BOCA RATON – Save for one play, FAU’s defense shut down FIU – the biggest reason the Shula Bowl trophy will spend another year in Palm Beach County.
FAU surrendered a 75-yard touchdown run to Napoleon Maxwell early in the second quarter of the Owls’ 37-7 victory over the Panthers in the southernmost rivalry in college football, but other than that the Panthers never found a rhythm.
FIU managed only 37 yards on their other 28 carries, an average barely better than one yard per try.
“I thought that we stopped the run and made them one dimensional,” FAU coach Lane Kiffin said.
One of Conference USA’s better rushing teams entering Saturday’s Shula Bowl, FIU had to rely on a subpar passing game to beat the Owls. That didn’t work out so well.
FIU quarterback Jake Morgan completed 27-of-30 passes for 192 yards, with a long of only 27 yards. No receiver found the end zone.
“We kind of knew what they were good at so we tried to take that away,” FAU cornerback Meiko Dotson said.
FAU limited FIU to four-of-15 on third down conversion attempts, and didn’t surrender a point on either of the Panthers’ two trips into the red zone.
GameBrowser: FAU (7-3, 5-1) 37, FIU (5-5, 3-4) 7
Leading 13-7 at the half, FAU received the second-half kickoff and promptly drove 75 yards in seven plays, culminating with a Harrison Bryant five yard score. The Owls would never look back.
1 – Punt for FAU punter Matt Hayball.
2 – Turnovers forced by FAU. The Owls didn’t commit a turnover.
3 – Touchdowns by running back Malcolm Davidson.
10 – Tackles for linebacker Rashad Smith, a team high.
30 – First downs the FAU offense.
125 – Receiving yards by receiver DeAngelo Antoine, to lead the Owls.
192 – Passing yards allowed by the FAU defense.
298 – Passing yards by quarterback Chris Robison.
579 – Total yards for the FAU offense, a season high for the Owls.
-GameBrowser written by Matt Wilson