Following last week’s loss to UTEP, the FAU Owls were looking for an upset win over a conference foe. They got it in the form of a home victory against five-point favorites UAB 24-17.
FAU struck first with a 20-yard field goal by Morgan Suarez. Suarez originally missed the attempt, but an offsides penalty on UAB gave him another chance from five yards back.
FAU would extend the lead on their next possession with a 35-yard touchdown pass to running back Johnny Ford by senior quarterback N’Kosi Perry.
UAB quickly answered back with a 64-yard touchdown run by DeWayne McBride on a quick three-play drive. Then on their next possession, the Blazers would execute a nine play, 99-yard drive that culminated in a four-yard touchdown pass from Jacob Zeno to TJ Jones. Zeno started at quarterback in place of an injured Dylan Hopkins.
The Blazers would miss a field goal attempt of their own from 51 yards out in the second quarter.
While the FAU offense struggled for much of the first half, FAU punter Riley Thompson had some great moments, including two consecutive punts that were downed at the Blazers’ one-yard line.
Look how perfect this punt is from FAU’s Riley Thompson pic.twitter.com/scXc8O4rg2— Joe Londergan (@joehio_) October 30, 2022
He literally did it again pic.twitter.com/5Qjuz4C5PG— Joe Londergan (@joehio_) October 30, 2022
In the second half, FAU seemed to get more aggressive with their play calls as well as their overall style. On a play directly following a heated exchange between N’Kosi Perry and UAB’s Grayson Cash, Perry threw a 50-yard touchdown to Je’Quan Burton, who caught the ball in traffic in the end zone.
5️⃣0️⃣ yard link up between @ko_live5 & @JeQuanBurton5 for a TD! @FAUFootball | #CUSAFB pic.twitter.com/Ye45NWrzWI— Conference USA (@ConferenceUSA) October 30, 2022
Then, the Owls called a deep corner route on a third and two on the eight yard line to Tony Johnson, which was yet another difficult catch in traffic for a touchdown.
The Owls were also a perfect five of five on third down conversions in the third quarter.
UAB made it a one-score game with a 32-yard field goal from Matt Quinn. The Blazers would then go on a long drive to the FAU red zone, but fail to convert a fourth down attempt.
UAB had one chance to tie it, getting ball back with 2:23 remaining in the game. A handful of explosive plays from DeWayne McBride got them inside the FAU 25. On fourth and ten with eight seconds left, Zeno nearly completed a pass to a UAB receiver in the end zone, but FAU’s Michael Antoine Jr stripped the ball before the catch could be made.
Perry would finish 14 of 25 for 187 yards and three passing touchdowns, plus seven carries for 50 yards.
McBride would finish with 169 yards on 24 attempts and a touchdown, putting him over 1,000 yards for the season. McBride has rushed for at least 100 yards in every game this season.
With the victory, FAU are now in third place in the conference after North Texas defeated Western Kentucky on Saturday.
The Owls continue their season on November 12 at FIU. UAB host UTSA on November 5.