serious. A win against FIU next week is an absolute must, or the guaranteed fourth season FAU fans envisioned for the head coach will become cloudy.