FAU Gets Back To Its Winning Ways; Keeps Bowl & Conference Championship Hopes Alive

Published by: AK98

FAU Owls 38 – Charlotte 49ers 16

Friday night in Charlotte, N.C., QB Daniel Richardson led Florida Atlantic (4-4, 3-1) with three touchdown passes, including two to LaJohntay Wester, as they comfortably defeated Charlotte 38-16. 

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The FAU Owls victory over the 49ers (has anyone else learned about the “Gold Rush” in Charlotte) helped improve the team’s chances at not only a bowl berth, but a shot at the conference championship game. Their in-conference record (3-1) has them sitting near the top of the American Athletic Conference, just below SMU, UTSA, & Tulane. The Owls already let a game slip to one of the three (UTSA) & doesn’t play another (SMU), so their conference title hopes may hinge on a late season home matchup with championship favorite #23 Tulane.

The game began with Charlotte taking an initial 3-0 lead courtesy of a 36-yard field goal from Kyle Cunanan, which concluded a 13-play opening drive. Responding swiftly, Florida Atlantic (now 4-4, 3-1 in the American Athletic Conference) took the lead at 7-3 in a drive featuring five plays and aided by three penalties against the 49ers. Richardson’s short 3-yard pass to Zeke Moore was key in this, with the drive being extended due to various fouls committed by Charlotte. Following this, the Owls maintained their lead throughout the game.

Charlotte (now 2-6, 1-3 in the conference) saw their hopes dwindle when they turned over the ball on downs at Florida Atlantic’s 41-yard line. Soon after, Richardson found Wester for a 21-yard touchdown, increasing the lead to 14-3. Despite Cunanan’s 44-yard field goal reducing the deficit, Wester’s 26-yard touchdown reception from Richardson late in the second quarter put the Owls ahead 21-6 going into halftime.

Early in the third quarter, Richardson’s pass to Wester set up a 19-yard touchdown run by Michael Johnson Jr., expanding the Owls’ lead. Charlotte attempted a comeback with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Trexler Ivey to Jake Clemens, making it 28-13. Although Cunanan added another field goal, Carter Davis of Florida Atlantic countered with a 38-yard field goal to restore a 15-point lead. Larry McCammon’s short touchdown run later sealed the victory for the Owls.

Richardson completed 18 of 25 attempts for 216 yards, three tuggs and one interception for Florida Atlantic, while Wester had an impressive 10 catches for 149 yards. On the Charlotte side, the quarterback trio of Ivey, Jalon Jones, and Dom Shoffner completed a combined 21 of 35 passes for a total of 164 yards.

FAU will stay on the road next week, visiting the struggling UAB Blazers (2-6, 1-3). While FAU should continue its winning ways, some experts have this circled as a trap game. FAU will need to win-out in-conference if they want a shot at playing in the AAC Championship Game.

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