That. Was. Ugly.
In front of a sold out crowd at Jerry Richardson Stadium, FAU and Charlotte played in a sloppy game that featured a whopping 12 combined turnovers - seven for Charlotte, five for FAU - and a combined output of 390 total yards of offense.
But FAU will gladly take it. Behind a stingy defense, the Owls defeated Charlotte 17-7 to win their first conference opener since 2007, and first road conference opener since 2006.
After missing last week with an ankle injury, Jaquez Johnson got the start and looked anything but 100 percent as he completed 14-25 passes for 144 yards, zero touchdowns, and two interceptions. Johnson scored the game's first points with a 14 yard rushing touchdown to give FAU a 7-0 lead in the first.
After that the offense was bogged down by an ineffective offensive line and an inability to hold onto the ball as FAU fumbled the ball eight times tonight.
There's nothing good to say about the offense's performance tonight other than the fact that they managed to hold Charlotte's defense to six points. Last week they allowed Buffalo's defense to score 23 points off of turnovers.
Tonight its all about FAU's defense.
They were ball hawks out there as the team recorded six interceptions and held Charlotte to 89 passing yards. On Charlotte's last three drives, FAU was able force an interception on each one.
After a 10 point lead was diminished to three after a pick six, Ocie Rose returned an interception 60 yards for a touchdown to make the score 17-7 with less than two minutes to play to end the 49ers' comeback attempt.
Crevon Le'Blanc and Ocie Ross both had two interceptions. Sharrod Neasman and Jalen Young each had one.
Ever since the season opener against Tulsa the FAU defense has turned in performances good enough for an FAU win. Tonight they finally got just that.
Charlie Partridge has won his first road game as a head coach and will have two weeks to prepare for David Baliff's Rice Owls. This team still has a long ways to go if they want to keep that game competitive but lets focus on the positives tonight.