It could have been a blowout, should have been a blowout, but the FAU family will gladly take a 41-31 road win over the MAC’s Ball State Cardinals (1-2).
The Owls (1-2) looked like the better team throughout the game but self-inflicted wounds kept Ball State within reach as the Cardinals scored 14 points off of turnovers in the first half. FAU led 21-17 at halftime despite out-gaining the Cardinals 266-179.
The Owls cleaned up their mistakes in the second half and finished with a comfortable win. The defense gave up 471 yards but was able to create a ton of havoc plays. The Owls’ defense forced 4 turnovers, and had 10 tackles for loss with 5 sacks. Rashad Smith recovered 2 fumbles to go with his 2.5 TFLs.
The Owls scored 21 points off of turnovers as this was easily the best offensive performance of the season. Chris Robison had the best game of his career, passing for 366 yards and a career high 4 touchdowns. The fact he did this on the road, should put to bed any issue about his play away from FAU Stadium going forward.
The receivers had their best game of the season as they played with a confidence we had not yet seen up until this point. John Mitchell had a career day, with 8 catches for 124 yards and 3 touchdowns. Harrison Bryant and John Raine continued their stellar play this season by combining for 6 catches and 93, with Raine reaching the end zone.
Perhaps more noteworthy from Bryant and Raine, was their role as run blockers. Thanks to Bryant, Raine, and the best performance of the offensive line all season, Larry McCammon was a yard short from his first career 100-yard game as he finished with 99 yards and a touchdown. Jamal Charles also reached the end zone.
FAU picked up a much needed win and should enter conference play with a lot of confidence. Before the journey for a second conference title in three years begins, the Owls will close non-conference play with a tune-up against Wagner.