Miami Sports Day

FAU Opens Season with 38-30 Victory over Southern Illinois

The Florida Atlantic University football team took the 2016 season opener at FAU Stadium, defeating Southern Illinois on Saturday night, 38-30.

SIU (0-1) scored just before halftime to take a 24-21 lead into the locker room, but FAU (1-0) had the ball first out of the break, and a 12-play, 75-yard drive culminated in tight end Tyler Cameron’s first career receiving touchdown to give FAU a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

QB Jason Driskel accounted for over 300 yards of total offense, and was 14-of-16 passing in the second half. The redshirt sophomore was 23-of-31 for 287 yards in the air and added 41 yards rushing. Driskel threw to nine different receivers. Tavaris Harrison and Cameron each notched their first career score.

Gregory Howell wasted no time getting the Owls on the scoreboard, with a 48-yard touchdown on FAU’s second offensive play of the game  at 12:49 in the first quarter.  That was the longest rushing play of Howell’s career, and he’d get his second longest with 4:03 to go in the opening quarter, a 37-yard score up the middle that put the Owls back ahead Howell surpassed 100 yards in the first half, 102, on just six carries, and ended the game with 128 yards on the ground

The Owls would put up 17 unanswered points before the Salukis scored on a tipped pass into the end zone but with just 2:41 remaining in the game.

The Owls head down to face Miami in Coral Gables next Saturday evening beginning at 6 p.m. The Hurricanes defeated Florida A&M on Saturday in Mark Richt’s first game as head coach, 70-3.

GAME NOTES:  Henry Bussey III had the most receptions with six, for 57 yards, and Kalib Woods trailed only Harrison in receiving yards (60 to Harrison’s 85). Sophomore linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair led the Owls with 10 tackles Haiden Nagel and Jalen Young each added eight stops; for Naigel, that marks a career high. Greg Joseph was a perfect 5-for-5 on extra points and added the Owls’ last points, a 40-yard field goal. Dalton Schomp averaged 38.5 yards on eight punts, with a long of 55 yards.

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