Florida Atlantic enters bye week wondering ‘what if’ once again


It was supposed to be the breakout game, the one that finally would put Florida Atlantic back in the win column.

Against Marshall in Huntington, West Virginia, the Owls led at the half by five points, buoyed by a stout defense and their no-huddle offense that consistently was moving the ball.

Running backs Buddy Howell and Devon Singletary were running through the Marshall defense. Quarterback Jason Driskel was looking sharp as well as backup QB Daniel Parr, who engineered a nine-play, 89-yard first quarter TD drive.

After three quarters, the Owls were still in front, clinging to a two-point lead.

However, the Thundering Herd scored the last 11 points and kept the Owls scoreless in the second half, taking a 27-21 victory.

The Owls, as in previous games, had one last chance to win at the end. An out-of-bounds kickoff gave the Owls great field position at their 40-yard line, but a holding call and a dropped pass by Kalib Woods ended any hope for a rally.

It was FAU’s fourth consecutive loss by six points or less, and the Owls’ losing streak has reached six in a row.

Florida Atlantic will look for answers during its upcoming bye week. On Monday, Coach Charlie Partridge was quick to emphasize the positives, in spite of the harsh reality of his team’s 1-6 overall record and 0-2 mark in Conference USA.

“We ran the ball and stopped the run as well as we have in the last couple years,” Partridge said. “That put us in position to win the game.”

Statistics bear that out.

Howell carried the ball 20 times for 113 yards while Singletary gained 115 yards on 13 attempts, including an up the middle 48-yard TD run to close out the first quarter.

But history repeated itself as ill-timed miscues cost the Owls opportunities to put this one away early. Two red-zone turnovers and an ill-advised throw led to an interception that halted first-half scoring drives.

Still, there were questions about how Florida Atlantic’s two quarterbacks were used in the game.

After leading the Owls to a score at the end of the first quarter and a 14-10 lead, Parr was replaced by starter Driskel on the next set of downs.

Why not stick with the hot QB?

“Jason moves the ball just as well. Daniel and his progression is still limited,” Partridge said.

So it’s back to the drawing board for the Owls.

“We’re in a good place from a motivation standpoint,” Partridge said. “It comes down to finding a way to win. Nothing has have changed our focus - it’s one mission at a time.

“To throw everything to the wind is a sign of panic. We don’t need to do that. Recruiting is going well. We just need to coach better, play better and have a complete game.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

How Lane Kiffin will affect Florida Atlantic’s search for a new AD
How Lane Kiffin will affect Florida Atlantic’s search for a new AD

Whatever else Lane Kiffin accomplishes at Florida Atlantic will be done without one of the men who pushed for his hire. Athletic director Pat Chun, who joined FAU president Dr. John Kelly in introducing Kiffin during a December 2016 press conference, has left Boca Raton to take the same position at Washington State. FAU has yet to name an interim AD...
FAU expected to name Charlie Weis Jr. new offensive coordinator
FAU expected to name Charlie Weis Jr. new offensive coordinator

Florida Atlantic head coach Lane Kiffin has stunned the college football world once again with his latest hire. Kiffin is reportedly set to hire Atlanta Falcons assistant Charlie Weis Jr. — son of the former New Enland Patriots offensive coordinator and Notre Dame and Kansas coach, Charlie Weis — to be the youngest offensive coordinator...
Florida State football: Dates released for 2018 ACC matchups
Florida State football: Dates released for 2018 ACC matchups

Florida State fans already knew that when the Seminoles take the field for the first time under new head coach Willie Taggart, the team will host Virginia Tech on September 3. Aside from that matchup, the team’s 2018 ACC schedule has remained a mystery. Wednesday, the dates of Florida State’s remaining seven ACC games were revealed...
Scott Frost’s Year 1 goal: Don’t just bring wins back to Nebraska — bring pride back, too
Scott Frost’s Year 1 goal: Don’t just bring wins back to Nebraska — bring pride back, too

Scott Frost’s résumé says .500 feels like a bit of a low bar for 2018, all things considered, Bristol be damned. Although if you want to splash cold water on that endorphin high you’ve been on since the first week of December, take a gander at the roadies on Nebraska’s dance card this fall: Sept...
Coaching rumors: Lincoln Riley could hire brother as final Oklahoma assistant
Coaching rumors: Lincoln Riley could hire brother as final Oklahoma assistant

Oklahoma football has one more assistant coach position to fill this offseason, and Lincoln Riley might be considering his brother for the role. Programs across the country are hiring or promoting coaches to fill the new 10th on-field assistant role allowed by the NCAA starting this year. According to Football Scoop&rsquo...
More Stories