BY SCOTT MORGANROTH
On Saturday September 17, 2022, the FAU Owls had a chance to make a statement in primetime on the CBS Sports Network as they faced in State Rival Central Florida.
The Owls entered the contest with a 2-1 record with triumphs over UNCC (43-13) and Southeast Louisiana (42-9).
FAU started out well in the first quarter by taking a 14-7 lead.
But after that, everything went down hill as UCF outscored FAU 33-0 in the final three quarters.
In this game, the numbers don’t lie.
UCF out gained FAU in total yards 653-296. The Knights dominated time of possession 37:05-22:55.
FAU struggled on third down conversions going 5-13.
The Knights running attack rammed the ball down FAU’s defense by amassing 314 yards.
FAU made Knights QB John Rhys Plumlee look like a Heisman Trophy candidate.
Plumlee was 25-36-339 yards and threw for a touchdown. He also led the team in rushing by compiling 20 carries for 121 yards and two touchdowns.
You talk about a one man attack, that what I witnessed on this night.
Simply put, the Owls didn’t have an answer for Plumlee.
Owls QB N’Kosi Perry had a night he would soon like to forget.
He was 13-29-108 yards passing and one touchdown.
FAU’s ground game was led by Larry McCammon, who had 11 carries for 91 yards and Zuberi Mobley with 10 carries for 83 yards.
More than half of FAU’s offense was on the ground as the Owls amassed 188 yards.
After the game, Owls Coach Willie Taggart and Perry along with a couple other players knew that this game was one that they were extremely disappointed about as the team was beaten soundly, 40-14.
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The Owls would get another chance to be on National TV as they traveled to face the Purdue Boilermakers on the Big Ten Network.
This was the first meeting for both of these two schools.
How would this turnout and would the Owls gain a sense of respect from this road game held in West Lafayette, Indiana?
To some extent, the answer is yes.
FAU lost to Purdue on September 24, 28-26 as the Owls came a field two-point conversion from making it 28-28.
But from an individual standpoint, Perry did bounce back.
He was 18-30-230 yards and three touchdowns.
He only had one interception.
He was also a force on the ground with 13 carries for 93 yards.
His primary target was LaJohntay West, who had nine catches for 90 yards and three touchdowns.
FAU out gained Purdue with 419 total yards, while Purdue had 354.
Nevertheless, the Owls dropped to 2-3.
On Saturday, FAU travels to Denton, Texas where the North Texas Mean Green awaits the Owls in a battle of 2-3 teams at 4 ET.
If the Owls are looking to become Bowl Eligible, they’re going to have to leave the Lone Star state with a win.
The last thing FAU wants to do is enter their bye week with a 2-4 record as they’ll return home and face the Rice Owls on Saturday, October 15.
Can The Owls Owls Get Back On Track?
They better very quickly otherwise this will be a lost season in their Final Season as members of Conference USA.
Scott Morganroth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow him on Twitter @TribuneSouth.
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