In each of the FAU’s first two games – one win, one loss – Charlie Partridge blamed his team’s struggles on little mistakes they needed to clean up.
Partridge may need to hire a hazmat team to clean up the Owls 63-7 loss at Kansas St – the most lopsided loss in program history.
Or better yet, he may opt to burn the video and simply move on.
“We can’t pretend it didn’t happen,” FAU coach Charlie Partridge told ESPN West Palm in its postgame show.
Kansas St. thoroughly out-played FAU in every phase of the game. After picking up a couple first downs on their first drive of the afternoon, the Owls fell apart.
Jason Driskel sufferend through his worst game as an Owl, committing four turnovers – two by air and two by land.
The Wildcats capitalized on the first three – scoring on the very next play each time. Seven seconds into the second quarter Kansas St. took a 28-0 lead and the contest was essentially over.
Partridge switched to Daniel Parr at quarterback for most of the final quarter, but the redshirt freshman also failed to move the offense.
Driskel completed 14 of his 24 passes for only 125 yards. Parr’s lone completion in four tries covered four yards.
“We’ve just got to keep growing with Jason,” Partridge said.
Against Miami a week ago FAU’s defense managed to keep the Owls in the game through the first half despite the offense’s struggles. That wasn’t the case on Saturday, when the Wildcats racked up 207 yards rushing in the first half and 336 yards on the afternoon.
“I expected our D-line to play better,” Partridge said.
The Wildcats took a 42-0 lead into the halftime break following Dimel Winston’s fourth TD of the first 30 minutes and basically played their reserves the remainder of the way.
For good measure, FAU surrendered a 75-yard punt return to Dominque Heath in the third quarter.
A 39-yard Driskel-to-Kalib Woods completion set the Owls up in their opponent’s red zone for the first time in almost two full games. Two plays later Buddy Howell took the ball the final yard for his fourth touchdown of the season, providing the Owls with their lone score.
GameBrowser: Kansas St. (1-1) 63, FAU (1-2) 7
Four times on Kansas St.’s opening possession FAU forced a third down play. The Wildcats converted all four times, the final one a touchdown. That score gave K-State a 7-0 lead and FAU didn’t come close to stopping the Wildcats’ offense until the game was decided (which was in the first quarter, by the way).
- Jason Driskel looked overwhelmed on Saturday. His throws sailed, the ball slipped out of his hand and the offense couldn’t get out of first gear. He left after leading the Owls on their lone touchdown drive and, fortunately for him, Parr didn’t do any better. No quarterback controversy – yet.
- Partridge said he hired Travis Trickett because he liked the way his offense at Samford made in-game adjustments to counter what Partridge’s then-Arkansas team did on defense. At some point will Trickett start making those kinds of adjustments at FAU?
- To be fair to Trickett, Driskel and Parr, FAU’s offensive line is a complete mess. Without tackles Reggie Bain and Kelly Parfitt, Dillon DeBoer moved back to center and Bryan Beck made his first start at left tackle. True freshman Brandon Walton also saw his first game action. It’s hard to imagine the Owls enjoying much offensive success until this problem is solved.
- FAU coaches insist they are a good tackling team. They may be the only ones who believe that. At times on Saturday the Owls looked like the object of the game was to see how far the guys wearing purple could run. That effort comes one week after Miami counted nearly 30 missed tackles against their RBs.
- This is only one loss – albeit a truly ugly and dispiriting one. FAU needs to figure things out quickly. Few thought FAU would beat Miami or Kansas St., but the Owls looked surprisingly inept at times against Southern Illinois, too. Much of that won’t matter, though, if the Owls beat Ball St. at home next week. The Owls can still be 2-2 heading into C-USA play, which keeps them in line for bowl eligibility. (Stop snickering.)
2 – Consecutive weeks FAU has allowed a running back score four touchdowns.
3 – Turnovers by Jason Driskel in the first half, two fumbles and an Int.
7 – Catches for Kalib Woods, covering 84 yards. He’s clearly become Driskel’s go-to guy.
10 – Penalties committed by FAU, many negating the few good plays the Owls had.
34 – Yards rushing for Buddy Howell, his lowest total of the year.
54 – Yards rushing for Kerrith Whyte to lead the Owls.
108 – Points Kansas St has totaled in its two games against FAU, dating back to 2006, outscoring the Owls by 101.
FAU returns home to face Ball St. in its final non-conference game of the season. Kickoff at Howard Schnellenberger Field on Saturday is slated for 6 p.m.