Owls are raided at home, remain winless
By: Pedro Heizer
Mistakes and fumbles were the storyline Saturday night for the Florida Atlantic University Owls as they played host to the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders in the University’s first ever game under the lights at the new on-campus stadium.
The Blue Raiders came out guns hot and built up a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
“We weren’t prepared on defense,” said senior defensive back Marcus Bartels. “We didn’t have the right adjustments. We weren’t ready for the short passes and screens. It’s hard to win when they score 21 points in the first quarter.”
But in the second quarter, just for a moment, it looked as if the Owls were on the comeback trail. After an electrifying 48-yard run by senior running back Alfred Morris, senior tight end Darian Williams connected on a 5-yard pass from Graham Wilbert for the first ever touchdown for the Owls in their brand new stadium.
“It felt good,” said Williams of being in the record books. “But at the same time, we got the loss.”
Despite what seemed to be a momentum shifter in the game, the Owls could not hold off the Blue Raiders as the Owls ended up losing 38-14 in from of the announced crowd of 16,344.
The Owls remain winless in the season with a record of 0-7 (0-4 Sun Belt).
“I can’t figure out why we have the problems that we have,” Coach Howard Schnellenberger said. “It’s the basic of playing … winning football.”
FAU’s defense looked god for a few plays, after the touchdown play for the Owls; The Owls held MTSU on a fourth-and-1 at the FAU 32 and moved the ball to the MTSU 40 before Wilbert lost the ball on a fumble during a sack.
In all, there were eight fumbles (a school record), running back Alfred Morris had three of the eight fumble, “The turnovers just killed our drives,” Morris said. “I really wasn’t forcing it. My arms were sweaty and it just shot out of my arms.”
FAU put up 276 yards versus MTSU’s 479. FAU was 5-of-12 in third-down conversions and was sacked four times for 20 yards
Despite the fumbles, Morris led all rushers with 153 yards on 18 carries and believes that the Owls can improve their play and win.
“This is football. Anything can happen.”