South Alabama kicker Michel Chapuseaux, right, celebrates his game-winning 35-yard field goal in double overtime in the Jaguars' 37-34 victory vs. FAU on Saturday. celebrates
FAU blows a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter and has a potential game-winning field goal blocked in regulation before falling to South Alabama 37-34 in double overtime on Saturday.
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With a two-touchdown lead in the fourth quarter, Florida Atlantic appeared to be on its way to a victory over South Alabama in Mobile, Ala. on Saturday.
The Jaguars blocked the plans for any victory celebration for the Owls as they blocked two important field goals late in the game and defeated FAU 37-34 in double overtime.
After a rare efficient first half, the Owls led 31-17 early in the fourth quarter after FAU tight end Nexon Dorvilus caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Graham Wilbert. It was the second touchdown pass of the game for Wilbert, who was 27-of-41 for a career-high 303 yards. It was the first 300-yard passing game by an FAU quarterback since Rusty Smith threw for 359 yards vs. Louisiana-Lafayette on Oct. 24, 2009.
However, South Alabama (2-5, 1-2 Sun Belt) rallied and tied the game at 31 on a one-handed 16-yard touchdown catch by Gabe Roper from Ross Metheney with 1:09 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Owls (1-6, 0-4) quickly marched down the field but Mitch Anderson's 32-yard field goal attempt on first down was blocked as time expired sending the game to overtime.
In the first overtime period, FAU matched South Alabama's field goal to send the game to a second overtime.
Anderson, who only recently took over FAU's place-kicking duties after starting kicker senior Vinny Zaccario left the team less than two weeks ago, had another field goal blocked in the second overtime. After the block, the Owls' third of the game, South Alabama ran three plays before kicker Michel Chapuseaux made a 35-yard field goal to win the game.
It was the first victory over a FBS team in South Alabama history and was FAU's 14th consecutive Sun Belt Conference loss.
GameBrowser: South Alabama 37, FAU 34
Late in the game, South Alabama threw incomplete on 4th and 7 but instead of turning the ball over on downs, FAU was flagged for two pass interference penalties on the same play by Christian Milstead and Keith Reaser. The Owls could have run out the clock, but instead the physical play extended the Jaguars drive and they tied the game five plays later. It looks like if FAU is going to continue to play physical, the flags will continue to fly.
- FAU's offense got in a rhythm early, but late in the game became too conservative.
- Often blocked field goals are not the kicker's fault, but one has to wonder how much the timing and chemistry of the field goal unit (including chemistry between the snapper, holder and kicker) has changed since senior Vinny Zaccario left the team less than two weeks ago.
- This game was perhaps the Owls' best chance to pick up a victory and although some of the games remaining on the schedule are in play, FAU is going to have to play much better to win again in 2012.
- 10: Penalties for 80 yards for FAU
- 101: Rushing yards by Jonathan Wallace on 21 carries. It was the first 100-yard game by an FAU running back this season.
- 119: Recieving yards by William Dukes on five catches. It was the first time an FAU player had 100 or more receiving yards since Lestar Jean had 164 yards vs. UAB on Sept. 2, 2010.
FAU returns home to face Troy at 5 p.m. Saturday. The Trojans (4-3, 3-2 Sun Belt) rallied to defeat FIU 38-37 on Saturday.